The superstar wrestler and Fozzy frontman discusses his love of the saga, an ill-fated rebel pilot, and much more!
Chris Jericho is not only a six-time WWE world champion but also the leader of rock band Fozzy, a New York Times-bestselling author, and acclaimed podcast host. (The man can multitask!) The lifelong Star Wars fan and superstar wrestler talked to StarWars.com about his band's new album Judas, the trauma of discovering his mom had sold his Star Wars toy collection, and he exclusively reveals which of the galaxy's characters would make his infamous list of Jericho.
StarWars.com: Chris Jericho, this is StarWars.com calling...
Chris Jericho: Wow! That's something I never thought I'd hear. Fifteen-year-old Jericho is going nuts right now!
StarWars.com: Were you beginning to wonder if this moment would ever arrive?
Chris Jericho: Well, I mean, I've spent my whole life waiting by the phone for Star Wars to call and now it's actually here! And I don't care which member of Star Wars it is calling. It's Star Wars in general and that's all that matters.
StarWars.com: So, what’s your earliest Star Wars memory?
Chris Jericho: I was there at the beginning. I was in the theater in 1977 when [a classmate] had a birthday party and I wasn’t invited, and I was really sad. But my mom was like "I’ll take you to see Star Wars!" Because that was the party, they were going to see Star Wars and I wasn’t invited…so we had our own party.
StarWars.com: So your first memory is almost a bit bittersweet. Did you have any of the toys?
Chris Jericho: I remember we were flying to my uncle’s house in Edmonton from Winnipeg, where I grew up in Canada, and my mom bought me the first two Star Wars dolls that we’d ever seen, which were Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca. I think there was only six that were released at the time because they didn’t know how they would sell. So I really was there from the start!
StarWars.com: Do you still have them?
Chris Jericho: No, it sucks because I had everything. But then I moved away from my mom’s house, and I came back a few years later and I was looking for all my Star Wars stuff, and basically she had sold it all at a garage sale! I couldn’t believe it.
Chris Jericho: I was like, "How could you get rid of all this stuff," and she said, "I didn’t think you needed it anymore!" It was the best collection of Star Wars stuff ever. I had everything, man, and they’re gone forever…
StarWars.com: You can rebuild your Empire, surely? Use your kids as an excuse?
Chris Jericho: No, you can’t start again! And the kids are huge Star Wars fans but they don’t play with the action figures that much. They had a few of them but they play more on the Star Wars LEGO video game. Times have changed, Jamie!
StarWars.com: Alright mate, I’m trying to keep up. Now, rumor has it that you have a soft spot for a certain Jek Tono Porkins, true or false?
Chris Jericho: Yeah man, I love Porkins! And the funny thing was that I had a Porkins T-shirt and I posted a picture of me wearing it to Instagram, and Eli Roth texted me saying that he was watching William Hootkins in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and as soon as he mentioned that I was like, "Oh yeah, I remember him!" I’d never put two and two together until Eli said that.
StarWars.com: So who is your favorite character, then?
Chris Jericho: Han Solo, no doubt about it. Favorite character since the moment I saw him. And of course, you’ve got to give an honorable mention to Chewbacca, and the most obscure character that’s my favorite is probably the rancor keeper. I love that guy!
StarWars.com: Here’s the burning question on everybody’s lips...who from the Star Wars universe would make "the list"?!
Chris Jericho: Grand Moff Tarkin. I never liked him at all. I’m not going to put Darth Vader on it because obviously he ends up being a good guy in the end. I’ll put General Grievous on there for his bad breathing patterns, that really bothers me. But at the top of the list is Jar Jar Binks.
StarWars.com: Dare I ask why?
Chris Jericho: I’m not just jumping on the bandwagon. The biggest problem I had was that they chose him to go on the planet over Obi-Wan. If Jar Jar was just a minor character, I might even be wearing his T-shirt instead of Porkins!
StarWars.com: What about Kylo Ren. He killed your favorite character?
Chris Jericho: I don’t know enough about him yet. I’m not putting people on the list because they're evil. I like evil. I want to see what they do with it. If he continues down this dark path and becomes a super crazy badass then he’ll be on the good list. I mean, Han Solo should die. To me, rogues like that need to die! And what an ending for him.
StarWars.com: Have you ever cosplayed?
Chris Jericho: I dress up as KISS every Halloween, but I’ve never cosplayed for Star Wars. If I did I’d go as Greedo or IG-88.
StarWars.com: Have you ever used “nerf herder” as an insult?
Chris Jericho: No, but I did listen to Nerf Herder the band once.
StarWars.com: Fozzy are about to become seven albums old. Have any Star Wars references slipped into any of your tunes over the years, and if not…is there still hope?
Chris Jericho: Not directly, but I know Rich Ward [Fozzy guitarist] is also a huge fan of Star Wars, so there’s a lot of debates with him about it. The whole concept of what Star Wars is, is coming from nowhere and making yourself into something because of what you believe in, and that’s kind of Fozzy’s motto and it’s my motto, as well. So I’m sure some of that was instilled in me by watching Star Wars. And even right now I’m in a little town in Utah where we’ve been searching for Butch Cassidy’s hidden treasure, which is in the middle of nowhere, and I’ve been posting Instagram pictures saying, “I’m so glad to have a front row seat to the podrace,” “I’m betting on Sebulba,” and “life on Tatooine.” There’s always Star Wars influences that people either get or they don’t but you can see them on my Instagram all the time.
StarWars.com: And finally, "Judas" is the lead single and title track of the album. The video’s got nearly eight million views on YouTube, and am I right in saying that you recorded it all in one take?
Chris Jericho: Yes! It took us eight minutes to film, so it’s the cheapest and quickest video we’ve ever shot, and of course it’s the one that by far and above surpassed everything. We filmed it at half speed, so you take a four minute song and slow it down to eight minutes and then you perform to that eight minutes. Then you speed it up to normal speed so every little movement that you make during the half speed makes it look very erratic and strange, a little bit psycho, even. It's been a great year. The last tour we did in England sold out and we had 40,000 people at Download Festival at eleven in the morning, which is crazy!
StarWars.com: Cheers, Chris…and Porkins for life!
Chris Jericho: [Laughs] Thanks so much.
Judas hits stores October 13 via Century Media Records; tour dates are available at http://www.fozzyrock.com.
Jamie Stangroom is a UK based broadcaster who proudly models his appearance on Chewbacca. He first became engrossed with Star Wars when he choked on a C-3PO Tazo in his cheese and onion crisps, back in 1998. Follow him on Twitter @jamiestangroom.