Bill Walton Says Chewbacca Was 'Modeled After' Him After Revealing He 'Auditioned' for the “Star Wars” Role

The NBA legend shared some 'Star Wars' trivia on air during a USC Trojans game Thursday

<p>Focus on Sport/Getty; RGR Collection / Alamy</p> Bill Walton, Chewbacca from

Focus on Sport/Getty; RGR Collection / Alamy

Bill Walton, Chewbacca from 'Star Wars'

Bill Walton is proud of his Wookiee history.

During Thursday's USC and Oregon NCAA broadcast, the 71-year-old basketball analyst and hall of famer revealed that the character of Chewbacca in the Star Wars franchise was modeled after him.

After fellow broadcaster Dave Pasch questioned the validity a rumor involving both Walton and Han Solo's right-hand Wookiee, Walton himself clarified that he did indeed audition for the role.

Chewbacca first appeared in the very first Star Wars film, retroactively titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, while Walton was a center for the Portland Trail Blazers in 1977.

"I auditioned for Chewbacca, and they said, 'No, but we're gonna model the character after you,' " Walton claimed from the sidelines of USC's Galen Center.

<p>Bettmann/Getty</p> Bill Walton photographed for the Portland Trail Blazers in the '70s.


Bill Walton photographed for the Portland Trail Blazers in the '70s.

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Before his revelation about a galaxy far far away, Walton responded "no" when Pasch asked if the former NBA star was "in the midst" to play the character. "I heard that you were in the running for that, that you were being considered to play that role," Pasch said. "I'm being dead serious."

"You're always serious, that's one of your problems," Walton joked. "It's that you don't have fun with your life."

Eventually, after some more grilling, Walton also added that "George Lucas is as cool as they get."

"I remember the night that George, Kareem, Bill Russell, and me, we were all up in San Francisco for a big fundraiser for the Martin Luther King memorial," he recalled.

The role of Chewbacca ended up in the hands of Peter Mayhew, who portrayed the Wookie in five Star Wars films from 1997 to 2015. At his tallest, he was 7'3, compared to Walton's 6'11. His final time as the Wookiee came during Star Wars: The Force Awakens, four years before his death in 2019.

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<p>RGR Collection / Alamy</p> Chewbacca in 1980's 'The Empire Strikes Back'

RGR Collection / Alamy

Chewbacca in 1980's 'The Empire Strikes Back'

Despite not fighting off the dark side in the Star Wars universe, Walton did make an appearance in one popular film back in the day.

During a 2019 broadcast, Walton revealed that he played a role in 1984's Ghostbusters. While he reportedly faced pushback from Pasch at the time, Walton ended up being correct.

Shortly after the airing, a Reddit user located Walton's uncredited scene in the film, where he could be spotted in the distant background of the movie's ending credits.

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