With Lucasfilm's slate of new Star Wars movies, fans have gotten to see their favorite actors reprise their roles for continued adventures while also journeying back in time to see the events that helped define the galaxy far, far away. Actor Joonas Suotamo has the interesting distinction of playing Chewbacca in not just the new episodic installments in the saga, but also portrays the younger version of the Wookiee in Solo: A Star Wars Story. The actor recently detailed how former Chewbacca performer Peter Mayhew helped him prepare for the task.
"We had a week's worth of Wookiee boot camp where we went over all of these movements," Suotamo shared with The Star Wars Show. "We went over how Chewbacca moves and what's his outlook on life and best childhood memories."
Suotamo first portrayed Chewbacca as Mayhew's double in The Force Awakens, with the original actor still performing a majority of the character's scenes. With Mayhew being in his 70s, he had very limited mobility both in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, requiring Suotamo to take over the role completely in future films.
"It was really helpful for me to learn from his perspective what it was and he was so good about it," Suotamo shared of the collaboration. "I never met a more gracious man to give me this gift."
The time the two spent preparing also helped Suotamo establish Chewbacca's mindset, despite the character not often able to express his intentions.
"To me, Chewie has always been a very task-oriented character," the actor noted. "He doesn't carry any ego. he doesn't let that define him, so he's very loyal to his friends and that shows in his actions."
The actor then began speaking in a voice that combined English with the famous Wookiee vocalizations, which the actor claimed he did while filming Solo to make things easier for his scene partners.
"I call that 'Wookiee English' and I sometimes do that on set. I don't wanna just speak with my normal voice," Suotamo joked. "With Alden [Ehrenreich], I was often speaking Wookiee English."
Fans will see even more Chewbacca when Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25th.
How do you think Suotamo is doing as the new Chewbacca? Let us know in the comments below!
[H/T YouTube, Star Wars]