Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Chewbacca's only clothing is a large belt that he wears on his shoulder. On this belt, there are some hard shell boxes that alternate small and large.

Chewbacca

What is in those boxes? Ammo? Snacks? And why are there 2 sizes of boxes?

share|improve this question
25  
Cheezy Poofs, and scooby snacks... – Chad May 30 '12 at 15:28
1  
My copy of Star Wars: The Magic of Myth says "Chewie carries a pouch slung across one shoulder that is similar to the Dyer pouch developed in 1870, a combination carbine sling and cartridge pouch." That's the out-of-universe explanation. – BennyMcBenBen May 31 '12 at 11:19
8  
It's probably full of combs and hair product. Do you have any idea how much time it takes to keep that quiff looking fresh?!? – Monty129 Jul 22 '14 at 19:39
2  
Also Shark-Repellent Bat Spray. – Paul D. Waite Jul 23 '14 at 8:12
    
When in "jail" in Cloud City, he reassembles C3-PO using a screwdriver or similar tool. Now where do ya suppose that came from? He either had it in his belt or ... somewhere else. – wberry Dec 28 '14 at 3:59
up vote 43 down vote accepted

The strap is his bandoleer (more commonly spelled "bandolier" and often just called a "utility belt"). I don't recall him ever specifically utilizing the contents in any of the books, but they typically contain items such as ammo, grenades, supplies or small tools.

In Chewbacca's case, it is most likely that his contains ammo and tools.

Unofficially, Peter Mayhew (the man behind the mask) explains on his own website:

A bandolier slung from Chewbacca's left shoulder contains enough extra firepower to take on a squad of stormtroopers.

share|improve this answer
3  
I'm fairly sure it was mentioned in the EU that it contains ammo for his bowcaster (though potentially not only ammo). – Kevin May 30 '12 at 14:29
10  
Then, why is he allowed to keep it whenever he is taken prisoner? – DavRob60 May 30 '12 at 16:14
13  
@DavRob60 - Have you ever tried to frisk a Wookie?!? – Nate May 30 '12 at 17:23
5  
@DavRob60 Surely, you wouldn't deprive an old Wookie of his walking-bandolier? – Zibbobz Jul 22 '14 at 20:21
2  
@DavRob60 - and leave him naked? How rude ;) – joshbirk Jan 6 at 22:46

Well, it couldn't be amno, because they let him carry it even when they're captured by the imperial troopers in Empire Strikes Back.

So I guess it's snacks.

share|improve this answer
    
As Han said: "Great, Chewie! Great! Always thinking with your stomach." – user8719 Nov 23 '13 at 19:37
2  
It could still have been ammo, like someone else pointed out I doubt anyone would be willing to get that far into a wookie's personal space to take it from him. – Monty129 Nov 23 '13 at 21:01
    
+1 because, lol, they totally let him carry grenades around while captured. – Nathan C. Tresch Dec 17 '14 at 20:57
    
Funny, but not backed up by canon – Valorum Jan 8 at 1:11

It should be noted that it isn't just a bandolier: it is also the strap for a messenger-bag-style satchel he carries around. This bag is easy to miss, because it tends to sit low on his right hip (sometimes behind him, out of sight), and it is almost exactly the same color as his fur.

Chewbacca bag

enter image description here

Thus, even if the compartments on the bandolier were empty or absent, it would still be functional, because it supports the bag that carries his other gear.

The best shot I can find of the bag:

enter image description here

I found this picture in a reddit post titled "What do you think was in Chewbacca's satchel?", and in the first reply to the post, Peter Mayhew (the man who plays Chewbacca)1 explains what the bag itself contains:

Aluminum ammo boxes.
Cheers,
Peter Mayhew

And the novelization of The Force Awakens says:

THANKS TO THE snow and the heavy forest cover, the patrol droid did not see them, and the deformation warp from a heat distorter Chewbacca carried in a pouch served to mask their thermal signatures.

