‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ May Unexpectedly Reintroduce These Characters
After months of worrying about the film’s behind-the-scenes drama, fans now have a good feeling about Solo: A Star Wars Story. Debuting on April 8th, the film’s official trailer put many of the concerns about Alden Ehrenreich’s performance to rest, and it certainly shows no signs of the troubled production it emerged from.
One of the most surprising aspects of the footage, though, is that it suggests some forgotten characters from Star Wars lore might actually return. Check out the full trailer on page 6!
The trailer places heavy emphasis on Chewbacca
Much more so than in the initial Solo teaser, this new trailer shows us quite a bit of Chewbacca. Obviously, everyone knew that Chewbacca would play a big part in the movie; Solo will show us how Han and Chewie met, after all.
However, Chewie gets more screen time in this trailer than most people anticipated, including two big comedic moments. The trailer also ends with an action set piece in which Chewie is in peril. So it now seems like Solo won’t just be focused on Han with Chewie being along for the ride; it will very much be about Chewie as well.
Next: This character unexpectedly pops up in the trailer.
We see Chewie with another Wookiee in the trailer
There’s a brief but key moment in the new trailer where we see Chewbacca with another Wookiee. He and this Wookiee briefly embrace. In the live-action Star Wars franchise, we have rarely seen Wookiees that aren’t Chewbacca, other than a battle sequence on the Wookiee homeworld Kashyyyk in Revenge of the Sith.
So this shot of Chewie and another Wookiee stood out to a lot of fans, many of whom were wondering who exactly this is. Is it a love interest for Chewbacca? Is it someone he’s related to?
Next: Some of the answers lie in the Expanded Universe.
In the old Expanded Universe, Chewbacca had a family on Kashyyyk
We learned a lot more about Chewbacca and where he came from in the old Expanded Universe. According to this added material, Chewie was born on Kashyyyk about 200 years before the events of the original Star Wars. He lived with his family in the planet’s capital for many years.
During the Clone Wars, Chewbacca fought against Separatist invaders, as depicted in Revenge of the Sith. However, not long after, the Galactic Empire took over Kashyyyk and enslaved its people. Chewie himself managed to escape, and he made it his mission to sabotage the Empire and help free Wookiees from slavery.
During one such mission, he encountered Han Solo, who at that point was an Imperial lieutenant. However, Han refused to kill Chewie and defected from the Empire; Chewie, therefore, owed Han a life debt, and he stuck by him as Han returned to smuggling.
Fans believe that Han Solo saving Chewbacca in this fashion is something that will be carried over into Solo. So will any of the information about Chewie’s family carry over?
Next: This character was introduced in the Expanded Universe.
Chewbacca had a wife, Mallatobuck, in the Expanded Universe
The old Expanded Universe also established that Chewbacca had a wife named Mallatobuck, or “Malla.” He met Malla on Kashyyyk in his younger days, before the planet was enslaved by the Empire. But he doesn’t marry her until later; in fact, in the EU, right after Han wins the Millennium Falcon, he and Chewie’s first trip is to Kashyyyk, where Chewie marries Malla.
Still, Chewbacca had a life debt to Han Solo, and so he did not spend much time on Kashyyyk. That’s why we never see his family in the original trilogy. However, he would always return home at least once a year.
Next: This was another member of Chewie’s family that we met in the Expanded Universe.
Chewie and Malla also had a son, Lumpy
Not only did Chewie have a wife in the Expanded Universe, but he also had a son: Lumpawarrump, also known as Lumpy. Lumpy was born about one year before the events of A New Hope. Since Chewie isn’t able to spend that much time at home, Lumpy was raised by Malla and by Chewie’s father, Attichitcuk.
Lumpy always looked up to his father and wanted to go on adventures like him. In the old Expanded Universe, Chewbacca actually ends up dying, and so Lumpy takes over the life debt to Han Solo for a number of years.
Next: Why that’s probably Malla in the new Solo trailer.
Malla is canon in the Disney timeline, so that’s probably her in the trailer
We don’t know for sure who it is that Chewie is embracing in the Solo trailer. But it’s clearly someone he is close with, and it seems quite likely that it’s Malla. After all, although all of the old Expanded Universe information on Malla has now been wiped out, the character is actually still canon.
A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy, a 2015 children’s book retelling the events of the original movie, mentions Malla and thus brings her back into canon. In addition, Lumpawarrump comes up in the 2017 novel Aftermath: Empire’s End; he actually has a scene in the book, reuniting with his father after escaping child slave labor.
If Solo roughly follows the timeline set forth in the original Expanded Universe, Chewie wouldn’t be married to Malla yet when the film begins, but they would already be close. Lumpy wouldn’t be born yet; however, if Malla comes back into play, it’s possible we’ll see more of Lumpy down the line (maybe in a potential Solo sequel).
Next: Why it’s so surprising to see these characters return.
Chewbacca’s family has not appeared in live action since the disastrous Holiday Special
The reason it’s so surprising that this trailer hints at the return of Chewbacca’s family is that they originate in the absolutely disastrous Star Wars Holiday Special.
Airing in 1978 — one year after Star Wars but two years before The Empire Strikes Back — this TV special involved Chewbacca going home for Life Day, which is sort of like the Wookiee equivalent of Christmas. We meet Chewie’s whole family, including Malla and Lumpy.
The special is legendarily horrible, with one of the issues being that a lot of the scenes just consist of Wookiees communicating with one another without any subtitles or humans around to give us an idea of what they’re saying. The Holiday Special is no longer canon, and it was never officially released on home video.
But 40 years later, it looks like Star Wars might now be taking another stab at depicting Chewbacca’s family. Let’s hope it works out better this time.
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