Chewbacca Actor Loved Getting The Medal In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was positioned as the finale to the whole Skywalker saga, so alongside wrapping up the various plot threads of the Sequel Trilogy, it also settled a few scores from previous series, as well. For instance, the punch-the-air moment towards the end of the film that corrected an oversight fans have been complaining about since A New Hope. 

Once Palpatine and his fleet have been defeated, our heroes celebrate with the Resistance back at their HQ. Maz Kanata makes sure Chewbacca doesn’t get overlooked, though, by presenting the Wookie with a medal, saying “this is for you.” Finally, it’s the medal Chewie deserved to get, but didn’t, when Leia presented one each to Luke and Leia after the destruction of the Death Star.

Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo chatted with The Hollywood Reporter about his character’s role in Episode IX recently and this medal moment was one topic that came up. Suotamo – who inherited the iconic part from original performer Peter Mayhew, who passed away back in 2017 – revealed that he was overjoyed that history was finally put right in this scene.

“I was celebrating. It was the greatest thing. The whole ending weaves together all the storylines one last time, and it was wonderful to see that happen. It was also great to have the Maz character do it because Chewie and Maz seem to have this history together. Hopefully, we’ll learn something more about that in the future on some other story, but, yeah, I just really enjoyed how that played out.”

Suotamo reminds us that Maz showed quite the fondness for Chewie in The Force Awakens, when she referred to him as her boyfriend. It’s unclear whether the pair actually had a relationship in the past, but we can at least say that the 1000 year old wise woman knew him well enough to have developed a crush. Presumably, Maz knew that Chewie was cheated out of a medal last time around and felt this was the right time to finally honor him for all he’s contributed to the fight against evil.

As for whether their shared history could be explored elsewhere, as the star suggests, there’s been talk of a Maz Kanata Disney Plus series being developed, but we’ll have to just wait and see where that goes. Regardless of what’s next, at least this moment between them was included in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker