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"Let him have it. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee."
"But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid."
"That's 'cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that."
"I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, Artoo. Let the Wookiee win."
Han Solo, and C-3PO[src]

The Wookiees were a species of tall, hairy humanoids that were native to the planet Kashyyyk. The most notable member of this species was the warrior Chewbacca, Han Solo's best friend and co-pilot, who played a vital role in the Galactic Civil War by aiding the Rebel Alliance in their fight against the Galactic Empire, as well as the First Order–Resistance conflict where he fought against the First Order. They were quite strong, and were known to rip people's arms out of their sockets when provoked. Though being from a temperate planet better known for its swamps and forests, they were able to be comfortable on icy worlds such as Ilum, Hoth, and Starkiller Base without any protective clothing, including gloves and boots.

Biology and appearanceEdit

Wookiees were a tall species of furry giants from the planet Kashyyyk, who could grow to a height of nearly three meters.[18] Wookiees had extendable claws which they used for climbing; using them for anything else violated the Wookiee honor code.[19] Despite their fearsome appearance and volatile temperament, Wookiees were regarded as intelligent, sophisticated, loyal and trusting. When angered, Wookiees were known to descend into a berserker rage.[18] Wookiees had a long lifespan, appearing not to age over a span of fifty years.[20] One Wookiee, Lohgarra, lived healthily for centuries—the only distinction being her white fur.[6] They could learn to understand other languages, like Galactic Basic, but they were physically unable to speak them. To those who had not learned to understand Shyriiwook, the Wookiee language,[21] it appeared they spoke in a series of growls and purrs. Although rare, it was possible for Wookiees to be born Force-sensitive and become Jedi, a source of great pride. One such Wookiee was the youngling, Gungi.[22]

HistoryEdit

The Clone WarsEdit

Wookiees originated on the Mid Rim forest planet of Kashyyyk. In the ancient past, they invented and crafted weapons that fired poisoned darts and arrows.[23] During the Clone Wars, the Wookiees remained fiercely loyal to the Galactic Republic and fought alongside them in several star systems.[13] Towards the end of the conflict, Wookiee forces also defended their homeworld from a Separatist invasion with the help of Galactic Republic forces led by Jedi Master Yoda, who had good relations with them.[14]

Age of the EmpireEdit

Following the establishment of the Galactic Empire, the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk was blockaded by the Empire. The softening and repeal of anti-slavery laws ultimately led to the Empire classifying the Wookiees as non-sentient.[16] The Empire enslaved the Wookiees not because they were a meaningful threat to the Empire but because their massive, robust physiology allowed them to work long and hard in extreme conditions.[12]

As a result, many Wookiees were forced into slavery building much of the Imperial war machine,[12] sent to be worked to death in the dangerous spice mines of the planet Kessel,[13] or on construction sites such as the Death Star, though a number escaped this fate.[11] Numerous Wookiees were bred for use in medical experimentation, and some were used as playthings for Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck, Imperial governor of Kashyyyk, who occasionally hunted live Wookiees for sport.

To keep them in line, all of the Wookiees on Kashyyyk were fitted with inhibitor chips that caused them great pain if activated. The Empire also quickly learned the most efficient way of preventing any wide-scale uprisings was by threatening clan and family members, particularly the younglings. Normally, a Wookiee would quite willingly rip a stormtrooper limb from limb regardless of their own safety, but could not bear to see other Wookiees subjected to the agony instead.[12]

Despite these grave circumstances for their race, the Wookiees nonetheless found ways to help others. In the early days of the Empire, the Outer Rim planet of Lasan, home to the Lasats, was brutally sacked and devastated by the Empire for daring to question the new regime. Unable to stand by and watch, many Wookiees went to Lasan and fought the Empire with weapons forged from the wroshyr trees of their homeworld, in many cases giving their own lives to save the Lasats. Because of their actions, a few Lasats (including Garazeb Orrelios) were able to escape the genocide and survive in the wider galaxy.

During the Age of the Empire, the-then Commodore Thrawn and Lieutenant Commander Eli Vanto discovered evidence that the Empire was transporting enslaved Wookiees after responding to a distress transmission from the troop transport Sempre. The Wookiee slaves were liberated by a task force consisting of the frigate Castilus and two squadrons of V-19 Torrent starfighters, which then attacked the space station Baklek Base, where more Wookiee slaves were held. Thrawn commanded the operation to reinforce Baklek Base and forced the insurgents to surrender. When Vanto objected to slavery, Thrawn tried to rationalize the Empire's enslavement of Wookiees.[24]

About fourteen years after the establishment of the Empire,[13] the 212th Attack Battalion led by General Kahdah quelled a Wookiee revolt on Kashyyyk. Civilian travel to the planet was restricted and access was granted only for official government business.[25] Shortly later, the Empire transported several captives including Wullffwarro and his son Kitwarr to the spice mines of Kessel. The Spectres, a rebel cell based on the Outer Rim world of Lothal, rescued the prisoners and escaped Kessel.[26]

