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  1. A Pang
    A Pang December 27, 2006 at 10:19 pm |

    “Spacism,” declares my boyfriend, who’s been ranting about this particular injustice for years.

    (For the uninitiate: space racism.)

  2. Erin M
    Erin M December 27, 2006 at 10:31 pm |

    I just watched it again a couple days ago, and I kinda wondered about that, too. (Star Wars is a Christmas movie darn it, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!) For a less nefarious explanation, maybe Chewie decided not to become a part of the Rebel army the way Han and Luke did, so he wasn’t eligible for the medal or something? And there’s some rule about handing out military and civilian medals at the same ceremony? Huh.

  3. Henry
    Henry December 27, 2006 at 10:37 pm |

    The same reason R2 and the other droids didn’t get one. He’s the help, not the hero. Kind of like giving a golf trophy to a caddy. At least thats how I reckon it went.

  4. r4d20
    r4d20 December 27, 2006 at 10:41 pm |

    Its Anti-Wookiism

  5. Reb
    Reb December 27, 2006 at 10:53 pm |

    My crack pot, made up on the spot theory (though I truly think it’s an injustice) is that Chewwie had sworn a vow to serve (-? partner? befriend? whatever) Han, when Han had saved him (or his family/planet/something, I don’t recall the backstory very well) and so maybe he was willing to turn down the honor as he’d done it as part of his duty to Han and not out of an interest in the Rebellion itself.

    …Actually, I just went to check his origin at Wikipedia, and found this:

    The fact that Chewbacca apparently does not receive a medal in the concluding ceremony in A New Hope bothered many fans. This was corrected outside regular Star Wars continuity, after a fashion in 1997, when Chewbacca won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the MTV Movie Awards. Chewbacca, played by Peter Mayhew, appeared on stage to a standing ovation and was given a medal from Carrie Fisher. It should be noted that in the novelization of A New Hope (ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster, credited to George Lucas), Leia did give Chewbacca a medal, but she had to strain to do so. Chewbacca is the third fictional character to win the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award. The other two are Jason Voorhees and Godzilla, in that order.

    My guess, then, is that the reason he didn’t get it in the film is because Carrie Fisher is a very short woman (seriously, watch as she, Luke, and Han all walk down the hall arm-in-arm, she barely comes up to their shoulders) and for the sake of avoiding the awkward visual of her having to stand on something or him ducking a lot, they skipped it.

  6. kadath
    kadath December 27, 2006 at 11:26 pm |

    I like this explanation.

  7. norbizness
    norbizness December 27, 2006 at 11:48 pm |

    Princess Leia: Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?

    Han Solo: You bigoted, elitist bitch! This star system was built by Wookies!

    [other altered quotes here]

  8. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe December 28, 2006 at 1:12 am |

    Maybe there’s no place to pin it, and he doesn’t want it clipped to his hair or fur or whatever that stuff on his chest is.

  9. Lynn Gazis-Sax
    Lynn Gazis-Sax December 28, 2006 at 1:19 am |

    They could have put it on a chain for him.

  10. Soren
    Soren December 28, 2006 at 3:07 am |

    Here in Denmark we still have a monarchy, and though it is customary that our cabinet gets medals from the queen after they have served for a specific time, and members of parliament often get some to, some parties, the largest of these being the social democrats, do not accept medals or knighthoods given by the queen.

    I like to think that Chewie is a republican (not as in the US party of course), in the way that he is against the monarchy represented by the princess. Remember that it was not until later Lucas invented the whole idea that Leia was an elected official, in the first Starwars, she was the heir apparent, the offspring of the true princess by a knight.

    So while Han was a unprincipled scoundrel, always ready to sell out to the highest bidder, Chewbacca was a proud democrat, joining forces with the monarchy only to defeat the greater foe, but not ready to acknowledge Leias right to rule!

  11. Anna
    Anna December 28, 2006 at 3:08 am |

    Kadath, that is the most fan-wanky explanation to sync up the two trilogies I have ever read.

    I love it. More please? :)

  12. Sara no H.
    Sara no H. December 28, 2006 at 3:37 am |

    Maybe he’s allergic?

  13. nerdlet
    nerdlet December 28, 2006 at 4:34 am |

    Leia doesn’t get a medal either. And she, you know, did stuff. Kinda. I think. I mean, maybe she did something once or twice.

  14. antiprincess
    antiprincess December 28, 2006 at 7:06 am |

    I thought Chewbacca was female.
    not the actor – the character.

  15. twig
    twig December 28, 2006 at 8:39 am |

    And let’s not forget the few surviving pilots who took part in the raid.

    Were there any besides Wedge? I remember thinking that if you really had a death wish, piloting an X-Wing seemed like the way to go.

    I mean, I think Wedge only survived the entire thing by accident.

  16. Magis
    Magis December 28, 2006 at 9:32 am |

    Where would you pin it?

  17. Sniper
    Sniper December 28, 2006 at 10:18 am |

    I can’t help you but I have to say that posts like these are one of the reasons I love this blog.

