The Playlist: A Guide to Wookiees in the Star Wars Saga

Looking to learn more about Wookiees? No need to go to Kashyyyk -- check out StarWars.com's guide to the galaxy's favorite walking-carpet alien species.

For Star Wars fans who want a better understanding of various topics, there can be a lot of material to wade through. In The Playlist, we’ll curate select installments of Star Wars that will give you that greater understanding of a specific topic. Consider it your own Jedi Archives — or cheat sheet for your Jedi midterms.

Chewbacca has been everyone’s favorite first mate since Star Wars hit cinema screens more than 40 years ago. And in that time, much has been learned about Wookiees, the species to which he belongs. I’m not even sure where I originally learned that during the time of the Empire, Wookiees had been enslaved, but it became a critical part of my understanding of the galaxy. In this new era of Star Wars, we’ve been given a lot more to the story and this installment of The Playlist will take you through what we know about the plight of Wookiees over the years.

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1. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (“Wookiee Hunt,” Season 3, Episode 22) — Wookiees are the natural enemies of Trandoshans. During the Clone War, the furry bipeds were still getting kidnapped and hunted by the cowardly lizard-hunters. Here, Padawan Ahsoka Tano must team up with Chewbacca to survive.

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2. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith — This is where we really see the society of the Wookiees flourishing as they try to fend off the Separatists. But this also happens amidst Order 66, leaving the new Empire in control of their planet.

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3. Star Wars Rebels: Spark of RebellionThe premiere of Star Wars Rebels gave us our first look at how bad things got for Wookiees in the age of the Empire. And things got very bad: we see Wookiees sent to the notorious spice mines of Kessel to be used as slaves.

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4. Aftermath by Chuck Wendig — Thanks to Star Wars Rebels, we knew that Wookiees were living under the oppressive thumb of the Empire. But no one in the galaxy quite knows how bad it is. In this book, Han Solo and Chewbacca find out and decide something needs to be done.

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5. Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig — Want to know what Han and Chewie did to rescue Kashyyyk from the Empire? You’ll have to read to find out.

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Wookiees are a proud species and seeing the hardships they had to endure at the hands of the Empire — and the Separatists before that — is heartbreaking. Only time will tell if we get to see more details filled in on their plight, but this viewing order will give you all of the available details.

And while you’re watching and reading all of these, don’t hesitate to work on your shyriiwook. There’s nothing more magical about these stories than understanding the situation of Wookiees, straight from their mouths and in their own words.

Bryan Young is an author, a filmmakerjournalist, and the editor in chief of BigShinyRobot.com! He’s also the co-host of the Star Wars podcast, Full of SithYou can also follow him on Twitter.

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