The Chewbacca Defense: The Art of Persuasion ⋆ Star Wars

Often the parodies, based on true events, coin ways of saying that also flow into common language. This is what happened, for example, with the so-called Chewbacca defense. As a law student, I have always found this absurd story to be one of the strangest and most amusing things I have ever read or seen. You’re wondering what the heck it has to do with it Chewbacca with the right: absolutely nothing. That’s exactly the point. You think I’m crazy right? Let’s go step by step and you will understand.

There Chewbacca defense it’s a fake defensive legal strategy, completely noensepresent in an episode of the irreverent animated series South Park. The series, as you know, deals with thorny issues of US politics and current affairs, especially in terms of Black humor. In the episode, Chewbacca’s defense is the parody of a real, very famous speech delivered by Johnnie Cochranthe defense attorney of the famous football star OJ Simpsonin one of the most famous black news pages in the United States.

The process

Attorney Johnnie Cochran
source: thumpers corner

It is October 3, 1995, OJ Simpson he’s been on trial for almost a year, accused of murder of his ex-wife and a waiter, which took place on 12 June 1994′. From the outset, the prosecution had based its strategy on trying to prove the violent character of Simpson, therefore citing the motive of jealousy. On top of that, the prosecution was in possession of seemingly damning evidence, a couple of bloody gloves. It seemed done, yet the defense disassembled in two stages the inexperienced accuser.

In the first phase, he focused his entire defensive strategy on the racial discrimination: Simpson, famous but black, would have suffered racial harassment by the policemen who had worked on his case. In particular of one, Mark Fuhrman, the very one who found the bloody gloves. The defense in fact managed to get hold of some tapes, where Fuhrman let himself go to racial slursand exclaimed that: “when you are certain of guilt, the evidence always comes up”.

The surprising closing argument

It was then Attorney Cochranwith the second phase and the famous closing argument, to dismantle the accusation and be able to acquit OJ Simpson. District Attorney Darden (accuses), against the advice of his superiors and colleague Clark, revealing all his inexperience, he decided to give it a try bloody gloves to Simpson, even in front of the jury. Fatal error: i gloves the they were tight.

Chewbacca's defense in the OJ Simpson trial
OJ Simpson puts on bloody gloves
source: NBC

Prosecution colleagues attempted to remedy this, saying that perhaps they might have shrunk from blood and moisture, but by now the damage was done. Cochran he took advantage of it, delivering a closing argument full of rounds of words and twisted reasoning, ending with a sentence that would go down in history: “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquire” (if they don’t fit, you have to absolve him). Well, after 253 days of trial, that October 3rd the jury delivered the verdict in less than 4 hours, and OJ Simpson was proclaimed innocent. The defense had managed, with a stroke of luck and a lot of beating about the bush (taking advantage of the inexperience and mistakes of the prosecution), to convince the jury that there was no evidence to convict Simpson.

South Park parody

After a longer than expected analysis of the case (professional deformation), we now come to the parody and to ours Chewbacca. In the episode of South Park, a character named Chef discovers that a song by a famous singer is identical to a composition he created in his youth. He even has proof of it, having recorded it on tape. As if that weren’t enough, he only asks to the record label to be credited as composer. She not only refuses, but even sues Chef for harassment. Guess who defends the record company in court? Cartoon version of lawyer Johnnie Cochran. Here he will pronounce the famous e completely nosense Chewbacca defense:

“This is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Think carefully; this doesn’t make any sense! Why would a ten-foot-tall Wookiee want to live on Endor with a herd of three-foot-tall Ewoks? This doesn’t make any sense! But more importantly, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Anything. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It makes no sense! Look at me: I’m a lawyer defending a record company and I’m talking about Chewbacca. Does this make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, my words make no sense! None of this makes sense! So when you’re in the council chamber to deliberate, remember the words: Does this make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this so-called jury, it doesn’t make any sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit!”

Obviously, after Cochran’s “convincing” words, the jury condemns the poor Chef to pay 2 million dollars in 24 hours, to avoid serving 4 years in prison.

the chewbacca defense in the tv series south park
The diagram of the famous Chewbacca defense in South Park
source: decide

Chewbacchian persuasion

The strategy of Chewbacca defense it thus entered the common language, and even was object of studiesaimed at considering how artfully concocted story-telling and roundabouts can be misleading and, in some cases, effective to disassemble certain types of evidence. Or instill in the jury reasonable doubt about the defendant. Which then, to be honest, even just there would be enough Chewbacca dialectic to convince even the most adamant: “arghuaaaarghgrgrgrg!!

The Chewbacca Defense: The Art of Persuasion ⋆ Star Wars