The Wookiees, whose name for themselves translates to the People of the Trees, are a species of hairy bipedal humanoids that were inhabitants of the planet Kashyyyk. They have the ability to easily learn most languages. However, Wookiees lack the vocal structure to speak anything other than their own languages. The Wookiees spoke an array of dialects collectively known as Wookiee language, all of which consisted in a combination of barks, roars, moans and growls. Zaalbar once told Mission Vao that the whole point was to make it difficult for outsiders to understand.
Adult Wookiees are tall, in excess of two meters in height, and are covered with a uniform, mid-length coat of thick hair in various shades of brown. Although albino Wookiees are rare, they are not unheard of. However, such a birth is generally held to be a bad omen, as white hair does not blend in with the earth-tones of their forest surroundings. They also have retractable claws ideal for climbing trees. The racial tensions between Wookies and Trandoshans will be found in SWTOR storylines.
As their name implies, Wookiees live in tree-houses in their forested planet. Their community is led by a chieftain. Wookie society is generally peaceful, and the Holder of Laws oversees Wookiee trials and judges offenses. Murder is not permitted and is punishable by death. Although their culture may seem primitive, they are surprisingly capable warriors. They're strong enough to rip off the limbs of their foes with their bare hands, and can pick up combat techniques pretty quickly. This legendary strength has made them prized quarry for slavers and hunters looking to use that strength for manual labor, entertainment in gladiatorial combat, or just to test their mettle against the Wookiees' combat prowess. Some Wookiees branch out and make names for themselves in the galaxy as hired muscle, pirates, smugglers, pilots, or mechanics.
Wookiees also value honor and loyalty so much that they abide a social institution called a "life debt". To summarize, a life debt is a pledge to save the life of one's rescuer. For example, when a person's life is saved by another, then the saved person is then obligated to pledge their life to protecting and looking after their savior, even to the point of sacrificing their own life, if necessary.
- For information on this subject beyond The Old Republic, see: Wookiee on Wookieepedia