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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

BEHIND THE SCENES: MAYHEW's WOOKIEE PRIME!

Image: Ann Skinner/BFI.

Peter Mayhew's first day of filming as Chewbacca on the Docking Bay 94 set at Elstree Studios, within Stuart Freeborn's superb yak hair material costume, is captured for continuity purposes on Polaroid by STAR WARS original Script Supervisor, Ann Skinner.

From Miss Skinner 's typed pre-filming character/costume continuity notes for Chewbacca, conceived at least a month or two before the character became the one we know and love: "Chewbacca. 8' savage looking creature - baboon-like, large yellow eyes, 2 chrome bandoliers and a flak jacket, brown cloth shorts, 200 years old WOOKIEE. Sc. 82 : Electric handcuffs put on and Sc. 88 undone- lost in that area. Takes a large rifle in that scene- ? keeps it." So, there were some early ideas for the Wookiee to indeed have worn pants!

A Wookiee takes shape in this conceptual art!

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI Special Collections.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO sends out Birthday greetings today to Peter Mayhew, and look forward to seeing him back in action as the 235-year old "fuzzball" for THE FORCE AWAKENS. 

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