Chewbacca: everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Han’s loyal companion, and the Millennium Falcon’s co-pilot. Just a few ways to describe this 234-year-old ball of fur. Continuing with the Mini Steps series let’s take a look at Chewbacca as he has progressed in minifigure form.
We first met Chewbacca as a LEGO figure in the year 2000. This first iteration was made in the old brown color and featured silver printing for the bandolier and a black dot for his nose. Just like C-3PO (who we covered in a previous article), this Wookiee made his first appearance in set 7190 Millennium Falcon. That same year he also appeared in the controversial set 3342 Star Wars #3 minifigure pack with stand and card included along with two Scout Troopers. We would see him one last time in the first Imperial AT-ST in 2001.
In 2003 LEGO experienced a few major changes in the color palette: brown became reddish brown, dark gray became dark bluish gray, and light gray became, you guessed it, light bluish gray. This affected all elements including minifigure parts and thus our next variant of Chewbacca came to be. Cast in reddish brown, this new look Chewie would be featured in a whopping eleven regular production sets, one San Diego Comic-Con exclusive, three magnet sets, a few watches, and even a clock set! One of those sets was the 2011 Star Wars Advent Calendar where we received him in non-holiday attire much to the dismay of many collectors (spoiler alert: foreshadowing incoming).
It would take over a decade before we got our next Chewbacca who, this time, was created in LEGO’s dark brown color. This was a big change for Chewie. He received an updated head sculpt which made him stand a bit taller, adjusted the placement of the bandolier, and created more texturing of the fur. In addition to his bandolier, he now had fur print, leg print, and finally eyes! LEGO took advantage of their new figure and put him in thirteen sets and three books as of the time of this writing. This version is still in use today most recently appeared in the new Master Builder Series set 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina.
Five years after his first Advent Calendar appearance, Chewbacca finally got his holiday makeover in the 75146 Star Wars Advent Calendar. Much to the surprise of many collectors, he was molded in white plastic with holiday color printing. Depending on whether or not you count the hood for Santa Darth Maul (the element existed already but was created in white for the first time), this was the only time that a Star Wars element was specially molded for the Advent Calendar. Chewbacca was found on Day 24 and came with a green tree and a snowball-shooting bowcaster!
In 2018, Chewbacca received one more new mold. This time it wasn’t to improve on the previous one but rather to create the Solo version of our Wookiee friend. With the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, we saw Chewbacca different than we had before. Chewie now sported two bandoliers and a satchel, and the LEGO mold had to reflect both of these features. In order to accommodate his look while on Vandor, the head was printed with goggles giving us two final variants of Chewbacca. Each of these would appear in only one regular production set (75212 Kessel Run Millennium Falcon and 75217 Imperial Conveyex Transport respectively), but as an added bonus the non-goggled version was included in the SDCC exclusive 75512 Millennium Falcon Cockpit!
This Wookiee has been in minifigure form for 20 years now with six different variants. Covering 30 regular production sets, two con exclusives, several watches, books, and even a clock, Chewie has seen quite a lot of LEGO action. Do you think there is room for improvement for the Chewbacca minifigure? Should he have arm printing added like some of his Wookiee brothers have received? Will a Chewbacca ever be designed that can carry C-3PO on his back? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
As always, if you are a minifigure collector and your interest has been piqued, then be sure to track all of these variants using the LSW Collector mobile application for Apple devices.
As the chief archivist, Kevin Downard maintains and curates the library catalog.
Getting in at the ground floor when the LEGO Star Wars theme first launched, Kevin has been collecting ever since. He is a self-proclaimed minifigure guru and has a passion for tracking down and cataloging every minifig variation – no matter how obscure. He has assisted Rebrickable and Bricklink in maintaining their set inventories, helped overhaul the rebelscum.com LEGO forum, and created the LSW Collector mobile app.