Unless you’ve been living inside of a Hutt’s stomach, you know that Solo: A Star Wars Story has finally arrived. This new film not only gives fans a chance to learn the secret origins of the captain of the Millennium Falcon, but it also gives a younger Chewbacca. That’s right, sthe movie delivers Han and Chewie’s earliest adventures together aboard the Falcon.
The legend of Han Solo and the mighty Chewbacca has been expanded upon for years, both in the old school Star Wars Legends novels and in the pages of many awesome comics. We recently presented a recommended Star Wars reading list focused on Han Solo, and you can be sure that Chewbacca was fighting side by side with Han in just about all those awesome books and comics, but we found a few (if you’ll pardon the space pun) solo Chewbacca adventures for your consideration.
So strap on your bandolier, fry up a porg, and buckle in the co-pilot’s chair, as we take a look at some must-read Chewie fiction from yesteryear:
Vector Prime (2000) – Legends
Writer: R.A. Salvatore
We ironically begin our list with Chewie’s death. You see, in the days before Disney began sniffing around Star Wars like a rabid mouse hunting for a piece of billion-dollar cheese, Del Rey published The New Jedi Order. In Vector Prime, the first part of the heroes versus Yuuzhan Vong saga, author R.A. Salvatore had to figure out a way to portray the new alien race of evildoers as a true threat. To do this, Salvatore, author of the always eminently readable Dark Elf novels, sacrificed Chewbacca.
Believe me folks; the Wookiee’s death was epic. Chewbacca was crushed by a freaking moon while saving the Solo children. Yes, it took a whole moon to take out Chewbacca.
This infamous moment in Star Wars history sent waves of emotion through all of the characters as well as the fandom. Even though the death of Chewie had tremendous resonance, one of the welcome parts of the Disney buyout of the galaxy far, far away is that Chewbacca is back from his lunar demise. But Vector Prime will give you a taste of a Star Wars without Chewie, and believe me, it’s a much darker galaxy.
Star Wars: Chewbacca (2001) – Legends
Writer: Darko Macan
Artists: Brent Anderson, Igor Kordey, Jan Duursema, Dave Gibbons, Dusty Abell, John Nadeau, Martin Egeland, Kilian Plunkett, and Rafael Kayanan
Boy, the beginning of this list is somewhat depressing. So with Chewie dead, Dark Horse published a mini-series tribute to the fallen Wookiee warrior. These tales were told from the point of view of Chewie’s best friends: Luke, Han, Lando, Leia, the droids, and even tales from the POV of Chewbacca’s wife, Mallatobuck, and Chewbacca’s father, Attichitcuk. So if you want to experience a story featuring Chewie’s family that isn’t part of the awful Holiday Special, this Dark Horse volume of Chewbacca tales is your chance.
This series takes you through the pre-Disney history of the Wookiee warrior in a collection of great stories from the top artists in comics (a Dave Gibbons Chewie story!). These Dark Horse stories are well worth reading for the warm feelings they will leave behind. Even though Chewie’s death has been obliterated from continuity, this Wookiee hero always deserves a tribute.
Star Wars Adventures: Chewbacca and the Slavers of the Shadowlands (2011) – Legends
Writer: Chris Cerasi
Artist: Jennifer L.Meyer
Another Legends tale of young Chewie, this YA adventure is a flashback about the Wookiee’s coming of age. During his right of passage ritual, Chewie and a group of his Wookiee friends must journey into the Shadowlands of the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk. There, the brave Wookiees encounter a group of slavers and an experience that will forge Chewbacca into the warrior he will become.
Chewbacca and the Slavers of the Shadowlands is a heartfelt dive into Chewie’s past from two centuries before the events of A New Hope and provides readers a rare glimpse into the formative years of one of the galaxy’s most noble heroes. There’s a great YA Edgar Rice Burroughs feel to this one that should delight older pulp adventure fans, as well.
Marvel’s Chewbacca (2016) – Canon
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Phil Noto
It’s a challenge for any writer to tell a story where the main character talks in bursts of grunts and growls, but in Marvel’s Chewbacca, writer Gerry Duggan executes a perfect, action-packed Chewie tale that is filled with heart. With excellent art by Phil Noto, this 2016 series treats readers to a number of flashbacks as the story of Chewbacca trying to save a young girl from an Imperial-occupied planet unfolds. This series allows fans to see Chewbacca at his best – fighting, piloting, and protecting. Chewie shows the Empire that, with or without Han Solo by his side, it’s not wise to upset a Wookiee.
Chewie and the Porgs (2017) – Canon
Writer: Kevin Shinick
Artist: Fiona Hsieh
There’s just a part of me that loves the fact that after the death of his boy Han Solo, Chewbacca has essentially become a crazy cat lady. Instead of cats, it’s porgs, and the sweet, all-ages Chewie and the Porgs captures that Wookiee-Porg magic perfectly. This tale relates a side adventure shared by Chewie and his new owl/penguin/puffin/hamster pals on Ahch-To. With lush and adorable illustrations by Fiona Hsieh and an adorable story by award-winning Robot Chicken writer Kevin Shinick, Chewie and the Porgs forgoes the Porg eating and goes right for the heart, as the creators blast you in the cute bone with this perfect bedtime escapade.