Joonas Suotamo thinks there might be something to those Chewbacca cheating at Dejarik, aka Holochess, rumors. In The Rise of Skywalker, Poe Dameron and Finn both accuse the Wookiee of cheating at the iconic Star Wars game aboard the Millennium Falcon. It is common knowledge in the world that you “let the Wookiee win,” or else you’re going to get your arms ripped from their sockets and thrown out into space. But does Chewie really cheat at the game?
In a recent interview, current Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo discussed a wide range of topics having to do with The Rise of Skywalker. One of the topics that has kind of flown under the radar takes place during one of the opening scenes where Chewie is playing Holochess with Finn and Poe. They end up having to quit the game, but the Wookiee clearly gets agitated when accused of cheating. Suotamo explains.
“Well, over the years, Chewie has found that winning at that game proves to everyone that you rule the Falcon and all its gadgets. So, it’s important to win at all costs. I’ll let that be my final word on the subject. (Laughs.)”
Joonas Suotamo did not clearly say whether or not Chewbacca does cheat at Holochess, but he certainly implies it. The Rise of Skywalker marks what may be the final time Suotamo wears the iconic hairy suit, or at least for a while. He started out in 2015’s The Force Awakens, where he was tutored on set by original Chewie actor, Peter Mayhew. This was the first time that Suotamo worked without Mayhew, who sadly passed away last year. Suotamo had this to say about what he learned from Mayhew.
“There are several little tips. I think I had the character down, somewhat, from watching the original films, but his unique physicality was really something I needed more information about. The neck thing was key. Chewbacca is always watching and observing at an angle, and I think that had something to do with Peter’s physical anatomy. He always moved in a certain way, and he always observed at an angle with his jaw dropped. I think he just turned his head in a different way, especially in his later years. That was a really important consideration for me.”
The Rise of Skywalker has proven to be divisive amongst Star Wars fans, but Joonas Suotamo was happy with the way everything came together. Chewbacca has a decent amount of screen time in the final installment in the Skywalker Saga and Suotamo’s performance has been widely praised. The Chewie actor was obviously happy about the extra screen time. He explains.
“I’m so happy with the way the Skywalker Saga ends. I’m really excited for people to see and experience it. I think it’s multifaceted and detailed. I’m just really happy about how Chewbacca fits in to the picture. He’s been with the Resistance and Rebellion for so long, and it’s great to see that he’s out on an adventure with his friends again.”
The Rise of Skywalker is currently in theaters and is nearing the $1 billion mark at the box office. Despite the critical and fan division, the movie is still making a killing at the box office, which was automatically assumed. As for playing Holochess with a Wookiee, those wise words to let them win might be the key to success. The interview with Joonas Suotamo was originally conducted by The Hollywood Reporter.