The voice of Star Wars‘ most iconic Wookiee Chewbacca didn’t come about as easily as you might take. It was created by sound designer Ben Burtt, who combined recordings of four bears, a badger, a lion, a seal, and a walrus in varying ratios to produce different voices for different situations. A lot went into the iconic growl(?), but really, they could have achieved a very similar effect with a simple can of Coke Zero, as seen in the video above.
It turns out that beyond that soda can, a lot of different everyday objects actually sound like Chewbacca. Not too long ago, Jimmy Kimmel’s crew compiled a bunch of different examples from across the internet, all of which are on par with “Cokebacca.” A common theme is sliding things, like tables, chairs, doors, drawers, and bathrooms are also a strong source of Chewbacca noises, as a toilet paper dispenser and a particularly loud urinal also do the trick.
Again, unlike Kimmel speculated, Chewbacca isn’t voiced by a person at all, but it was the first voice that Burtt ever worked on. In an old interview, which you can watch below, Burtt says that what Chewbacca would sound like was one of the bigger questions when Star Wars was still just a script.
He spent a year gathering sounds for the movie, and recorded a bunch of animals during that time, eventually compiling a sort of mixtape of sounds he thought would be useful. “I began cutting those together to get a sense of speech out of Chewie, and to also get something that would work well with the way his mouth moved,” he said.
Featured image courtesy of Lucasfilm