Chuiee the Wookee

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

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.)

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