Chewbacca was spotted taking a break from the Star Wars: Episode VIII set in Ceann Sibeal to visit schoolkids in Kerry, Ireland.
Chewbacca left the Star Wars: Episode VIII set in Ceann Sibeal, Kerry, Ireland, to visit a nearby school (via The Movie Bit). The young students were ecstatic to meet the real Chewbacca, especially the kid who got lifted up into the Wookiee’s arms. Check out a GIF of the moment below.
Given the fact Peter Mayhew has knee problems and only filmed close-up shots for The Force Awakens, I doubt it’s him lifting up that little boy. It was likely Joonas Suotamo, Mayhew’s Wookiee double, who visited the school. But it doesn’t look like it made any difference to his adoring audience. We feel you, fist pump kid!
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Episode VIII is shooting in various locations all across Ireland. Just last week, Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley were confirmed to have landed in Cork, Ireland, which is near the county of Kerry where Chewbacca, at least, had scenes to film. Earlier, Hamill, Ridley, and Adam Driver were all in Malin Head in northern Ireland along with a Millennium Falcon. And, of course, Mark and Daisy shot scenes for both Episode VIII and The Force Awakens on the island of Skellig Michael. We don’t know if all of these locations are meant to be from the same planet, but given the similarity of the landscape it’s not a bad assumption.
We also don’t know how big Chewbacca’s role is going to be in Star Wars, now that his best friend is gone. He may be part of the Resistance’s cause only to find Luke, the map to the location of whom was part of the last mission he and Han were on together. Once he has accomplished that goal, he may return to his family on Kashyyyk. That’s better than the alternative, which is that he dies … he is one of the most expendable of the current original trilogy characters in the sequel trilogy. He’s not the leader of the Resistance like Leia is or the hope of the galaxy like Luke. He’s like Han: lovable, a fan favorite, but sadly unimportant to the grand scheme of the story.
Let’s take the kids’ enthusiasm as a good sign that Chewbacca will be sticking around for a while, for popularity’s sake!