The scruffy-looking nerf-herder of the Star Wars universe won’t be the only one having his origin story told in the upcoming Han Solo movie hitting theaters in 2018. His Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca will also feature prominently in the film.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger has confirmed the presence of the Millennium Falcon’s ferocious fuzzball in the still-untitled movie, which is intended to offer fans a glimpse at the early days of the iconic smuggler Han Solo — and now, apparently, will show his history with Chewbacca, too.
Iger indirectly announced Chewie’s presence in the film during the Deutsche Bank 2016 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference earlier this week (via The Wrap) when he previewed the studio’s slate of future projects. While discussing the Star Wars universe, Iger mentioned this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and then looked ahead to the next film in the studio’s “anthology” series of Star Wars spinoff films.
“We have others in the works, including one, which is an origin story about Han Solo and Chewy,” he said. “That will come after Star Wars 8 in 2018. And then there’ll be possibly be more thereafter.”
While it was long assumed that Chewbacca would factor into the Han Solo movie, which will be directed by The LEGO Movie filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Iger’s description of the project is the first official confirmation that the famous Wookiee will indeed play a role in the film — and not just a supporting part.
In the Star Wars canon, Chewbacca is said to owe Han Solo a “life boon” after the latter helped free the Wookiee from enslavement at some point prior to the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. He was seen commanding some of the Wookiee forces during the Battle of Kashyyyk in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith alongside Jedi Master Yoda, and helped the latter escape when the clone troopers turned against the Jedi in that film. He of course then played a prominent role in all three installments of the original trilogy.
Franchise actor Peter Mayhew portrayed Chewbacca in all of the films, but due to age ceded some of the more physical elements of the performance to Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. It’s expected that Suotamo will reprise the role for the Han Solo movie. The coveted role of a young Han Solo has yet to be cast.
Although the film has yet to receive an official title, the Han Solo movie is scheduled to hit theaters May 25, 2018.