George Lucas is renowned for having an exceptional imagination.
After all, in Star Wars, he dreamed up a fictional universe home to countless weird and wonderful characters.
But it appears he found inspiration close to home – in the form of his pet dog.
READ MORE:Everything we know about the Star Wars Andor series as Disney confirms new release date
The Star Wars films kicked off with the original way back in 1977, followed by further movies, including prequels and sequels, and TV spin-offs. Over 45 years the franchise continued to pick up new fans.
Beloved characters include Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Princess Leia Han Solo.
However, it's perhaps not widely known that another Star Wars favourite, Han Solo's wookie companion Chewbacca, was inspired by Lucas' pet dog, who was often sitting next to him as he wrote the films.
He has told how the Alaskan Malamute, a large, hairy and sweet breed, was his own companion and that the pooch inspired him to give Hans Solo a sidekick.
Also, Chewbacca’s name derives from sobaka, the Russian word for dog.
Lucas explained: "I had an Alaskan Malamute when I was writing the film.
“A very sweet dog, she would always sit next to me when I was writing. And when I'd drive around, she'd sit in the front seat.
“A Malamute is a very large dog—like a hundred and thirty pounds and bigger than a human being and very long-haired. Having her with me all the time inspired me to give Han Solo a sidekick who was like a big, furry dog. Not quite like a dog, but intelligent."
What's more, the dog's name was Indiana, which helped Lucas form another iconic action movie character.
He said he looked to his hone life for inspiration when he was writing the initial draft of the 1981 classic Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was eventually directed by Steven Spielberg.
And so Indiana Jones was born.
Speaking in the behind the scenes documentary, The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark, he said: “Indiana was my dog.”
On the Star Wars link, he continued: “Indiana was the prototype for the wookie – for Chewbacca.
“He was this big, huge Malamute. He would sit next to me in the car. A giant bear of a dog.
“And so I named the character after my dog! And ultimately put that in the movie.”
Highly-anticipated Star Wars series Andor is due to launch on Disney+ later this month. The 12-part series, which includes huge stars including Diego Luna and Fiona Shaw, is part of Star Wars Celebration 2022.
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