Oh OK, wookies it is.
Chewbacca. What is he good for? Let us discuss the pros and cons.
In the dock stands one C. Bacca, late of Kashyyyk, Tatooine and various points along the Kessel Run. The charge: that of being pretty bloody useless when you actually think about it.
Let's look at the defendant: seven foot hairy bastard, evidently, and I stress that word, evidently strong enough to rip off young Skywalker's arm if he gets pissed off losing at 3-D galacto-chess or whatever the hell that game is. Armed with some sort of freaky laser crossbow and wearing nowt but what can only be described as a 'utility bandolier'. I theorise that the contents of the bandolier pouches are as follows:
- throat soothing mouthwash,
- blackcurrant lozenges,
- grooming mitts,
- detangler spray,
- nit comb,
- travel hairdryer,
- dummy's guide to 3-D galacto-chess,
- a pocket Wookie-Human/Human-Wookie phrase book (the Wookie section is very short),
- and a soiled photograph of the defendant and Han Solo crammed drunkenly into the photo booth of the Mos Eisley cantina.
So far so whatever. But here's the thing: what, I say what, does he actually do in the course of three original Star Wars films and one cameo in the later/earlier trilogy? Admittedly I don't have an encyclopaedic recall of every scene, but to my mind his role in every scene consists of one of the following: doing a whiny growl, trotting along at Han's heel, hefting bits of dismantled C-3PO, flicking switches in the co-pilot seat of the Millennium Falcon, and getting captured. Oh yes, there's a lot of getting captured. If he's not putting his hands up for Vader and Boba Fett, he's rolling around Jabba's dungeon like a miserable orangutan without a tyre to swing in. I blame it on that bit in the first film where Han and Luke pretend to have captured him - I think that gave him a taste for the bondage. It happens.
I mean, for the love of the Force, he's a bigfoot with a gun, how come he's not the baddest badass in the Empire? Instead we get a hulking hairy co-pilot who sucks at 3-D galacto-chess and has a fetish for restraints. And is naked, let's not forget. I daren't think what's going on down there when the Gamorrean guards have got him chained up good 'n' snug. I rate him alongside that chickenshit bear in Wacky Races, but without the cool flying helmet. No wonder Leia never gave him a medal - she sussed he was all mouth.
If it's a co-pilot you want, you might as well go for Lando's little pal, whatsisname with the face like a prawn cocktail - Numb Nuts, I think. At least he'd be cheaper to feed.
So, Chewbacca, you stand accused of being a bit crap really. Though in your defence, I've seen your family in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special (about which George Lucas has gone on record with "If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.". Lotsa Luck George, you ain't getting my prized fifth-generation bootleg DVD), and frankly they're a mess. Especially that old pervy one - Itchy? Scratchy? I watched the smelly old bugger getting off on a tiny holographic Diahann Carroll. Or possibly it was the Jefferson Starship number. Either way, it's clear you've come from a dysfunctional family unit, despite living in a cool treehouse like the Swiss Family Robinson. No wonder you've sought the heterosexual life-partnership of a hairless smuggler with a great line in waistcoats and shooting Greedo first.
In fact the best thing about Chewbacca is his name, which I still strongly insist was first used in the Jungle Book. Listen to I Wanna Be Like You - the bit when King Louie does that freaky skippy thing with his hooped arms and he starts scat singing. I swear he goes 'Chewbaccachewbaccachewbacca'.