Geek Trivia

The Primary Sound You Hear In Chewbacca’s Voice Is A?

Rabbit
Bear
Tiger
House Cat
The Color Changing Structures Found In Chameleons, Squids, And Other Creatures Are Called?

Answer: A Bear

It’s a question many a young Star Wars fan has debated: what sounds, exactly, make up the signature growl and warble of Chewbacca’s character? Is it a single voice actor with a particular talent? A clever blend of creatures big and small?

The primary sound you hear in old Chewie’s voice is a bear. Not just any bear, mind you, but a very specific bear. When Ben Burtt, sound designer extraordinaire and industry legend, set to work on creating a voice for Chewbacca, he started with the vocalizations of a black bear named Tarik from the Happy Hollow Zoo, located in San Jose, California.

In later pre-release revisions, he blended in additional animals (a badger, walrus, and a lion) to create the signature voice that has delighted generations of fans.