This is technically another in the “Unanswered Questions from” series, and so I’ll still tag it that way, but it’s something that I’m a bit too turnt up about to give a passive title.
The youngest padawan has been journeying every morning with her Chewbacca stuffed animal from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World. The other day, as I was dropping that youngest padawan off, Chewie was placed in the driver’s seat and I was informed to allow him to drive.
I chuckled, and then things got serious as I realized…Chewie got jobbed in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.
Let me explain.
Chewie Got Jobbed
Thanks to the overpowering allure of nostalgia, when we meet Chewbacca again in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, he hasn’t changed much from his original trilogy days. He’s Han’s trusty sidekick and protector. You could argue that he’s had a lot happen in the previous 30 years, but much like any backstory of that era it will forever remain an unopened mystery box.
(Sure, Myster Box is just a rebooted phrasing of the MacGuffin, but what can you do? It’s JJ Abrams.)
That’s all well and good. My issue is what happens after Han’s death.
After Han dies, Chewie stays attached to the Millenium Falcon. But for some reason, he has no rights to inherit the pilot’s seat. Instead, Rey takes it over, acts like the gig is hers by birthright, and at the end of Star Wars: [Don’t Say Episode IX:] The Rise of Skywalker, flies off with it on her own.
What the Hell?
I can forgive Lando appearing after an interminable absence and taking back the pilot’s chair as some sort of respectful tribute, but Rey? What has she done to just show up and take the chair?
Even if you were to say, “Well, she did find the Falcon hidden in the junkyard on Not-Tatooine, so maybe she inherits it by galactic law,” I’d say that’s an unjust law and would push for Chewie to sue. He has more right to that pilot’s chair than she does. Even if she found the Falcon, given that we have no idea how whether it changed hands legally, she doesn’t get to take ownership. That would be like someone finding a lost wedding ring and saying, “Well, it’s mine now.”
Even if you can make a stringent legalist argument to that, you’re still ethically in the wrong. You know that the ship belongs to Han & Chewie. Absent Han, it’s Chewie’s.
Further Argument on Chewie’s Behalf
We’ve seen Chewie, onscreen alone, journey from war hero on Kashyyk to trapped Imperial slave, to revolutionary, from revolutionary to copilot and best friend, to Rebel hero who turned the tide at the Battle of Endor. He’s quite the Wookiee. He’s also been rightful copilot (and arguably rightful co-owner) of the Millenium Falcon for decades.
All he’s been through, up to and including the death of his friend for whom he walked away from his kinsmen in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and talking his BFF into becoming a de facto Rebel, and then sticking by his side as his family fell apart, and he doesn’t get the keys to ship.
I’m sorry, that’s some straight up malarkey. And it’s apparently been gnawing at my subconscious for some time but, in that one moment with the youngest padawan, it sprang forth as another example of how the sequel trilogy fails on the character development front.
I know that might be a controversial take for some, but I’ve promised always to be honest here.
Chewie got jobbed.