One of the eternal questions about Star Wars is how the heck anybody understands just what Chewie is talking about and why Wookiee is apparently a core language everybody learns in elementary school. But on a more practical level, we all know Chewie is dubbed, and that Peter Mayhew has to be saying something to the rest of the cast. And, it turns out, there’s video of it, and boy, is it strange.
Mayhew shared some footage on Twitter recently from The Empire Strikes Back, specifically the scene where Chewie calls out Han while fixing the Millennium Falcon. Watching Chewie yell invective at Han in a working-class English accent is a strange feeling, not least because, from Chewie’s perspective, wouldn’t we be the ones with the accents? And how, precisely, does a language that appears composed entirely of non-syllabic grunts have an accent in the first place?
Joking aside, yeah, this is weird, even by Star Wars standards. We’ll probably never be able to see this scene again without imagining Chewie peevishly yelling in English at Han. On the other hand, considering the accents we find elsewhere in the universe, and the unfortunate implications that go along with them, we’ll take what we can get.