With an adorable muzzle, a fierce gait, and a serious likeness to more than one character from the Star Wars universe, Newton the Brussels Griffon is your 2017 National Dog Show Best in Show champion.
Chosen from seven classes, Newton beat out representatives from the hound, herding, working, terrier, sporting, and non-sporting categories, including a Portuguese Water Dog, English Springer Spaniel, American Staffordshire Terrier, Old English Sheepdog, Whippet, and French Bulldog.
Social media users were quick to point out Newton’s striking facial similarities to Chewbacca, the Millennium Falcon’s furry co-pilot who first appeared in the Star Wars franchise’s 1977 debut. Others compared the four-legged victor to Ewoks, the fictional race of mammalian Endor inhabitants first seen in 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
Newton’s win — the first for a Brussels Griffon since NBC rebranded the Kennel Club of Philadelphia Dog Show as the National Dog Show in 2001 — comes just under a year after four-year-old Gia the Greyhound trotted away with the title in 2016.
“I was hoping so,” handler Susan Depew responded when asked by an NBC correspondent if she thought Newton would win. “He just has marvelous breed type and attitude, he just is the whole package.”