Newly-surfaced footage from the original Star Wars trilogy has shown Chewbacca speaking English.
One of the franchise’s most loved characters, Chewbacca has been played by the British-born actor Peter Mayhew for every Star Wars film that the character has appeared in. He’s set to reprise the role once again in next year’s Episode VIII.
As MovieWeb reports, rather than learning and speaking the Wookiee language of Shyriiwook on set, Mayhew actually delivered his lines of dialogue in English during the original trilogy (1977-1983).
In a new clip from The Empire Strikes Back (1980) released by documentarian Jamie Benning – and reposted by Mayhew himself over the weekend on his Twitter – the actor is seen fixing the Millennium Falcon as Chewbacca when Han Solo (Harrison Ford) approaches him. The two then exchange lines in English.
Chewbacca’s language as it is heard in the film was added in post-production.
See the scene below.
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) November 5, 2016
Further footage of Chewbacca speaking English during the original trilogy was also released over the weekend, with a clip from the set of A New Hope (1977) revealing the truth about this aspect of the filming.