  18. nihilix
    nihilix December 28, 2006 at 11:00 am |

    Given that the medal scene was taken from Triumph of the Will, Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda flick, perhaps Lucas only awarded as many medals as were awarded in Triumph.

    Jest a thought – mebbe someone should dig around YouTube and see if they can provide visual proof (or disproof)

  19. Roy
    Roy December 28, 2006 at 11:36 am |

    Yeah, I never did get that. If you’re going to elect royalty, why elect a teenager?

    Why, indeed?

    Seriously, though- was she the elected official of Aldeeran, or was she just elected to the Senate? I can’t remember, but for some reason, I thought she was elected to the Senate, but was still the heir to the throne.

    Stupid Lucas.

  20. Roy
    Roy December 28, 2006 at 11:37 am |

    And stupid me.
    Alderaan. Not Aldeeran.

  21. Gabriel Malor
    Gabriel Malor December 28, 2006 at 11:49 am |

    Roy, you’re right. Leia was a senator (elected) and a princess (adopted) of Alderaan. It wasn’t until the new trilogy that Lucas came up with the wacky elected royal office on Naboo.

    WRT Chewie not getting a medal, I don’t know, but I’m glad that people are asking the question.

  22. Bruce
    Bruce December 28, 2006 at 11:51 am |

    Bea Arthur – hunh?

    Why the gratuitous swipe at a prominent feminist of good character and accomplishment?

    Hell, I am not even a feminist and this offends me. Where am I – RedState?

  23. piny
    piny December 28, 2006 at 12:10 pm |

    I’m sorry, Bruce, have you *seen* the Star Wars Holiday Special?

    Word. It’s not our responsibility to educate you, Bruce.

    Although I love me some Bea Arthur.

  24. piny
    piny December 28, 2006 at 12:13 pm |


    George Lucas famously attempted (and failed) to buy up all master copies of this special to ensure it was never broadcast again.

  25. piny
    piny December 28, 2006 at 12:36 pm |

    You should spearhead a class action suit, then.

  26. Bruce
    Bruce December 28, 2006 at 12:50 pm |

    Sorry. Heard one too many right-winger smack Bea Arthur for being a confident feminist.

    (Bruce switches to decaf, walks quietly to corner, sits, bothers no one.)

  27. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne December 28, 2006 at 3:09 pm |

    My brother has many faults (his idolization of Ronald Reagan being one of the biggest) but for Christmas, he gave us a burned copy of the “Star Wars” Christmas special, complete with a custom cover.

    Best. Christmas. Ever.

  28. Armagh444
    Armagh444 December 28, 2006 at 4:04 pm |

    Why in the fuck doesn’t Chewbacca get one?

    Oh, they intended to, until Lucas realized the only way Carrie Fisher was going to be able to put a medal around Peter Mayhew’s neck unless she stood on a stool.

  29. Roy
    Roy December 28, 2006 at 4:12 pm |

    Oh, they intended to, until Lucas realized the only way Carrie Fisher was going to be able to put a medal around Peter Mayhew’s neck unless she stood on a stool.

    And goodness knows we wouldn’t want to ruin the movies by having the wookie bend over to accecpt the medal, or having her hand it to him or something. It’d be a disaster.
    Like having one of the Big Bads suffering a serious whooping cough, or having burp and fart jokes thrown throughout.

  30. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 December 28, 2006 at 4:19 pm |

    You should try your hand at writing fiction, Zuzu.

  31. Nomie
    Nomie December 28, 2006 at 5:43 pm |

    Funny coincidence: Denis Lawson, who played Wedge Antilles, is the uncle of Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy. And Lawson was McGregor’s inspiration for pursuing acting as a career.

  32. Elayne Riggs
    Elayne Riggs December 28, 2006 at 6:58 pm |

    Easy. Read Lance Mannion’s Star Wars analysis first. In the mythos as he defines it, Chewie is a squire, not a knight.

  33. Jesurgislac
    Jesurgislac December 29, 2006 at 5:24 am |

    Because Chewbacca was based on Lucas’s dog, and it never occurred to Lucas that anyone would want the dog to get a medal.

  34. I Read the Internets - 12/30/06
    I Read the Internets - 12/30/06 December 30, 2006 at 3:11 am |

    […] this week: * Pac Man: im on ur highway, eatin ur dotz! * Zuzu of Feministe asks a question which has bothered some Star Wars geeks for years. * Lord of […]

  35. BetaCandy
    BetaCandy December 30, 2006 at 11:51 am |

    I’m gonna go with: “for the same reason Lucas didn’t think to put any people of color in the first movie, and didn’t do a helluva lot better with the second after people pointed it out.”

    You can take the boy out of Modesto, but… well, you know.

  36. Erika
    Erika December 31, 2006 at 10:32 pm |

    I’m watching The Empire Strikes Back right now and, speaking of annoying things about the trilogy, why is it that Luke is more concerned about confronting Vader than rescuing his friends? What a bastard.

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