Wookiee culture placed a high value on the use of their claws for peaceful, productive reasons only. Thus, any Wookiee who lashed out against another Wookiee (or any other living being) with their claws was deemed to be a madclaw. The title was a grave dishonor, since the Wookiees viewed the use of claws for anything other than tools as feral, and madclaws were usually sent into exile.
To date, the only madclaw to become famous throughout the galaxy was Zaalbar, one of the companions of the Jedi Revan. He lashed out at his brother, Chuundar, after discovering he'd been cutting deals with Czerka Corporation slavers. His father, the chieftain Freyyr, didn't believe him, and he was exiled. He was later pardoned after Chuundar's crimes were exposed.
The albino Wookiee Tojjevvuk also dishonored himself by using his claws to attack Chewbacca when they fought over Mallatobuck, but since that battle ended with Chewbacca hurling Tojjevvuk to his death in the Shadowlands, Tojjevvuk was never brought to justice by his people and formally dishonored with the title madclaw.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "Fortunately, the West End Games folks also spotted the lapse and came to my rescue."
- ―Timothy Zahn
The concept of madclaws was, indirectly, created by Timothy Zahn, author of "The Thrawn Trilogy." In his 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, Zahn introduced the protractible claws of the Wookiees in order to make their tree-climbing more realistic. However, he realized that his new addition to canon caused a discrepancy: if the Wookiees had indeed claws, Chewbacca would have used them in the original Star Wars movies. Five years later, Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook resolved the discrepancy, explaining that it was a matter of honor that Wookiees never used their claws in combat, but kept them strictly for climbing.  In Star Wars canon, a similar Wookiee honor code appears in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Junior Novel.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
- Star Wars: Chewbacca (First appearance)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (As "mad-claw")