It turns out you don’t need to be in a galaxy far, far away to encounter a real-life version of Chewbacca.
The only difference with Earth’s version is that it isn’t exactly a Wookiee. A newly discovered beetle (yes, a beetle) found in New Guinea is now a namesake of the famous Star Wars character. While you won’t find them fighting the Dark Side in fierce battles with rebel soldiers, they do like to hang out in the leaf litter of forested areas.
We know, we know–not exactly what you expected. But the beetle is still pretty neat:
The dense scales on the insect’s legs and head reminded scientists of Chewbacca’s fur, which is why they opted to name it trigonopterus chewbacca. It took them 10 days to find the little guys, which they spent sifting through forestry during non-stop rain. While “Chewbaccas” can’t fly, we’re sure they could use the force if threatened enough by predators.
And if you think naming a bug after a Star Wars character is a strange idea, this is far from the first time it’s been done. An acorn worm was named Yoda in 2012, while a wasp also shared Chewbacca’s name in 1983.
Maybe once scientists start naming a few things after characters on the Dark Side, we’ll get a real life space battle going on.
*Cue Chewbacca yell*