Okay, before people start coming after me with pitchforks and torches, I love Chewbacca; he (and Wookiees in general, really) is one of my favorite Star Wars characters. I’m not suggesting he gets replaced, whatsoever, but I think we can all agree that The Force Awakens is an obvious homage to A New Hope with a “passing of the torch” feel when it comes to the old and new characters…so where’s the new alien sidekick? I know, I know, nobody wants the sequel trilogy to be a carbon copy of the original trilogy, but I, for one, definitely think the saga would benefit from the inclusion of a more fleshed-out alien character for the next generation of Star Wars. The prequels had Jar Jar (granted, he was much, much less-involved after The Phantom Menace), the original trilogy had Chewbacca, so who will take up the mantle for the sequel trilogy?
It’s gonna be Maz.
We know the enigmatic Maz Kanata returns for Episode VIII, so is she going to turn out to be our de facto alien sidekick? I would definitely be happy to delve more into who Maz is and hopefully find out how a diminutive alien turned out to be a castle-owning, Force aficionado that somehow comes to possess Luke’s lost lightsaber, but I feel like that’s a story we’re more likely to get in the form of a novel or comic miniseries than as part of the next installment of the saga. However, that doesn’t mean she won’t have a significant role going forward that could certainly qualify her as the new alien sidekick, but I think her age may keep her out of the running. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say an older character wouldn’t be relevant or couldn’t keep pace, but it would be more inline with the other new arrivals to introduce a younger alien character rather than allow Maz to take the role. You never know, though, they could use Maz as a sort of bridge between the new cast of characters we’re not used to and the characters that have been around to endure the evils of the Empire since she fits neatly into both categories.
It’s Chewie, just deal with it!
Fine! I will! Seriously, though, if it does turn out that Chewbacca is reprising his role as alien sidekick in the sequel trilogy, I’ll totally be okay with that; I’m just a huge fan of alien species in Star Wars, so I’d much rather have a new alien character to root for than settling for what we already have. Though, as far as age goes, Chewie is technically still young for a Wookiee, so he’d fit in that niche with the new sequel trilogy characters. He could also be a bridge between the familiar and the unknown, much like Maz, but he’d actually be a more direct bridge since we know of his involvement in the fight against the Empire versus having to take Maz’s word for it. I definitely want to see Chewbacca thoroughly involved with the entire sequel trilogy, so, like I said, I don’t want him to be replaced, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be disappointed if he was the only prevalent alien going forward.
If not them, who?
Well, that’s the question of the hour, isn’t it? And really, there isn’t an answer; it could be literally any character from any species. It could be someone we thought might be a significant player in The Force Awakens, but turned out not to be (*coughZuviocough*), or it could be someone we saw during the movie but didn’t get to spend any time with (i.e. Captain Ithano). Okay, let’s just stop for a minute and be honest: who wouldn’t be stoked to find out the Crimson Corsair decided to join the cause against the First Order? No one. The answer is no one. And hey, if we get Captain Ithano, we probably get Quiggold too, and the only thing better than one alien sidekick is an alien sidekick that comes with his own alien sidekick…alien-sidekick-ception…or something (is that even relevant anymore? I don’t know)…anyway, the window of opportunity is wide open at this point, so it’s really any character’s and any species’ game. Now, real talk, do I actually think they’ll add a new alien sidekick to the sequel trilogy? No, unfortunately I do not; I reluctantly admit that I believe Maz or Chewie (most likely Chewie) will be filling that role, and will be the only aliens with significant screen time going forward – unless, of course, Snoke is a member of a huge alien species and not just a weak, deformed human with a Napoleon complex that demands his holo-self be broadcast 10-times larger than normal…but, that’s a different post altogether, isn’t it?
So, another post bites the dust…I’m sure you’re sad to see it end, but don’t fret, I’ll be back. In the mean time, share your thoughts on alien sidekicks in the comments: who’d you like to see join the new big three in Episode VIII? Someone old, someone new, someone we’ve seen, someone we haven’t? I’m always curious as to what possible ruminations my posts may cause (probably none, I know, but a girl can dream, can’t she? – and no, guys, I’m not really a girl, it’s an idiom, don’t ask if I’m on Tinder). Anyway, think it over. Maybe come up with an idea for the kind of alien sidekick you’d have in the Star Wars universe; or, if you’re the alien sidekick, what kind of person would you sidekick for? And don’t be shy, it’s all speculation and head-canon, so there are no wrong answers. And, while you’re thinking, may the Force be with you…