Wookiees are a race of bipeds in the fictional Star Wars universe. The most notable Wookiee is Chewbacca, a companion to Han Solo.
According to an interview with creator George Lucas, the inspiration for the Wookiee was Lucas's dog, Indiana (whose name is used in the Lucas-inspired Indiana Jones movies). "He was the prototype for the Wookiee. He always sat beside me in the car. He was big, a big bear of a dog." During the climactic chase scene in THX-1138, one of the robotic cops says, "I think I ran over a wookiee back there on the expressway."
Adult Wookiees are typically taller than most humans, averaging 2.1 meters (6'11"). They possess enormous strength; Solo states that his friend Chewbacca can pull a man's arms out of their sockets if angered. Wookiees have a keen sense of smell, are fully covered with a thick coat of hair, have good hand-eye coordination and are shown to be excellent marksmen. Chewbacca is shown in such diverse planets and moons as Hoth, Tatooine and Endor, never requiring any type of environmental protective clothing. Wookiees have a lifespan of several hundred years.
Wookiees are devoted, loyal friends and are very distrustful of strangers.
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Links: Wookiees Wikipedia page Wookiees StarWars.com page StarWars.com