Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back set footage shows Chewbacca speaking English

By Staff Writer | Nov 14, 2016 01:43 AM EST
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Chewbacca will always be remembered communicating with a series roars and grunts. Known as Shyriiwook, it has been a staple since his first appearance on A New Hope. Recent footage from the set of Empire Strikes Back, however, lets fans hear Chewie speak in English; British English, in fact.

The footage, brought to light by documentarian Jamie Benning, shows Peter Mayhew, the 7-foot-3 British actor that plays the wookie, interacting with Harrison Ford's Han Solo in Mayhew's southwestern British accent. The Hollywood Reporter adds that Mayhew himself shared the video on his Twitter account, showing his approval by stating "wonderful bit of stuff."

 This is not the first video to come out showing Chewie speaking in English. Another video has been shared some time back, as Johnny, etc. notes. It featured footage from the set of Episode 4, wherein Mayhew is seen delivering his dialogue in his natural voice, before being dubbed in post-production. During post-production, his dialogue is replaced by the familiar sound of animal grunts, roars and howls, which became one of the character's defining parts.

Before landing the part of Chewbacca, the role was originally intended to David Prowse, who stands at 6-foot-6. Prowse, however, chose to play the main baddie of the trilogy, Darth Vader. George Lucas, the man behind the beloved franchise, searched for a new actor to play the role, which led to the discovery of Mayhew.

He has gone on to play the character in five feature films of the Star Wars franchise. Starting from Episode IV: A New Hope, he also appeared in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and most recently, Episode VII: The Force Awakens. For his role in The Force Awakens, he underwent a double knee replacement surgery in 2013 to so he could portray the character.

Mayhew will be reprising his role as Chewie on the eight installment of the franchise, which is set to premiere on December 2017.

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