Comics Review: “Chewbacca" #1 (And How To Improve It)
- by Señor Editor, 15 October 2015
I’m a big Star Wars fan, so when I heard there’s a “Chewbacca” miniseries coming out, I made sure to check it out. Sure, I was a little sceptic about Marvel taking over the SW license from Dark Horse, but it quickly turned out that their take on the original trilogy is pretty great (especially in the main series and the “Darth Vader” series). So, “Chewbacca” by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto? Count me in!
There. That’s done. That’s the plot so far.
Now, Phil Noto’s art is pretty great and even though the planet in this comic is a pinkish/greenish pastel mess that doesn’t really feel like Star Wars, things look good. The script, though… Well, this first issue didn’t show me the things I wanted to see Chewbacca do, that’s for sure. I felt that, so I thought to myself “What would you want to see him do? Be more constructive with your feedback, man!” This lead me to ponder the nature of Chewbacca’s role in Star Wars.
This may sound rude, but Chewbacca is basically Han Solo’s dog. I don’t mean that as a bad thing - I like dogs a lot. Love them! But Chewbacca in the original trilogy is more a pet than a character. You may say “But wait, he clearly has many unique skills that a dog wouldn’t have!”, but I’d like to point out that he’s not known for his skills at all.
Sure, Chewbacca is a mechanic. But is he a great mechanic? We know that Chewie can fix the Millennium Falcon. We saw that. You know who else could fix it? Han Solo. Probably Luke. R2-D2. Most likely Lando. Chewie once fixed C-3PO, but messed it up. You know who corrected that? R2-D2. Luke Skywalker was repairing his own cybernetic hand and he didn't need Chewbacca for that. R2-D2 was frequently breaking codes and opening locked doors - something Chewie couldn't do. Being an alright mechanic is not something that makes Chewie special. Neither, for that matter, is him being a pilot. Plenty of pilots around, and plenty of much better ones. What else did Chewbacca do? He had a rifle that looked like a crossbow. Was he a particularly famous marksman? No, he wasn’t.
I was beginning to think that, as much as I hate to admit, Chewbacca kind of sucks, because he didn’t really do anything great in the movies. Is it actually a bad idea to have him as a protagonist? Could he even work as a solo character?
And then it dawned on me. There’s one thing that Chewbacca is good at. He does have a unique skill and we hear about it right there in the original movie. Han Solo tells 3PO that Wookies like Chewbacca are known for ripping arms off of people! That’s amazing, but we never see him do that. This series could be all about Chewbacca ripping arms off, but it's about him helping an annoying child (so far, at least). Why should the Jedi and the Sith be the only ones who get to amputate limbs? Chewbacca can apparently do that with his own fuckin hands!
You can have that idea for free, Marvel, and I hope you use it. Because I don’t care about this little girl and her debt-having father. I don’t even care about this pastel-colored planet. I care about Chewbacca and want to see the franchise deliver on a nearly 40 year old promise of arms being ripped off. I want to see “the mighty Chewbacca” Jabba was talking about, not the relatively talented sidekick/dog.
So, while this comic is perfectly fine and there’s nothing terrible about it, it seems like Duggan and Noto just wasted 20% of the pages this mini will have on boring stuff. Let’s get this back on track. Let’s not use up a Chewbacca series on bullshit, please. I will check back in a month and I hope to see some arms being ripped off, or I will be pretty damn disappointed. Thanks!
You may also enjoy: "The Top 10 Hand Amputations in Star Wars"
Did you read "Chewbacca" #1? Did you enjoy it? Let us know in the comments!