Chewbacca Defense

Chewbacca Defense

The Chewbacca defense is a fictional legal strategy used in an episode of ‘South Park’ in1998. The aim of the argument is to deliberately confuse the jury by making use of the fallacy known as ignoratio elenchi, or a red herring. It starts by stating that Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor (doubly incorrect: No longer sedentary, he used to live on a different planet, Kashyyyk.). The argument continues from there, the false premise leading to a series of nonsense conclusions. The concept satirized attorney Johnnie Cochran’s closing argument defending O. J. Simpson in his murder trial. The Associated Press noted it as an example of Cochran’s position in popular culture. The concept has become a minor Internet phenomenon, used frequently as a running gag on satirical sites and in forums as a form of rhetoric.

‘Why would a Wookiee, an 8-foot-tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I’m a lawyer defending a major record company, and I’m talkin’ about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you’re in that jury room deliberatin’ and conjugatin’ the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.’

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