Welcome back my fellow masochists, a select group of denizens who enjoy the spirited but brutal nature of combat. Last week I offered you the pairing of DOCTOR STRANGE VS. IRON MAN , and the bloody, trying exposition was won by the Invincible Iron Man. Strange is currently on bed rest, but will never be the same.
However, last week was two kittens fighting on a Tempur-Pedic mattress compared to today’s matchup. What I have in store for you today will take you to the limits of your very soul, questioning everything you’ve seen up to now. In short, what you are about to witness is not for the faint of heart. I give you…Chewbacca vs. Groot!
Yes, the two simple-spoken yet incredibly indispensable sci-fi sidekicks will finally go head-to-head in what promises to live up to what many have called it “The Fight of the Afternoon.” Both have proven themselves time and time again as the taller half of legendary duos in classic franchises (Chewbacca/Han Solo, STAR WARS ), (Rocket/Groot, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY), offering muscle and skill while their counterpart quips and chews the scenery. Without further ado, let the bloodbath begin.
The giant Wookiee from the plant Kashyyyk is without a doubt a terrific engineer, left to work on and fix-up up the Millennium Falcon while Solo goes off to interact with other humans. As well, he offers his brute strength to crush Stormtrooper skulls whenever it’s needed. However, he’s mostly a hairy extension of Solo, being able to fly the Falcon with skill and wield a blaster (blaster/crossbow hybrid) like no one’s business.
Groot can’t be seen using a gun or flying a ship, but what he lacks in technical skills he makes up for with the sheer variability of his tree body. He can extend himself and act as a ladder, create impenetrable shields and wrap-up his enemies in a bark-encased doom. His abilities know no bounds, as he's even able to save the lives of his entire team with nothing more than his body. Plus, as we saw in the first GUARDIANS, he’s basically immortal. #BabyGroot2017.
Chewie has been famously played in full make-up and costume by the seven-foot-tall Peter Mayhew, his most recent outing being in THE FORCE AWAKENS where he reunited with Harrison Ford (Solo). But the originally trilogy is where he shined the most, and that was before the advent of motion capture technology, so Mayhew’s becoming of the character was all the more impressive. He isn’t just the guy in the Chewbacca suit, he IS Chewbacca. You see the life behind his eyes, even through all that fur.
Groot, on the other hand, is all CGI. He is voiced by the consistently hairless Vin Diesel, who has been able to give Groot a bit personality even though he only ever says three words. However, all the incredibly facial details and tics are all the result of tremendous special effects, and not Diesel’s becoming an actual sentient tree.
The strength of a Wookiee is well-known, as we’ve seen Chewie burst through the clutches of Stormtroopers and tear apart enemy robots. Though normally docile, his rage-driven strength is notable enough to make it common knowledge that whenever the situation warrants it you should always let the Wookiee win.
Recalling the limp-bashing of the Ents in THE TWO TOWERS, Groot is able to thrash his enemies with immense force, using his Swiss-army-like limbs to down numerous enemies at once. If Chewbacca can tear apart a robot, Groot can bash it down into tiny bits, roll it into small balls, and throw them like bullets at oncoming enemies.
Chewie is a giant fuzz ball of warmth, charm and has no problem letting Solo have it when he’s being unreasonable or just a dope. There’s little out there better than hearing Chewie snicker when Solo looks like a fool. As well, Chewie is a loving, tender soul and full of hugs that I assume feel like being wrapped up in a shag carpet.
Much like Chewie, Groot is a soulful being and certainly the kindest out of all the GUARDIANS. Hearts broke when he created that flower for the poor little alien girl on Knowhere, and when he sacrificed himself for the team, talk about Cry City. In addition Groot is also undeniably goofy and hilarious, stealing scenes with his deadpan expressions and simple-minded silliness.
Chewie has the charming, roguish smuggler with a heart of gold at his back, Han Solo, a man who doesn’t need to be told the odds, and that Chewbacca can’t possibly live without…
This living tree teams up with a talking, vulgar, whacky, abrasive raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) at his side who can build earth-shattering bombs.
The character is one of the most recognizable in all of pop-culture to the point where no one can wear a fur coat and bandolier without others seeing them as Chewbacca. His guttural cries and snickers have been, and will be, imitated until the end of time. The character has been around for near 40 years, and I still see people dressing as him during Halloween.
Though the character broke into the mainstream in 2014’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movie, he has existed in comic books as far back as 1960 when he first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13. However, the sweet, heroic version we know him as wasn’t introduced until about 2006. He later started teaming up with Rocket Raccoon, a relationship that has evolved into something truly special, and was probably influenced by the duo of Chewie and Solo.
IT'S A TIE!
As much as I hate the outcome of ties (the unsure man’s version of victory), I can’t possibly see an outcome where one of these larger-than-life characters easily bests the other. Both are creatures of few words but of endless importance, and are standouts in their respective series’. They both have massive hearts to go with their strength, and where one is more iconic the other makes up for it in pure cuteness. Their partners would be lost without them, and vice versa. Both stand tall on the pedestal of sidekicks, and our world would be much darker without them, and we shout out their catchphrases in their honor.