Star Wars Classic Trilogy

The towering Wookiee Chewbacca, a fierce but kindly fur-covered alien, is the loyal sidekick to Han Solo in Episodes IV, V, and VI. Designed by concept artist Ralph McQuarrie and produced by Stuart Freeborn, the expressive costume is made from yak hair and mohair.

George Lucas collaborated with Freeborn while he was working on the prototype, and explains: “We were trying to do a combination of a monkey, a dog, and a cat. I really wanted it to be cat-like more than anything else, but we were trying to conform to that combination.” For Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, the creature shop had to fabricate six additional Wookiees, all modeled closely on the original Chewbacca.

“Chewbacca was a fascinating one, because he had to look nice, though he could be very ferocious when he wanted to be. It was fun making a monster that looked friendly and nice for a change, instead of being menacing. I had seen a sketch [by Ralph McQuarrie] and I based it on that because it was very good, and it looked just right to me.”
Stuart Freeborn, make-up and creature Design, Episode IV, V, VI