R2-D2 and C-3PO. Obi-Wan and Anakin. Star Wars is brimming with dynamic duos (some who stayed together, and some…not so much.) But there’s no greater pairing than Han Solo and his beloved furry pal, Chewbacca.
When we first met the roguish smuggler and his trusted co-pilot in the Star Wars universe, we thought it was an Odd Couple-type situation, for sure. But the partnership between these Star Wars characters is one for the ages. In both the classic flicks and the new Star Wars movies, you’ll have noticed just how much Chewie has Han’s back.
Some instances of this are subtle but very touching when you start to notice it. On a Star Wars Reddit thread, it was pointed out that one of the most underappreciated moments of protection is when Chewie most likely purposely sabotaged the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back, and that he did it in order to prevent Han from flying off.
During the scene in question, you can see Chewie pulling things apart in the Falcon while Han yells at him. At the time, Han had a bounty on his head, so this could have been a scheme on Chewie’s part to stop him from leaving and potentially getting caught since he likely would have been safer in the company of the Rebels. (Of course, we all know how that turned out.)
It’s little moments like this that make you realize just how valuable Chewie is to Han, without him even knowing. It’s got us thinking that Han needs Chewie more than the other way around.
The background of their first meeting changes depending on which story you’re paying attention to, but it’s usually some version of Han saving Chewie from Imperial imprisonment. Of course, in retrospect, it makes sense that Chewie would be constantly helping Han out — he literally owes him a life debt.
But the strength of their relationship is also down to other factors that go far beyond that. Even non-canon tales, like Vector Prime, show the lengths that Chewie is willing to go to to serve Han. In this EU novel, Chewie practically sacrifices himself to save Han’s son, Anakin. (No, not that one.)
When the Falcon is trying to depart from a collapsing planet, Chewie throws Anakin onto the ship, meaning he’s unable to leave in time himself. It’s clear from this moment that Han’s family is Chewie’s family, too, and that his loyalty extends to everything and everyone else that matters to Han.
Han is a good smuggler, but he’s only a man. Chewbacca is a force to be reckoned with and a terrific engineer and co-pilot to boot. In fact, without Chewie by his side, we don’t think Han would have gotten through half the scrapes he has.
Be sure to rewatch the Star Wars movies in order to remind yourself of how important the Han-Chewie duo is to the franchise. We’ve also got a breakdown of the Star Wars cast, and you can’t miss our ranking of the best Star Wars series or Star Wars villains.
Keep an eye on the Andor season 2 release date and The Acolyte release date for more, and see how many Star Wars movies appear on our list of the best movies of all time. Finally, take a look at our feature on why George Lucas was right about Star Wars.