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Possible representation of a forest in Kashyyyk
|Planet type||Tropical, forested|
|First appearance||Star Wars Holiday Special|
Kashyyyk (// ka-SHEEK, // KASHIK or // ka-SHEE-ike), also known as Wookiee Planet C, is a planet in the Star Wars universe. It is the tropical, forested home world of the Wookiees. According to interviews given by Star Wars creator George Lucas, the original home planet of the Wookiees was the moon of Endor which plays a key role in the plot of the sixth film of the series, Return of the Jedi. However, Lucas decided that since the Wookiee Chewbacca was clearly proficient with advanced technology (i.e. he was pilot and mechanic of the spaceship the Millennium Falcon and he repaired the damaged droid C-3PO), it would be confusing to show the Wookiees with a primitive, "stone age" culture on Endor. The Ewoks were created instead to populate the moon and to help fight the Imperial garrison stationed there. Kashyyyk made appearances in the Star Wars Holiday Special and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
Although Kashyyyk is the home world of the character Chewbacca, it is not named or mentioned during the events of original Star Wars trilogy. It was first seen in Star Wars Holiday Special (1978), as the program's frame story takes place there. In the Star Wars Holiday Special, the first mention of the planet carries the pronunciation "ka-ZOOK". The original scripts for Return of the Jedi called for the Second Death Star to be built in orbit around Kashyyyk by Wookiee slave labor. It wasn't until later drafts that the setting and characters were changed to Endor and Ewoks. The planet was more elaborately seen in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, in which Jedi Master Yoda goes to Kashyyyk to oversee the battle between the Wookiees and the Droid Army.
In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Phuket, Thailand was used for main photography, while the backdrops for Kashyyyk were filmed in Guilin, a city in southern China, which is famous for its karst formations.
The planet's unique biosphere was first detailed in The Wookiee Storybook. The planet was revealed to be a densely forested planet, on which one can encounter vast plains and island areas suitable for large, sweeping battles. It was in this book that the family of Chewbacca once again appears in a situation similar to that of the Holiday Special. The planet appears in several other books, as well. Among them are:
- A Forest Apart by Troy Denning
- The Han Solo Trilogy, by Ann C. Crispin. While the reader actually visits Kashyyyk for the first time in Book Three ("Rebel Dawn"), we hear about it (and meet Chewbacca) in Book Two, "The Hutt Gambit".
- The Black Fleet Crisis trilogy by Michael P. Kube-McDowell
- Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
- the Young Jedi Knights series
- the New Jedi Order series by various authors
Kashyyyk also features in issue #91 of the Marvel Comics Star Wars and in the newspaper comic strip "The Kashyyyk Depths", by artist Russ Manning. In the "Chewbacca" comic series, set during the New Jedi Order era, many scenes are set on Kashyyyk as well. It is written as 'Kazhyyk' in Way of the Wookie in the Marvel Illustrated Books. November 1981. ISBN 0-9604146-8-1
Kashyyyk also appears in the video games Star Wars: Galaxies, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Star Wars: Republic Commando, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Empire at War, Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The latter takes place 4000 years before the Galactic Empire, with the Wookiees being oppressed by the slavers of Czerka Corporation.
In the millennia before the rise of the Galactic Republic, Kashyyyk was a member world of the Infinite Empire. Its surface was terraformed by the Rakata, resulting in the abnormally large foliage which still covers the planet's surface in modern times. Its ecology can be politely described as a "layered deathtrap", the planet's surface being encompassed in shadow by wroshyr trees that are many miles high. The dangerous and hostile animals increase closer to the forest floor. Hidden on the planet's surface is a Star Map, another piece in the puzzle of the location of the Star Forge.
Czerka Corporation and slavery
When Kashyyyk was discovered by the Czerka Corporation's explorers, around 4,000 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), it was given the catalogue name G5-623, sometimes known as Edean. Czerka conducted extensive Wookiee-slaving operations on "Edean", as well as hunting several of its species almost to extinction.
To ensure a relatively peaceful presence, Czerka supported the installation of friendly chieftains into power over the native tribes and would then prop them up with mercenaries and weapons shipments. In response, the chieftains would train their tribe to understand Galactic Basic (ostensibly to "know thine enemy" but in reality to make them better slaves) and allow Czerka to enslave a percentage of the tribe's population. This is similar to how real slaving operations were conducted in Africa and South America. Eventually Czerka was driven out by Revan and rebel Wookiees.
The Clone Wars
During the epic Clone Wars of 23 to 20 years BBY, Kashyyyk fought on the side of the Galactic Republic. During one such battle, Yoda of the Jedi Council flew to Kashyyyk to assist in the fighting. This particular battle, known as the Battle of Kashyyyk, would be one of the last few battles fought in the Clone Wars before the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. During this battle, Order 66 was initiated and Commander Gree (and an unidentified Clone Scout Trooper) attempted to kill Yoda. The clone duo (another regular clone trooper accompanied him) failed to kill the Jedi master and they were both decapitated. Yoda later escaped with the help from his friends and prominent Wookiees, Chewbacca and Tarfful. After this, the clones successfully defended the planet from Separatist advances. Quinlan Vos (who survived, but he was wounded) was on Kashyyyk during 66, as was Luminara Unduli (she was killed by Commander Faie). Also, unknown to some, just before the order 66, there arrived an elite squad of clones, known as Delta squad, that did not let the Separatists get into Kashyyyk, until reinforcements got in there.
The "Dark Times"
During the period of the Galactic Empire's reign, Kashyyyk, like all other planets in the galaxy, was forced into obeying the policies of the Empire. On one such occasion, following the destruction of the first Death Star, the Empire, under the direction of Darth Vader, went on a search for the rebels responsible. Kashyyyk was put under a blockade, along with Tatooine, in an attempt to locate Han Solo and Chewbacca. It was on a day when Chewbacca was returning home to his family to celebrate the sacred Wookiee holiday of Life Day that the Empire raided Chewie's home. They did not find him.
Darth Vader also discovers his secret apprentice Galen Marek while raiding Kashyyyk in The Force Unleashed.
On another such occasion, the Rebel Alliance, before the destruction of the first Death Star, attempted to raid the planet with Han Solo. The plan is to free the Wookiee population from enslavement. The Empire stops them. Han Solo flees in the Millennium Falcon.
The New Republic
Following the defeat of the Empire, Kashyyyk joined the New Republic, formed by the leaders of the Rebel Alliance. In the novel Inferno, large portions of Kashyyyk are destroyed in retaliation for their acceptance of several Jedi who oppose the current Republic leadership.
- Dillon, Jeff (2005-01-09). "On managing expectations, the San Diego Chargers and George Lucas". San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Interviews with George Lucas in Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy, documentary included in the Bonus Materials DVD of the boxed set of the "second" trilogy of films. Out of print. ASIN B00003CXCT
- Berman, John; Ted Gerstein (2007-12-20). "Holiday Specials Gone Bad; The 'Star Wars Holiday Special' Flop Lives On". ABC News.
- Null, Christopher (2005-05-17). "Star Wars Ends With Solid Sith". Wired.