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Star Wars Family Pays Tribute to Actor Peter Mayhew

Posted 2019/05/03 19 0

The death of Peter Mayhew is sending shockwaves across the world. The Chewbacca actor died at his home in Northern Texas, surrounded by his family at the age of 74 on April 30th. The family released a touching tribute to him, which went above and beyond his work in the Star Wars universe. Now, his friends, family, and former co-workers (who were often all the same), are reaching out on social media with tributes of their own.

One of the actors on the planet to have worked with Peter Mayhew maybe the most, is of course his Star Wars costar Mark Hamill. They appeared in 1977’s A New Hope and shared a lot of laughs over the years and Hamill is deeply grateful for the time they were able to spend together. Hamill posted a tribute to his friend on social media. Mark Hamill had this to say about being able to work with Mayhew after all of these years.

“He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I’m grateful for the memories we shared & I’m a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete”

Joonas Suotamo took over as Chewbacca for Peter Mayhew while doing the stunt work on 2015’s The Force Awakens. Mayhew had recently undergone double knee replacement surgery and was not up to the task of taking on the entire role since he was mostly in a wheelchair by that point. However, he made it a point to help out Suotamo in any way that he could, even coming on as a consultant on The Last Jedi. Suotamo had this to say about the late great Peter Mayhew when he took on the role.

“Peter’s guidance and kindness have been invaluable gifts which warmed my spirit and prepared me for this journey. I aspire to make Peter proud and bring Star Wars fans the Chewie they know and love.”

Peter Mayhew never took his Star Wars fame for granted and he often tried to help anybody he could who needed it, which is why he started the Peter Mayhew Foundation. But when it came time to playing Chewie on the big screen, he really gave it his all. He never expected to be a world-famous actor, but he ended up being one anyway. You can read what Mayhew’s family had to say about his work below.

Related: Mark Hamill Apologizes for His Star Wars Uproar, Wishes He Spoiled Endgame Instead

“He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca. It showed in every frame of the films from his knock kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth.”

When Peter Mayhew originally met Joonas Suotamo, he joked that the young actor was too skinny to take on the role. Even though he could barely stand, Mayhew made it his mission to pass on everything he knew about playing the iconic Wookie on the big screen and Suotamo and millions of Star Wars Chewbacca fans from all over the world are grateful for his hard work and determination over the years. You can read some more tributes to Peter Mayhew below.

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