WOLF TO WOOKIEE by Erin Castellano, Science Educator


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Adventure Science Center Blog

Science Educators and guest authors exploring our world and the science and technology that connects us.



WOLF TO WOOKIEE by Erin Castellano, Science Educator

Happy Star Wars Day!

Star Wars has been a part of our hearts since the franchise began in 1977 with Episode IV: A New Hope, making each character almost a part of the family! Some of Star Wars more notable characters, however, look very… familiar. In fact, Chewbacca, everyone’s favorite Wookiee, was based off of director George Lucas’ own dog! When asked about the creation of the Wookiee, George Lucas said:

I had an Alaskan Malamute when I was writing the film. A very sweet dog, she would always sit next to me when I was writing. And when I'd drive around, she'd sit in the front seat. A Malamute is a very large dog—like a hundred and thirty pounds and bigger than a human being and very long-haired. Having her with me all the time inspired me to give Han Solo a sidekick who was like a big, furry dog. Not quite like a dog, but intelligent.

George Lucas affectionately named his furry sidekick “Indiana” (which would later inspire the name of the main character in his film Indiana Jones).

This got many Star Wars fans thinking... sure, the Wookiees were based off of the massive Alaskan Malamute, but could the Wookiee be a mixed breed? And what about Ewoks, could they be based off of man’s best friend as well?

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the breeds that make up the Wookiee clan. Of course, the Alaskan Malamute is a big influence for Chewie’s lineage. Judging the size of Wookiees, there must be another big dog mixed in there as well, like the Tibetan Mastiff. Looking at the Wookiee’s fur pattern, it is very reminiscent of the protective German Shepard. The nature of Chewbacca reminds many fans of the friendly Labrador Retriever. Some even say that there are some trace characteristics of little dogs, too, looking at the fur pattern of Wookiee’s faces.


Here at the Adventure Science Center, we think Wookiees are the perfect mixture of:

  • 1/4 Alaskan Malamute
  • 1/4 Tibetan Mastiff
  • 1/4 German Shepherd
  • 1/8 Chocolate Lab
  • 1/16 Lhasa Apso
  • 1/16 Griffon Bruxellois

Ewoks, on the other hand, are more like a 50/50 mix of the Lhasa Apso and Griffon Bruxellois, which are small and cute dogs, but very protective. (Fun Fact: George Lucas named the Ewoks after the Miwok, a Native American tribe.)


What do YOU think about our DNA breakdown?

May the Fourth Be With You.

- Erin Castellano, Science Educator

Posted by Anna Leigh Goolsby at 2:42 PM
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