Behind the scenes stories from Star Wars: The Force Awakens have been few and far between. Chalk that up to J.J. Abrams’ proclivity for secrets and not wanting to reveal the big shockers, before the film ever begins…and honestly, I’m really okay with that. However, this story is something that we love to hear about. According to Entertainment Tonight, Chewbacca’s costume was ruined from the excessive hugging that he received from both the cast and crew during the filming of The Force Awakens.
In the interview with J.J. Abrams at Disney’s D23, last week, the director of Episode VII revealed that everyone from special visitors, regular cast members, the crew, and even extras got their hugs in.
"“You can’t deny Chewbacca…it was an ongoing thing, and one of the casualties was patches of hair on the suit.”"
Imagine having this larger than life walking and growling teddy bear roaming the set, and add to the fact that Peter Mayhew (who shared suit time with a double because of his back and knees) is one of the most friendly and welcoming people in the galaxy…far, far away. So I can understand why Chewie’s hair took the brunt of everyone’s affection.
Simon Pegg and John Boyega both chimed in with their hugging stories. Pegg, who has a mystery role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, exclaimed that hugging Chewbacca was one of the most extraordinary experiences in his life, while Boyega — who portrays Finn — claimed that he had hugged Chewie some “1,236 times.”
I don’t blame them at all. Were I on the set of The Force Awakens, I would hug Chewbacca on a daily basis in some sort of ritualistic ceremony to garner the Maker’s favor for the film’s success. Who are we kidding, Abrams probably did exactly this.