It has been reported that Peter Mayhew who is the original Chewbacca has passed on. his agent revealed this.
Peter who was 74 years old, died on the 30th of April with his family by his side in his home in North Texas Peter survived by his wife Angie and three kids.
This Hollywood icon played the role of Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy movie, the third episode of the prequel, and also the new trilogy according to a statement released by his family.
Peter Mayhew once had to use a wheelchair because he suffered a bum knee, but he stood tall to play the character of Chewbacca once more in the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Mayhew also consulted on the last Jedi movie to teach his successor how to play his role.
The actors family said “He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca, and 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. But, to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film.”
The actor started the Peter Mayhew Foundation as a way to support people who find themselves in Crisis situations as well as providing food and supplies for the kids of Venezuela during their recent struggle to freedom.
His family also said that “His kindness, generosity and care will live on in the Peter Mayhew Foundation with Angie taking the helm as his voice.”
There is a memorial service expected to hold for friends and family on the 29th of June 2019, and also in early December, there is expected to be a memorial for the actor in Los Angeles specifically for fans.
Lots of tributes flow in for the Star Wars legend
Precisely two days before the 4th of May, which is a day when “May the 4th” puns are usually everywhere, Star Wars fans, as well as other celebrities, remember Peter as the man who wore the Wookie suit as far back as the 70s.
Mark Hamill who played the role of Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy said that”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.”
Fans from all around the world have taken to social media to share pictures of them meeting Peter at different conventions over the years.
Keith Forche, a fan who shared a photo taken on 13th of April at the Star Wars Celebration 2019 in Chicago said “I am so thankful that Mr Mayhew found the strength to participate in this year’s Star Wars Celebration, even after he had to cancel a day due to health reasons. I was honoured that my wife @gokatteego and I could have our picture taken with him. It means so much to us.”
Dan Robinson, another huge fan who met with the legend at San Diego Comic-Con 15 years ago, said Peter brought life to a character no one else could understand, apart from Han, of course.
Dan shared with CNN during an interview that “Body movements, head tilts, and expressive eyes. He was such a humble softspoken man that always took time for the fans. He was my first ‘Star Wars’ actor I got an autograph from. I was in awe of being 6 foot 2 and watching my hand disappear into his when I shook his hand and thanked him for all he brought to ‘Star Wars.’ I’ve been a fan since I was two years old when I saw it in 1979 [at a drive-in] for a re-release.”
Facts about the man who brought Chewbacca to life for us
Peter who stood at 7 feet and 3 inches tall, once revealed that playing the character of Chewbacca changed him, according to a statement shared on the Star Wars franchise website.
About acting in Chew’s costume, Peter said “The attitude was different. The walk was different. Do the scenes, come back, take the mask off, Peter was back.”
A lot of people, including myself grew up watching Star Wars, and for some of us (especially my brothers), it is one of the best movies yet. The film which first debut in the theatres on May 25th 1977, did tremendously well to ignite a massive worldwide fandom.
Peter Mayhew was loved by all and received tributes even from the CEO of Disney Robert Iger. Robert said “Peter was larger than life in so many ways … a gentle giant playing a gentle giant. Rest in peace.”
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said that Peter’s portrayal of the beautiful Chewbacca character was vital to the success of the trilogy.
In her words “When I first met Peter during ‘The Force Awakens,’ I was immediately impressed by his kind and gentle nature. Peter was brilliantly able to express his personality through his skilful use of gesture, posture, and eyes. We all love Chewie, and have Peter to thank for that enduring memory.”
Meanwhile, fans from all over the world are still taking time to bid this wonderful actor farewell on different social media platforms. From the love we have seen so far on the internet you can tell that his fans are innumerable and Peter Mayhew will surely be missed. Want to say something about Chewbacca?
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