Thursday, May 2, 2019

Peter Mayhew | 1944 - 2019

By: Benjamin Hart

Today we are incredibly saddened to report the passing of the legendary Peter Mayhew at the age of 74.

Peter was best known to Star Wars fans the world over as the man underneath the mask of the mighty Chewbacca. He wore the fur of the iconic Wookiee many times over the course of almost 40 years. Peter Mayhew's family confirmed via social media that the actor passed away on April 30th. You can read their official statement below:

Peter has been with Star Wars saga since the very beginning, portraying Chewbacca 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope alongside Harrison Ford(Han Solo) Mark Hamill(Luke Skywalker), and Carrie Fisher(Princess Leia), among others. Mayhew would return to the role in the sequels The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi, and the third prequel Revenge Of The Sith.

But Mayhew wasn't finished with Chewbacca, and in 2015 he returned to playing the Wookiee alongside his old co-stars in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. During the production Peter was assisted in playing the character by Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo. He would effectively pass the torch of Chewie onto Suotamo who would go onto to play the character in The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and The Rise Of Skywalker.

Peter attending the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.

In addition to that, Mayhew found time to help bring Chewie to life in other mediums, continuing to play the character when he appeared on television series such as Donny and Marie and The Muppet Show in the 1970s.  Peter even consulted with Dave Filoni when Chewie appeared in animated form in an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Peter with Joonas Suotamo.

On top of all that Peter mayhew was a larger than life personality(quite literally) in Star Wars fandom and an incredible ambassador for the franchise. While living most of his life in Texas, Peter traveled the world with his wife Angie visiting with fans and signing autographs at countless conventions, including many Star Wars Celebrations. Peter's effect on Star Wars, as well as pop culture abroad cannot be overstated. Words cannot describe how much we will all miss him.

Our hearts go out to Peter's family and friends, and we send them our most sincere condolences.

The Force will be with you, Peter... always.

Source: Peter Mayhew(Facebook)

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