' Star Wars' Veteran Peter Mayhew Passes On

Sad news for longstanding Star Wars fans... 

Peter Mayhew- best known for playing Han Solo's memorable first mate and co-pilot  Chewbacca the Wookie in the  Star Wars franchise has passed away. The late actor, who towered over the other cast members at the height of 7 foot 2, was 74 years old. 

Mayhew first appeared as Chewbacca in Star Wars in 1977 and went also appeared in the sequels Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi in 1983. He reprised his role in the 2005  prequel Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith and then in another sequel,   Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, which was his final appearance as Chewy.  He also played Chewbacca in a guest appearance in the Muppet Show in 1980, the variety show Donny & Marie, T.V  Star Wars Holiday T.V special and a voice role in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Peter is survived by his wife and 3 children. 

His family made the announcement of his passing via  his Twitter account: 

Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo had this to say about his late co-star and friend: 

From Mark Hamill who played Luke Skywalker: 

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 

From Billy Dee Williams who played Lando Calrissian:

And from George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars franchise: 

Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human could be to be 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. 

The Wookie forever roars.  May the Force be with you!

Rest in peace. 


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