Note: Contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Given that it ends the Skywalker Saga, it’s not a surprise that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker contains plenty of callbacks and fan service.
One of the best moments comes near the end and it’s not just fan service, it actually corrects a major error from the original trilogy, delivering something fans have wanted for decades.
But in case you haven’t seen it yet, don’t read on as spoilers are ahead.
Near the end of the movie, Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o) calls over to Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), but not just because she wants to spend time with her “boyfriend”.
Instead, Maz gives Chewie a very special gift: a medal (finally!)
He’s only waited 42 bloody years for it.
In case you’re unaware of why this is such a big moment for the Wookiee, it all stems from the end of A New Hope, where Han Solo and Luke Skywalker got medals for saving the day, but Chewie was left barechested.
Fans could never understand why Chewie, the co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon and just as responsible for the mission’s success as Han, wasn’t equally rewarded.
George Lucas previously explained the lack of a medal by saying that “medals don’t really mean much to Wookiees” and they have different ways of giving thanks.
“The Wookiee Chewbacca was in face given a great prize and honor during a ceremony with his own people. The whole contingent from the Rebel Alliance went to Chewbacca’s people and participated in a very large celebration,” he added. Given this was said back in 1977, we’ve no idea if it’s still canon, but the Chewbacca mini-series from Marvel Comics in 2015 suggests that Chewie really did receive a medal off screen.
In the mini-series, the Wookiee became friends with a young girl and when they left each other, he gave her a medal that looked exactly like the ones in A New Hope.
This could have been a retcon of A New Hope‘s ending or the Wookiee really did receive his own medal for the Battle of Yavin, just in his own separate ceremony like George Lucas explained.
Of course, however he got it originally, this does mean that Maz would have had to track down that girl and get the medal back, because that comic mini-series is officially canon since it came after Disney acquired Lucasfilm.
Either way, Chewie has definitely got his medal now, and we couldn’t be happier for him.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out in theaters now.