If you thought that Chewie was all growls and warbled moans, you’re wrong.
In the original Star Wars trilogy, Han Solo and his buddy Chewbacca seem to have perfectly normal conversations, even though the wookie only communicated in something that sounded more like a Yeti roaring than any understandable English. Turns out, filming those scenes was really easy because Peter Mayhew, the actor inside the Chewie suit, simply spoke his lines in plain English.
The recently surfaced footage from The Empire Strikes Back, uncovered by documentary filmaker Jamie Bennin, shows Mayhew and Harrison Ford engaging in normal conversation, which would later be dubbed over with the recognizable wookie growls. Mayhew tweeted out the video.
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) November 5, 2016
It’s not the first time Chewbacca has been caught on film speaking English. Here’s a behind the scenes clip from A New Hope.
Chewie isn’t the only actor who had his original lines dubbed over for extra effect. Darth Vader himself, played by David Prowse, spoke his regular lines during filming, only to have them recorded over and replaced with the booming voice of James Earl Jones. When he learned his voice would be covered up in post-production, he often began making up nonsense lines in place of his real ones, to everyone’s amusement.