Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo names newborn daughter after the 'Star Wars' Wookiee

Joonas Suotamo, the towering Finnish actor who plays Chewbacca in Star Wars, has welcomed a daughter — and has bestowed her with an adorable, Wookiee-appropriate moniker.

The 33-year-old former basketball player, who has played Chewbacca onscreen since 2015’s The Force Awakens, announced Friday that he and his wife, Milla Pohjasvaara, welcomed their baby girl and named her Bacca, after the iconic character. According to an Instagram post, Bacca arrived earlier this week, making the Suotams’ son, Aatos, a big brother.

IVER HEATH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:   Joonas Suotamo who plays Chewbacca attends the global live-stream event at Pinewood Studios revealing new Star Wars merchandise, on September 26, 2019 in Iver Heath, England. The live-stream event takes place ahead of the global product launch on Triple Force Friday happening October 4, 2019. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave Hogan/Getty Images for Disney)
Joonas Suotamo just welcomed a baby girl, who he named after the Star Wars character he has played since 2015 (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave Hogan/Getty Images for Disney)

In addition to sharing a precious shot of Bacca, Suotama gave shout-outs to the hospital staff and family members for their help and assured fans that everyone is doing well.

“We have some exciting news: we were blessed to welcome the newest member of our family!” wrote Suotamo. “Our little princess (or senator, or general, or whatever she wants to be!) was born this week and is doing great. We want to thank the personnel at HUH Women’s Hospital, they were extraordinary and we are lucky to have been in their world-class care during our stay. We also want to thank Grandma Sonja for taking care of Aatos during the birth, he is gonna have to get used to there being two little ones in the house now. So far he is doing well with it, and we expect him to grow up to be a great big brother. Welcome to the world Princess Bacca!”

The news drew immediate reaction from several Star Wars co-stars. Naomi Ackie, who played Jannah in last year’s The Rise of Skywalker, wrote, “Oh love! She's beautiful, CONGRATULATIONS. Give the fam a squeeze from me!!” Billy Dee Williams, a.k.a. Lando Calrissian, also congratulated the family on their new arrival.

Fans were especially stoked about the name choice. Among the highlights:

  • “Congratulations to the beautiful jedi wookie princess.”

  • “She’s gonna be the greatest Senator General we’ve ever seen.”

  • “Awww a baby chewy. Congratulations.”

  • “Every time she's gonna eat, y'all will have the time of your life saying ‘chew, bacca.’ excellent choice.”

Suotamo, a former basketball player, was tapped to play Chewie by J.J. Abrams. He initially split time with longtime star Peter Mayhew, who first played the Wookiee in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope and was unable to do the action scenes due to ill health (Mayhew retired from action afterwards and served as a mentor to Suotamo before dying in 2019). Suotamo continued as Chewbacca in The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Rise of Skywalker.

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