Monday, September 23, 2013

Rumor: Chewbacca Being Re-Cast in Episode VII


By: Dominic Jones

Since it's announcement, many fans (myself included) have hoped for the return of Chewbacca in Star Wars Episode VII.  It seems we may get our wish.  The website Bleeding Cool noticed a new casting call for an "UNTITLED STUDIO FEATURE" produced by JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk, and Kathleen Kennedy has appeared, this time calling for a "Male, 7 ft to 7.3 ft tall with a slim/thin build and upright posture. Not too worked out or too ‘thick set’ especially in the shoulders. Broad facial features would be a bonus."

I don't know about you, but that sounds like Chewbacca to me.  The (assumed, but still not official) return of the Han, Luke, and Leia wouldn't be the same without Han's fury co-pilot.  And would firmly prove that the new films have NOTHING to do with the prior expanded universe canon.  Of course, the casting call could be for another wookiee, something I would have zero problems with.

Though, I must say that, assuming this is true, as awesome as it would be to have Chewie back, it's sad that Peter Mayhew won't be able to reprise his iconic role.  Mayhew has had knee trouble for the past several years, and has begun to appear in a wheelchair at the majority of his public appearances.  He recently underwent knee replacement surgery, and is going through rehab in order to walk again.  This had some speculating he was preparing for a return in Episode VII, however it seems that may not be the case.  Hopefully another role can be found for Mayhew in the new films, as a thank you for all his dedication to the fan community over the years (much like Jeremy Bulloch in Episode III).  Mayhew shows up at as many conventions as possible and is always happy to meet with the fans - hopefully Disney and Lucasfilm recognize this. 

Another interesting tidbit that comes out this casting call is that it lists Tommy Harper as an executive producer.  Harper has previously worked on Star Trek and Mission Impossible III with JJ Abrams (as second assistant director), so his inclusion on Episode VII would make sense.

Remember, nothing is official until confirmed (or denied) by Lucasfilm or Disney.


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