In its original rough draft, Star Wars was called The Journal of the Whills, and Chewbacca the Wookiee was Chuiee, an alien barbarian prince from the jungle planet of Yavin — already eight feet tall and furry, but described as a huge, grey bushbaby with fierce baboon-like fangs.
This original design disappeared as Ralph McQuarrie borrowed a design from John Shoenherr’s illustration for George R.R. Martin’s Hugo-nominated novelette, And Seven Times Never Kill Man — which draws its title from a Kipling poem.
As McQuarrie explains it, he took the illustration that George Lucas gave him, took off the breasts and added a bandolier, et voilà!
(Hat tip to Boing Boing.)