Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Chewbacca (Star Wars Character THoughts)

More Thoughts: Intro, C3PO, R2D2, Qui-Gon, Obi Wan, Anakin, Padme, Han, Chewy, The Emperor, Yoda, Vader, Luke

Chewbacca is one of the more beloved characters in the Star Wars saga, even though he does not really speak a line of dialogue nor do too very much to further the plot. He is the steadfast companion of Han Solo, more like a dog of a best friend than another character. And that is not really far off the mark. Lucas was inspired to create the character by thinking of his own dog. In the background material to the saga, we are told that Han spared Chewy’s life and he has in turn sworn a life-oath to Solo. That is why he is so loyal, but there is a true friendship to be seen there.

And friendship is what we learn from Chewbacca and Han together. It seems to be one of the few strong, committed male friendships in pop-culture that has not been skewed through the lens of homosexuality. In the past couple of decades our culture has become incapable of accepting true, meaningful, male friendship without imagining that there must be some “hanky-panky” going on, even in the absence of any evidence. Science Fiction in the past ten years in particular has really become inundated with the assumption that all advanced cultures would naturally become completely boundary-less where it comes to sex, so naturally they should be at least bisexual and in some cases truly omnisexual with and species being fair game.

The Star Wars saga is one that was created when science fiction storytellers were not obsessed with sex; before the culture regressed into a mass adolescence if you will. Han and Chewy are therefore a great exploration of friendship that transcends a physical or even an intellectual dimension. Han and Chewy’s relationship is certainly not one held together by something as silly as sexual attraction, but it is also not one where they sit around and talk about ideas or interests. They are the epitome of male bonding. Not based on anything more than loyalty and mutual support. It is a relationship that is sorely unexplored in contemporary culture.

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