Acwo'c rhraoaor! Shyriiwook translation: He's back!
One of the most beloved characters in the "Star Wars" universe, Chewbacca the Wookiee, returns to the franchise in the hour-long Season 3 finale of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" (7 p.m. April 1, Cartoon Network; new March episodes lead up to it).
The return of Chewie meant bringing Peter Mayhew, who played the fur-covered warrior in the original live-action films, back to a galaxy not so far away.
"Bringing Chewie to 'The Clone Wars' is very special for us, and it wouldn't be right without Peter's involvement and blessing," supervising director Dave Filoni said. "Peter and Chewie are one and the same; he brings so much of himself to the character and it was important for us to capture that. Otherwise, it just wouldn't feel right."
The 7-foot-3-inch actor was brought to Skywalker Ranch to advise the team tasked with bringing Chewie back to life for "The Clone Wars." The team studied Mayhew's movements and mannerisms, and the entire group looked over old footage and costumes to make sure the animation was consistent with classic Chewie.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be part of the series," Mayhew said. "The animation is amazing, and they really captured the essence of Chewie. As soon as I saw it I said, 'that's it. He's there. That's Chewbacca.'"
In addition to advising the team on Chewie's look and feel, Mayhew also recreated his iconic growl, which is spoken in Shyriiwook.
"The Chewbacca sounds were sourced from the same bank as the original films, but Dave Filoni and Matt Wood thought it would be nice to get a small sample of my voice mixed in," Mayhew said. "After so many years of being asked to do the growl for fans, I've found that I'm actually quite good at it."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun