Chewbacca Mom is blowing up the internet! Candace Payne, now know to millions online as Chewbacca Mom, made a video for her friends and family modeling her new Chewbacca mask. The video took off and became a viral sensation, and now, just about everyone knows who she is!
It all started when Candace, a mother of two, went to Kohl’s to return a shirt. She picked up a Star Wars: The Force Awakens talking Chewbacca mask for herself in exchange. She went to her car, and as she explains it, made the video so the viewers would know the mask was hers, not her kids’ toy. The mask’s mouth, when moved by the wearer’s mouth, emits a Chewbacca growl, and when she heard it, it made her explode with laughter. She then sat in the car, wearing the mask, laughing hysterically at the sound, which would then make her laugh harder. This sound loop went on for a while and then she said “Oh, I’m sure a happy Chewbacca!” before laughing again. Her friends and family must’ve been tickled pink too because they shared the video, and soon it climbed from 1,000 views – she said she was excited about just that number – into the millions.
Kohl’s saw the potential for marketing and publicity, so they decided to reward Candace about the laughs she brought millions with $2,500 in gift cards and Star Wars gear for the whole family – including the masks, of course! That’s not all, however, because he James Corden, late night TV host, wanted to join in on the fun. He brought Candace on his show for a bit where she’s getting ready to drive him to work but is distracted by her mask. Then a special guest pops up in the back seat – J.J. Abrams, director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He too puts on a mask and growls with Candace.
Candace even has a famous fan in Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies! He tweeted about his enjoyment of the video, and has also invited Candace and her family to meet him at a fan expo in Dallas, Texas, near where they live. Since Candace made the video on Facebook Live, Facebook’s new live-streaming video feature, Facebook decided to welcome her to their headquarters as well. Now the video has more than 3 million viewers and climbing. They invited her to ride bikes with Chewbacca on the Facebook campus and the two took silly photos together shared by none other than Mark Zuckerberg.
What happened with the sales of the mask? They soared! Kohl’s is sold out, and Target, WalMart and other retailers who stocked it are unable to keep it in stock. The toy is even selling on Ebay for $500 and up! Some may dismiss her video as a hoax, but Candace seems as genuine as they come, and has reported that people have told her how much they enjoyed watching her video, and that it helped them laugh even through depression.