Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca, Dies at 74

Peter Mayhew, best known to Star Wars fans around the world as the lovable walking-carpet Chewbacca, has sadly died. He was 74.

Peter Mayhew died Tuesday April 30th at his North Texas home with his family by his side. The family posted on his official Twitter account sharing the sad news of his passing. “The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home.”

Mayhew, played Chewbacca in Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), Revenge of the Sith (2005) and The Force Awakens (2015). He also consulted on The Last Jedi (2017) to continue teaching his successor Joonas Suotamo.

Harrison Ford, best known as Han Solo, expressed his condolences in a statement he sent to The Hollywood Reporter saying.

“Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character. These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca. We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience. Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend.”

Mark Hamill tweeted out his sympathies on Thursday.

“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,”

George Lucas, who created Star Wars also released a statement on the passing of Peter Mayhew.

“Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature…and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend and I’m saddened by his passing,”

Reggie’s Take:
As a life long Star Wars fan and one who has seen every movie in theaters dating back to the original in 1977, I’m sadden at the passing of Mr. Peter Mayhew.

Although I never actually met him in person I feel a loss in my heart. Seeing Chewbacca up on the big screen and the hundreds of times on home video has been a huge part of my childhood and even my adult life. Han and Chewie together was an unstoppable duo that could bring the fight to the Empire and make you laugh just as easily.

When I read of his passing all I could think about was how special this Saturday would now be. Beside it being May 4th, Star Wars Day, my wife and I have tickets to see our local symphony play a concert of all Star Wars music. It will be bitter sweet that will have a smile on my face and a tear in my eye remembering the late, great Peter Mayhew.

Categories: Star Wars

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