According to The Making of Star Wars, in the 3rd version of The Star Wars, Chewbacca is among our heroes receiving a medal at the ceremony at the end for his bravery during the battle. Yet in the 4th and final draft, Chewie is left off to the side to watch Han & Luke collect accolades.
What changed between the 3rd and 4th draft which caused Lucas to sideline our Wookiee pal for the recognition?
Is it possible he pulled another "Jedi don't seek 'revenge'" things and felt Chewie being from a slave race meant the Rebels wouldn't recognize his accomplishments? Or is it possible Lucas didn't feel Chewie really did enough to deserve a medal from the princess?
Maybe it was Leia watching the Wookiee cower in the corner of the trash masher like a baby.