Joining the RebellionEdit

During the Galactic Civil War, several Wookiees including Chewbacca[4] and Lohgarra fought for the Alliance to Restore the Republic[6] and its successor government, the New Republic.[11] One year following the Battle of Endor, the Wookiee homeworld had become an Imperial remnant known as Imperial territory G5-623 led by Grand Moff Tolruck. Kashyyyk was later liberated by the New Republic forces. Working with a group of rebels led by Han Solo and Chewbacca, the former Imperial loyalty officer Sinjir Rath Velus used a hyperspace transceiver to neutralize Tolruck's inhibitor chips. This enabled the Wookiees to rise up enmasse against the Imperial occupiers and take their well-earned revenge, with Grand Moff Tolruck being personally killed by his personal slave, Cracktooth. The Imperial forces attempted to orbital bombard Kashyyyk but were defeated by a New Republic fleet led by Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar.[12]

Wookiee and New Republic forces then conducted mopping-up operations against the remaining Imperial holdouts on Kashyyyk. During one of these skirmishes, Chewbacca reunited with his son Lumpawaroo, who had escaped from a slave labor camp run by Commandant Dessard.[27]

Society and cultureEdit

Kashyyykian landscape

Wookiee buildings blended with their environment.

Most Wookiees carried bowcasters as weaponry, which were handcrafted.[23] The Wookiee people by and large hated Trandoshans, who were renowned as great hunters.[28] The highest way a Wookiee could compliment someone was to groom them.[6] In Wookiee society, loyalty and courage were valued as sacrosanct tenets.[18]

Wookiees in the GalaxyEdit

"A Wookiee! Rare you are to the Jedi. Proud, your people must be."
―Professor Huyang to Gungi[src]

Some notable Wookiees included Chewbacca, the navigator and long-time companion of Han Solo.[29] Other noteworthy Wookiees including the chief and general Tarfful (who fought alongside Master Yoda during the Battle of Kashyyyk)[14], the warrior Wullffwarro, and his son Kitwarr.[26] One known Force-sensitive Wookiee was the Jedi youngling Gungi, who lived during the Clone Wars.[22] During the Age of the Empire, Black Krrsantan was a Wookiee who worked as a bounty hunter for both Jabba the Hutt and Darth Vader.[5]

Another Wookiee Greybok played an important role in turning the tide of the Battle of Sevarcos by freeing several rancors, which rampaged the Imperial lines.[11] Later, he took part in Han Solo and Chewbacca's campaign to liberate Kashyyyk.[12] While serving as a senator in the New Republic's Galactic Senate, Leia Organa once saw two Wookiee commuters in front of her on an automated sidewalk at the New Republic senatorial complex on Hosnian Prime.[30]

Behind the scenesEdit

The word "Wookiee" originated in George Lucas's first movie, THX 1138, in a line ad-libbed by actor Terry McGovern: "I think I just ran over a Wookiee."[31] Since Chewbacca's premiere in the first Star Wars film, Wookiees have appeared in numerous Star Wars Legends including The Star Wars Holiday Special, the early Marvel Star Wars comics, and the BioWare roleplaying game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. In addition, Wookiees have also appeared in numerous Canon products including both the Original and Prequel trilogies, the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Chuck Wendig's Star Wars: The Aftermath Trilogy.

The Wookiees also appeared in the non-Canon LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures episode "Peril on Kashyyyk", which premiered on Disney XD on June 27, 2016. Like in the Legends and Canon storylines, the Wookiees are depicted as having an antagonistic relationship with the Trandoshans, who act as Imperial proxies on Kashyyyk. In the episode, the scavenging Freemakers family help Chief Attabura to rescue his son Tantarra from a Trandoshan island fortress.

AppearancesEdit

Non-canon appearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  2. The Rebellion Begins
  3. Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Darth Vader 1: Vader
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Lost Stars
  7. 7.0 7.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Gathering"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Star Wars: Uprising—Crew Member: "Alrrark"
  9. The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Star Wars: Uprising
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Aftermath
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Aftermath: Life Debt
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  15. Star Wars: Card Trader
  16. 16.0 16.1 Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
  17. SWCustom-2011 Wookiee history gallery on StarWars.com (backup link) (Slide 1)
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 StarWars-DatabankII Wookiee in the Databank (backup link)
  19. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Junior Novel
  20. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens teaser
  21. Star Wars Rebels: Sabine My Rebel Sketchbook
  22. 22.0 22.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Test of Strength"
  23. 23.0 23.1 Ultimate Star Wars
  24. Thrawn
  25. HoloNet News Report: Wookiee Revolt Quelled on Kashyyyk
  26. 26.0 26.1 Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Spark of Rebellion"
  27. Aftermath: Empire's End
  28. StarWars-DatabankII Tarfful in the Databank (backup link)
  29. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
  30. Bloodline
  31. InstagramIcon Origin of the word "Wookiee". Star Wars (June 21, 2016). Retrieved on June 21, 2016.

External linksEdit

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