Fans And Friends Pay Tribute To 'Chewbacca' Actor Peter Mayhew
Peter Mayhew, who played the original Chewbacca, died on April 30 at the age of 74.
Following the news that 'Star Wars' actor Peter Mayhew had passed away at his North Texas home on April 30, tributes for the Chewbacca actor have flooded in across social media from fans, friends and co-stars.
Mark Hamill, who starred alongside Mayhew in the 1977 original Star Wars film, shared that he was "heartbroken" over the passing of his "loyal friend", who he called "a big man with an even bigger heart."
Harrison Ford also released a statement on the death of his friend, describing him as "a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character."
'The Last Jedi' director Rian Johnson added, "To create a beloved character with warmth and humour is a testament to any actor’s spirit."
"To do it under a half ton of yak hair takes a true legend," he wrote.
Joonas Suotamo, who shared the role of the 200-year-old wookie with Mayhew in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens', before taking over the character for 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi', 'Solo: A Star Wars Story', and the forthcoming 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,' shared a lengthy tribute, along with a black-and-white photograph of himself with the screen legend.
“Devastated to hear about the passing of a dear friend and mentor, the great Peter Mayhew,” Suotamo wrote on Twitter.
“Peter’s warm welcome when I came aboard as his double in 'The Force Awakens' meant so much to me. Studying the character he helped create was always a daunting task, but one that was made easier by his tutelage and kindness as we sought to bring Chewbacca to life for a new generation. He was an absolutely one-of-a-kind gentleman and a legend of unrivaled class and I will miss him.”
Fellow actors also remembered the star, with Elijah Wood, George Takai and Patton Oswalt among those paying tribute to Mayhew.
'Star Wars' fans also penned tributes across Twitter, with many reflecting on the impact the actor had on their childhoods, with one fan describing the star as "genuine," who made the character of Chewbacca feel like a "kind, warm, dear friend on screen."
A memorial service for the star is set to be held for friends and family on June 29, with a fan memorial reportedly being in Los Angeles in December at EmpireCon.
He is survived by his wife, Angelique Mayhew, and their three children.