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Most Star Wars fanatics probably already know about the clip below. In a nutshell, the scene is from A New Hope. Luke, Han, Chewie, and the droids are in the hangar control room on the Death Star, and Obi Wan has just left to shut down the tractor beam.

In the finished film, Chewbacca howls and Han agrees with him. But in this clip, we hear Peter Mayhew saying an actual line of English dialogue, not the familiar "RRRAAARGGGHHH!". Here's the dialogue:

CHEWBACCA: That old man is mad!

HAN: Boy, you said it, Chewie. Where did you dig up that old fossil [Luke]?


Update:

Peter Mayhew recently shared another video in which Chewbacca speaks English. It is from The Empire Strikes Back, specifically the first hangar scene on Hoth.

Chewie is working on the hull of the Millennium Falcon when Han approaches. The dialogue is as follows:

CHEWBACCA: What? What? Where the hell have you been? Where the hell have you been?

HAN: Alright, don't lose your temper! I'll come right back and give you a hand.

CHEWBACCA: Where are you going?

HAN: To make my report.

CHEWBACCA: Tell them we're leaving, then!


In the "making of" featurette, Lucas is very clear in saying that, like the guy in the Vader suit, Peter Mayhew had actual lines, and actually said them in English, for the sake of pacing and tone, and to give the other actors something to respond to.

Has anyone come across additional footage, or even a script, that lays out Chewbacca's dialogue in the original trilogy?


  • Damn it. No answers for this long probably means no other record of the dialogue has been released, doesn't it? – Wad Cheber Apr 6 '15 at 22:24
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    His dialogue isn't in the NPR Radio Scripts, nor the novelisation. – Valorum Apr 6 '15 at 22:26
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    Sometimes it takes us longer than 30 minutes to hunt down stuff. Especially at dinner time. – phantom42 Apr 6 '15 at 22:28
  • @Richard Or any draft/script that I've seen. Maybe Lucas or someone was feeding him lines one at a time. – Wad Cheber Apr 6 '15 at 22:29
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    @phantom42 - I've hunted. I just assumed that if someone knew of such a thing, then ALL fanatics would know of it, and could say "yes" immediately. – Wad Cheber Apr 6 '15 at 22:31
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+200

The answer is revealed in this Ask Me Anything with Peter Mayhew (questions and comments from people online are in bold, Mayhew's comments are plain text). Mayhew explained that he had just improvised the "old man is mad" line (and said he 'did that a lot back then', probably indicating that the clips in Empire of Dreams and Deleted Magic of Mayhew-as-Chewbacca speaking English on set were all improvised dialogue), and he also gave his interpretation of Chewbacca's line at the end of A New Hope:

As for me, I think that Chewbacca deserved a medal after the first death star destruction. What was that last word he spoke in Episode IV? Did it have something to do with not getting a medal?

No, actually, the last words Chewie spoke in Episode IV was to dismiss the troops and thank them for their service.

I can answer this. For A New Hope there were lines. In the Documentary that came with the original trilogy (sorry I forgot the name) there is a raw clip of the scene where Obi-wan leaves the crewin the controll room. Chewie: That old mans crazy ! Han: You said it buddy.

Actually, I said: "The old man is mad" and I just made that up on set. Did that a lot back then. But hey, everybody knows what Chewie said....

  • You actually answered two of my questions here, but I can only reward you for this one. Thanks! – Wad Cheber Apr 9 '15 at 3:58
  • @Hypnosifi If I forget to give you the bounty tomorrow (it wont let me give it now) please remind me. – Wad Cheber Apr 9 '15 at 4:04
  • I've edited the text. Although the questioner wrote "metal", he clearly meant "medal". I see no good purpose in leaving in the misspelling – Valorum Apr 9 '15 at 17:45
  • @Richard That's why I wrote "[sic]" next to each use of the word "metal". "Sic" is Latin for "thus", and in editing, it means "the source wrote it this way, and made these spelling/grammar errors". – Wad Cheber Apr 9 '15 at 20:01
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    @WadCheber - It's acceptable to correct a quote if it's got a spelling error, unless the error is enlightening in some fashion, in which case you'd use sic. For example, a politician deriding education standards who gets a spelling wrong. Since it's merely an error, correcting it is the obvious step. – Valorum Apr 9 '15 at 20:31

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