The Death Star has been destroyed, Han Solo proves his loyalty, Luke Skywalker yells out "CARRIE!" on accident, and they all go off with great big smiles on their faces.
Yep, times are good for the Rebel Alliance.
When you work hard, you play hard. So our valiant victors celebrate the win in a big way with pomp, glamour, and of course a medal ceremony. Luke gets his medal with a big grin on his face, Han Solo gets his with a wink toward Princess Leia...
...and that's it.
Chewbacca lets out a roar and stands there, sans medal.
Let the controversy commence!
For thirty-seven years (feel old yet?) fans have wondered why George Lucas chose to overlook the "walking carpet" during the medal ceremony. Was it racism? After all, the humans got their medals. Was it just an oversight? Perhaps it was just due to a lack of time?
Nope, it was perfectly consistent and is exactly what should have happened.
First, let's ignore the fact that Carrie Fisher would need a ladder to get a medal on Chewie and take a deeper look at the lore. Wookiees do not take pride in material awards like medals, ribbons, or trophies. It isn't in their nature to put things on a mantle or around their necks and say "look how awesome I am!"
In the "official" words of Lucas (which could change on a whim), Chewbacca was actually given a medal at Han's insistence. In a smaller, more private, gathering, Leia draped a medal around his neck...although I don't think Han arranged a kiss to go with it.
But, did he deserve the medal?
Sure, Chewie is lovable and one of the most popular characters in all of cinema. However, in this writer's opinion, he didn't do enough to warrant the award. Perhaps he convinced Han to return, perhaps he was the co-pilot during the mission, but here's the key point to consider.
Wasn't Wedge more deserving? The man who flew with Luke, had his back, fought since the beginning of the battle, and only flew out of the trench on Luke's orders?
Wasn't R2-D2 more deserving? The droid who was nearly destroyed during the battle? Who worked on Luke's X-Wing during the fight? Who carried the plans within his rusty innards that allowed them to plan the attack to begin with? Even Padme thanked the little droid during the Phantom Menace for a job well done.
Wasn't Garven Dreis more deserving? The man who volunteered to draw the tower guns' fire on the first pass? Who led Red Squadron during the attack? Who was the only person, other than Luke, to launch his torpedoes? Whose leadership and strategy contributed directly to the victory?
I love Chewie, always have, always will. But when you look at the actual battle itself, was Chewie deserving of the Geek Smack Talk that has haunted social media for the past thirty-seven years or should we all be asking ourselves...
Where is Artoo's medal?!?
David hosts a weekly talk show called "Get Your Geek On" and can be heard live every Monday night at 8pm CST at www.channel1138.com.
This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.