We don't know if the pouch mentioned in this quote is the one attached to his bandolier, but it seems likely.

Although I couldn't find any canonical information about the contents of the bag or the bandolier compartments, I did find this detailed description of the bandolier and bag on a fan site page devoted to making Chewbacca costumes:

  1. There are 10 large blocks and 9 small blocks2.
  2. According to Dan Hyatt, the dimensions of the blocks are:
    • Large block, main piece: 3 inches X 3.75 inches X 1 inches
    • Large block, base piece: .125 inches X 3.252 inches X 4.002 inches
    • Small block dimensions: 3.75 inches X 1.38 inches X 1.125 inches
    • Space between each block (regardless of block size): 1.38 inches
  3. According to measurements made by Jeff Allen using a laser pointer caliper to measure the Magic of Myth exhibit, these are the dimensions of various items on the bandolier:
    • The small coin-shaped item is 1.1811 inches (3 centimeters) in diameter.
    • Large block: 1.9685 inches (5 centimeters) by 3.1496 inches (8 centimeters).
    • Small block: 1.1811 inches (3 centimeters) by 3.3465 inches (8.5 centimeters).
  4. The blocks are allegedly old aluminum project/science experiment cases from Radio Shack. These items are discontinued.
  5. The rings used to attach the bandolier to the pouch are approx. 1 inch in diameter. (source unknown)
  6. Chewie wears the bandolier on his left shoulder with the pouch resting on his right hip.
  7. There is a hidden strap that attaches to the bandolier at the shoulder and goes around Peter Mayhew's neck, to keep the bandolier in place.
  8. The Revenge of the Sith pouch appears to be made of cloth and not leather.
  9. The Revenge of the Sith bandolier doesn't have the leather concho/checker piece/coin like the Classic Trilogy bandolier.
  10. The Revenge of the Sith bandolier has some border lines in the both the main strap and the center strap. There are also some small leather loops on each side of the block that are probably for holding the center strap to the main strap.
  11. The Episode 3 bandolier has blocks without any lip, and they look like they were assembled kind of like a 3D puzzle.
  12. The bandolier used in A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back has simple tapered ends at each end of the strap. The Return of the Jedi bandolier has a curved, more ornate taper.

enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here


1 The redditor using the name Peter Mayhew is indeed the real deal - he has posted pictures that show the real Peter Mayhew, and they seem to be the kind of photos Mayhew would have the best access to. And more importantly, the account in question did an AMA, and Reddit is pretty careful about verifying the participants in AMAs.

2Most costumes make 9 large blocks and 8 small ones, simply because using the full number of blocks at their actual size would make the bandolier come down to most people's knees. Unless you are actually 7'4" you'll want to shave off one of each block or scale the whole thing down for your size, or do both.

share|improve this answer
1  
The carry-pouch contains tools to keep his bowcaster operational. I presume there's droid-fixing stuff in there as well. – Valorum Jan 8 at 1:12
    
@Richard That would seem to agree with the mostly-empty appearance of the bag, but it's you and your book against the word of a Wookiee, and I know full well that it is always safest to "let the Wookiee win", – Wad Cheber Jan 8 at 1:16
1  
If he rips my arms off, I won't be able to turn the pages...Hmm... It's a toughie. – Valorum Jan 8 at 1:17

As detailed in Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary, his bandolier boxes (shown below) contain ammunition for his Bowcaster.

enter image description here

This is nicely backed up by the Force Awakens: Visual Dictionary which implies that the smaller boxes contain a single quarrel.

enter image description here
enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
Interesting stuff in the edit. They clearly altered the bandolier for this picture, because it used to have 19 boxes, but this one only has 13. I assume the full sized bandolier, designed for a 7'4" character, looked funny without a Wookiee wearing it, so they shortened the strap and removed 6 boxes. – Wad Cheber Jan 8 at 1:19

protected by Community Jan 18 '15 at 21:05

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.