‘Star Wars’: George Lucas’ Inspiration for Chewbacca Might Surprise You

George Lucas no longer owns Star Wars, but he remains the source of creation for all of the beloved characters. The filmmaker had some unique inspiration when creating Chewbacca.

'Star Wars' George Lucas and Chewbacca
‘Star Wars’ George Lucas and Chewbacca | J. Emilio Flores/Corbis via Getty Images

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Why did George Lucas sell ‘Star Wars’ to Disney?

Lucas did not sell Star Wars to Disney to make money. Disney spent $4 billion to purchase the galaxy far, far away in 2012. 

“I felt that I really wanted to put the company somewhere in a larger entity which could protect it,” Lucas explained with Kathleen Kennedy. “Disney is a huge corporation. They have all kinds of capabilities and facilities so that there’s a lot of strength that is gained by this.”

In the 2012 video, the creator admitted that he had plans for Episodes VII, VIII, and IX. Since then, Lucasfilm and Disney have produced the entire sequel trilogy, as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Solo: A Star Wars Story

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“I’m doing this so that the films will have a longer life, and so that more fans and people can enjoy them in the future,” he continued. “It’s a very big universe I’ve created, and there are a lot of stories that are sitting in there.”

Where did George Lucas get the inspiration for ‘Star Wars’ Chewbacca?

The inspiration for the fan-favorite Wookie, Chewbacca, was the same as Harrison Ford’s character in the Indiana Jones series. Lucas owned an Alaskan Malamute named Indiana in the 1970s.

The arctic-sled dog looks nothing like a Wookie, so at first glance, the inspiration is confusing. However, that type of pup typically has a temperament of being affectionate, loyal, and playful, according to the American Kennel Club. Now, we understand how Indiana became Chewie.

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“I had an Alaskan Malamute when I was writing the film [Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope],” Lucas once said, according to Mental Floss. “A very sweet dog, she would always sit next to me when I was writing. And when I’d drive around, she’d sit in the front seat.”

People would confuse the pup for a person when she was riding around like Lucas’ copilot. It makes perfect sense that Indiana would turn into the personality of Han Solo’s faithful sidekick.

Where did Lucas find the inspiration for ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo?

Lucas also took inspiration for his characters from his friends. The filmmaker spent a lot of time with Francis Ford Coppola on the set of Apocalypse Now. Although Lucas did not end up directing the American epic war film, he did take some of Coppola’s characteristics to help build the character of Solo.