'Star Wars': Hear Chewbacca Speak English in a Fun On-Set Clip Retweeted by Peter Mayhew

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Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca and Harrison Ford as Han Solo in 'Star Wars' (Photo: LucasFilm)
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca and Harrison Ford as Han Solo in ‘Star Wars’ (Photo: LucasFilm)

Chewbacca is one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe — a fact reconfirmed by his fan-hailed return in last year’s The Force Awakens. That’s true despite (or, perhaps, because of) the fact he speaks in roars understood only by his roguish compatriot Han Solo (Harrison Ford). But a behind-the-scenes clip from the set of 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back retweeted by Chewie actor Peter Mayhew this past weekend (watch it below) reminds us that the Wookiee has on rare occasions revealed a remarkable facility with the English language.

The clip, which has previously surfaced on YouTube but received new attention in recent days with the Star Wars actor’s seal of social media approval, reminds us of the secret advantage Ford had for understanding what audiences heard only as indecipherable howls and growls, though that particular cat has been out of the bag for a while now, courtesy of scenes like the one below, featuring Mayhew, Ford, and Mark Hamill, on YouTube:

As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, another behind-the-scenes production peek (watch it below) had revealed Darth Vader as voiced by actor David Prowse, who embodied the villain on-set but whose line readings were later swapped out for the signature vocal performance by James Earl Jones.

Together, these three clips peel back the movie-magic layer on Star Wars to show the decidedly human effort that went into its creation. Now if only we could find some on-set footage of Ahmed Best as Jar Jar BInks…