Hilarious behind-the-scenes footage from the Star Wars original trilogy shows Peter Mayhew acting alongside Harrison Ford. Chewbacca and his fellow Wookiees are famous for their roars in the Star Wars galaxy, with only a few other characters able to speak Shyriiwook. Understandably, though, having an actor roar down the microphone was rarely the best approach.
As shared by Spence Todd on Twitter, behind-the-scenes footage from The Empire Strikes Back shows Peter Mayhew actually speaking words to Harrison Ford’s Han Solo.
The video shows Mayhew speaking lines back to Ford so that the actor had something to react to, and it is hilarious to see Chewbacca speaking with a British accent instead of his signature roar. Mostly, Mayhew was asking Ford when they were leaving, and asking where Ford’s character was going.
Peter Mayhew Didn’t Really Speak Wookiee In Star Wars!
For the original Star Wars trilogy Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew spoke lines on set that his fellow actors could play off of and react to. However, these lines were later dubbed over by sounds created by a sound designer. Chewbacca’s signature roar was spliced together by the sounds of multiple different animals, but mostly bears. Other animals included lions and badgers.
After Peter Mayhew died in 2019 Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo took over the role and revealed that he was actually given scripts with dialogue, so he knew what Chewbacca was saying. Suotamo also did the famous Chewbacca roar on the set of films like Solo: A Star Wars story, but mainly for the other actors. His roars would still be redubbed in post-production.
Chewbacca’s roar is now recreated by everyday people, but Peter Mayhew’s British accent while interacting with Harrison Ford may take the cake for most entertaining. While Mayhew’s and Joonas Suotamo’s real voices will likely never be heard in Star Wars, the work they put in on set to help their fellow actors is surely appreciated, and make for hilarious behind-the-scenes videos. Here’s hoping for more behind-the-scenes videos of Wookiees acting when Joonas Suotamo returns to Star Wars as the Wookiee Jedi Kelnacca in The Acolyte.