Saturday, May 4, 2019

May the Fourth: 5 Writing Tips that Can be Learned from Chewbacca

Today, as many fans around the world know, is Star Wars day! The reason behind this is that one of the common sayings in the series is "May the force be with you", and today we say "May the Fourth be with you."

Because of this special occasion, we here at Rebellious Writing wanted to do a post of some kind featuring something from the Star Wars series. When we learned that Peter Mayhew, who plays Chewbacca in the series, had recently passed away; we decided to focus on his character, and what we as writers can learn about it.


5 Writing Tips that Can be Learned from Chewbacca


1. Make your creatures distinctive in many ways - physical, mental and emotional.
What makes Chewy stand out is his height, his hair and his language. One time he is referred to as a "walking carpet", because of how he looks; but anyone who is familiar with him knows how lovable he is.

2. Provide non-English speaking characters lots of context for his speech.
If your sidekick doesn't speak English, you're going to need another character to translate or provide non-verbal gestures so that he may be understood by the other characters. Han's replies to Chewy always indicate what he said. You can also always tell his emotions based on the pitch of his voice.

3. Loyalty.
This is very often the defining characteristic of a sidekick character. Chewy can be a little harsh when you first meet him, but once you know him he is going to stick with you. An example of that is in Episode 5, when he notices that C-3PO is missing and does not stop until he finds him.

4. Using a sidekick's flaw as conflict for the hero.
Chewy's short temper slowed down the group several times during the original films, creating frustration for the team members...among other things. While it's easy to create this puppet-like side character that do the hero's bidding, this makes for a boring and non-memorable character.

5. Have the sidekick be able to act independently from the hero.
In Episode 6, Chewy separates himself from the main fighting force to overtake an AT-ST unit (otherwise known as the metallic dinosaur-like tanks). This act turns the tide of the battle in favor of the Resistance. This was not under Han's orders, but of his own intuition. This again comes down to having the side character be his own character and not a puppet. If Chewie was under Han's orders all the time, he would have been useless in Episode 8.

In Conclusion

Chewbacca is such a famous and memorable sidekick, and a worthy character to base your own sidekick characters on. We hope that you can use these tips to flesh out your own characters.

"May the force be with you" in all of your writing escapades!


  1. Awesome advice! This was such a creative way to incorporate May the Fourth into a writing post. :)

    1. Thank you so much, Kara :) We're so glad you liked it!

  2. I love this, Catherine and Clare!! <3

  3. Fun post! I always love a good, loyal character ;)

    1. Chewie is one of the best :) Thank you Keturah!