R.I.P loud screaming guy… Peter Mayhew, the man behind Chewbacca in the Star Was series has died at age 74. He passed away at his home in Texas with his family by his side.
The British-American actor played the giant Wookie warrior Chewbacca in the original Star Wars series right from the original in 1977 all the way to the later films in 2015. Peter Mayhew was never meant to play Chewbacca as George Lucas was looking at David Prowse to take on the role of Wookie at first. However, Prowse opted to play Darth Vader instead which led George to go with Mayhew.
Peter Mayhew was in a wheelchair prior to filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens and fought his way through health complications to stand and portray Chewbacca in the film. Mayhew then exited his role before Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017 and passed it on to Finland’s Joonas Soutamo.
“The Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film”. The relationships that began then grew into the friends and family that he would love for decades to come.” – Mayhew’s family
The family did not reveal details on the death of Mayhew other than him going “peacefully” at home. Co-actors in the Star Wars series expressed their sadness for the loss of Peter with Mark Hamill describing him as “the gentlest of giants”.
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 #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken @TheWookieeRoars pic.twitter.com/8xbq9HEWF2
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 2, 2019