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The Dogs of Star Wars

In honor of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," we imagined our favorite classic characters as canines. These are the dogs you're looking for.

Susan C. Willett  |  Dec 11th 2015


We’ve done the The Dogs of Downton AbbeyThe Dogs of Mad Men, and The Dogs of Breaking Bad. Not to mention Game of Thrones, Girls, and The Walking Dead.

Now it’s time to take our series to the big screen, in honor of the much-anticipated movie about a galaxy far, far away, The Force Awakens. And we’re starting with characters from the original movies.

However, Star Wars presents challenges not present in the other “Dogs of” stories. For example, many of the main characters aren’t human (Chewbacca and Yoda, for example). Others are droids, like R2-D2 and C-3PO. And, some of the baddies in the saga are evil incarnate; how could any dog represent that concept?

So, at the risk of offending Star Wars fans — and dog lovers — alike, here are the classic characters imagined as dogs. These are the dogs you’re looking for.

1. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill): Rough Coated Jack Russell Terrier

Young Luke Skywalker is impatient, reckless, and impulsive. Luke’s quick reflexes serve him well as he battles the empire on behalf of the rebels, hoping to help win the war.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Jack Russell Terriers are known for their energy and intelligence. The complete opposite of couch potatoes, these dogs love to be active and are intensely loyal.

2. Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher): Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Princess Leia is a sympathizer to the rebel cause and a member of the Imperial Senate. Strong both mentally and physically, Princess Leia speaks her mind, stands up for what’s right, and knows how to fight.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Cavaliers are graceful and affectionate, but aren’t really known for obeying commands — particularly if they have some other goal in mind.

3. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness): Scottish Deerhound

Princess Leia reaches out to Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi as her “only hope.” A teacher and guide to Luke, Obi-Wan introduces him to the ways of the Jedi and starts schooling him in the use of the Force. Never ruffled, Obi-Wan is always in control.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Large, strong, and fast, Scottish Deerhounds are also intelligent and perceptive. They are gentle and trustworthy, with an instinct for pursuit.

4. Han Solo (Harrison Ford): Plott Hound/Labrador Retriever mix

Han Solo is a smuggler, whose allegiance at first is to himself, his spaceship (the Millennium Falcon), and his sidekick, Chewbacca. Once he joins the rebels, his loyalty is unquestioned and he serves the cause heroically.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Plott Hounds are intelligent and fearless. They will pursue their prey endlessly, as they are persistent hunters. Combine that with a Labrador Retriever, whose loyalty and desire to please are key components of his personality.

5. Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew): Border Terrier

Chewbacca is Han Solo’s 8-foot-tall Wookiee sidekick and co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon. Chewie is intensely loyal to Han, protecting him from real — and perceived — harm.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Border Terriers are known escape artists. Loyal companions, they enjoy nothing more than a good chase.

6. Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams): Rottweiler

Forced to betray his friends, Lando Calrissian has a change of heart, eventually joining the Rebel Alliance and promising Princess Leia he will track down Han Solo.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Loyal guardians, Rottweilers are strong and true, and quite protective of their families. It’s always good to have a Rottie on your side.

7. Yoda (Frank Oz): Chinese Crested

Judge him by his size, do you? Well, you should not. A revered and powerful Jedi Master, Yoda is tasked with teaching Luke Skywalker the ways of the Force. Lithe and ninja-like, anyone who only sees Yoda’s humor, size, or age underestimates him and winds up worse for the encounter.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

A small dog, the Chinese Crested is smart and amusing. Fast, lithe, and strong, their ability to leap and run means they excel at performance activities like agility or fly ball.

8. Darth Vader (actor: David Prowse, voice: James Earl Jones): Cane Corso

The embodiment of evil, Darth Vader is the breathy henchman of Emperor Palpatine, serving from within his shiny black helmet and armor, which serve as a mobile life support system. He has a nasty temper and a bad habit of using the Force to cut down anyone who crosses him.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

The Cane Corso is huge and imposing; the dog’s size and well-muscled body can seem intimidating. Underneath that exterior is a fiercely loyal animal.

9. Emperor Palpatine (Clive Revill): Mastiff

The master behind Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine is a symbol of all that is evil in the empire, as he is actually Darth Sidious, a dark lord of the Sith.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Mastiffs are large, protective dogs, once bred as warriors or hunters, and are wary of strangers. They tend to drool.

10. Wicket Wystri Warrick (Warwick Davis): Brussels Griffon

Don’t let their small size fool you; Ewoks like Wicket are skilled fighters who live on the forest moon of Endor. They’re curious, friendly, and very fast learners — and they love a good party.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Known for cleverness, the Brussels Griffon thrives on activity and play. They look so much like Ewoks it was almost not worth photoshopping.

11. R2-D2 (Kenny Baker): Weimaraner

R2-D2 is an astromech droid that carries within it knowledge to help the rebellion. Courageous and helpful, it serves as a great partner when Luke goes to battle in his X-wing starfighter.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

The Weimaraner is fearless and alert, bred for courage and intelligence — and known for speed and endurance when hunting.

12. C-3PO (Anthony Daniels): Golden Retriever

A protocol droid, C-3PO is an etiquette and translation robot, not programmed to fight but to serve.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Known for golden fur and even temperament, a Golden Retriever is a true companion, whose goal in life is to please his humans.

13. Tauntaun: Great Pyrenees

Tauntauns are tall, furry, and very smelly white bipeds that live on the ice planet Hoth. Ridden like horses by the rebels, tauntauns are more camel-like than horse-like in temperament — somewhat irritable.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Strong and very large dogs with thick white fur, Great Pyrenees are steadfast but willful, with a great sense of smell and hearing.

14. Wampas: Maltese

Toothy predators, wampas are carnivores who aren’t picky eaters; tauntauns and Jedis seem to taste the same to these beasts. Reminiscent of the abominable snowman, these vicious creatures have nasty tempers and no natural enemies.

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Photos courtesy Lucasfilm and Shutterstock.

Ok, so the Maltese is the complete opposite of a wampa; they’re gentle, intelligent, and playful, with gorgeous silky white fur. It was simply too much fun to envision a Maltese as a wampa!

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About the author: Susan C. Willett is a writer, photographer, and blogger whose award-winning original stories, photography, poetry, and humor can be found at Life With Dogs and Cats. She lives in New Jersey with four cats (including Calvin T. Katz, the Most Interesting Cat in the World) and three dogs (all rescues) and at least a couple of humans — all of whom provide inspiration for her work and are willing testers for her pet technology reviews. Refusing to take sides in the interweb’s dogs vs. cats debate, Susan enjoys observing the interspecies interaction among the varied inhabitants of her home — like living in a reality TV show, only furrier. In addition to Life With Dogs and Cats, you can find more Dawn, Athena, Calvin and Elsa Clair (and the rest of the gang) on Haiku by Dog™, Haiku by Cat™, and Dogs and Cats Texting.