Blowing my mind right now!
According to fanboy lore, and a few handfuls of cold brass facts, George R. R. Martin created Chewbacca! It’s true. Apparently the ol’ wookie was based on John Shoenherr’s concept art for one of Martin’s 1970s tales. The famed Star Wars designer Ralph McQuarrie was inspired by those very fuzzy designs, and informed his entire vision for Chewbacca based on them.
Here’s a look at Shoenherr’s original 1975 artwork:
” His final appearance in the movie is based on a 1976 piece of concept art by Ralph McQuarrie, which in turn was based on an illustration by John Schoenherr for George R.R. Martin’s novelette “And Seven Times Never Kill a Man”, published in the July 1975 issue of Analog.”
I’m a recent convert to the Church of Martin, but I never realized the gray-bearded, killer of beloved protagonists was such a founding member of fandom. I wonder if his version of Chewbacca was as loving and kind as the space smuggler we’ve all grown to know and love. Based on the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, I think we can safely surmise a Martinized Chewbacca’s character arc.
Dark Chewbacca, as he’ll henceforth be known, is the bastard son of a Kashyyykian nobleman. Long derided for his matted fur, Dark Chewie is the black sheep of his family. He’s always felt like an outcast, but never knew why, until his 18th birthday, when his long lost uncle shows up with a secret in tow. Chewie’s not really the son of a Kashyyykian nobleman, but the offspring of Emperor Palpatine’s incestuous relationship with a stray cat.
You know, because that’s how Martin rolls.