I Love Chewbacca

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  • I really do. And I have been offered a platform to publish what I once scribbled across the back of my math homework book. I would be foolish to refuse such largesse. I can hope only to entertain and divert, as I offer a thousand word love letter to a ‘big walking carpet’. Because I don’t just love Chewie as a great alien character, a symbolic fictional figure, no: I have a massive crush on him. I am not the only one, but we are few and far between, even in a fandom as big as Star Wars.

    Though I describe myself as bisexual, pansexual would probably be more accurate. No, I do not endorse bestiality. What is the difference between being willing to date outside your species and animal abuse? It’s consent. (It should go without saying, but I shall say it: do not have sex with any being that does not have the capacity for reasoned thought and clear communication [that includes unconscious humans as well labradors]) But why, you ask, of all the aliens on screen, is it Chewie I developed a life-long crush on? Why not the uber-ripped Predator, or one of the green bikini-clad ladies Captain Kirk has grappled with?

    Basically, I just think Chewbacca’s pretty great. He’s not as foolhardy as Han. He’s a sensible voice (growl?) of reason, as the occasion demands. He’s a smuggler, which makes him a bit bad-boy cool, but he is principled; he’s always fighting on the right side and loyally defending his friends. He’s clearly sarcastic as hell from Han’s responses, and he has a sound sense of humor. Despite Han’s insults to his abilities and bravery, they have a very strong emotional attachment — who can forget that desolate howl as Han is encased in carbonite at the end of The Empire Strikes Back? Chewie feels deeply. He’s a thoroughly rounded character, not some semi-sentient pet.

    I know a lot of people just can’t get past the fur, but I think it’s beautiful. I am a child of the 80s. Skid UW74-smallRow, Teddy Ruxpin, Thundercats, Ewoks, my English teacher Mr. Lawrence: all the favorite people of my youth had a lot of hair. I myself, do not. Growing a luxurious mop of hair is not something my family excels at; we have that wavy bird’s nest kind of hair that never gets past the shoulders. This is not to say that we can’t grow a lot of hair, it’s just not on our heads. Looking for heroes as a child, I developed a (probably unhealthy) attachment to Wolverine that continues to this day; short, angry, furry, he was very familiar to me. However, until Hugh Jackman came along, there was certainly nothing pretty about him.

    Now there’s a big difference between animal fur and human fur. The former is thick and soft; all growing in the same direction, it cries out to be touched. The latter is sparse, erratic in its patterns; it does not generally inspire us to pet our fellow bipeds. Not without a prior emotional attachment. The one exception is the hair on our heads. Almost everyone likes to touch that hair.

    You’ve been reading an excerpt from Unwinnable Monthly Issue 74.

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