A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, an orderly from King’s College Hospital was hired by a young filmmaker named George Lucas. This orderly had a height of 7 foot 3-inches and was the perfect role as Han Solo’s partner in crime. His name was Peter Mayhew, and he was the perfect Chewbacca.
On March 30th, Peter Mayhew died of a heart attack in his home in Texas. An official statement was released by the Mayhew family on his official Twitter. He is survived by his wife and three children, and a memorial service for friends and family will be held on June 29th. A special memorial service for fans of Star Wars will be held sometime in June.
Peter Mayhew has portrayed Chewbacca in 5 of the Star Wars films and related media, including the ill-remembered Star Wars Holiday Special and as a guest star on The Muppets Show with Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels as C3P0, and Kenny Baker as R2-D2. His last role for the franchise was for Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which was also Harrison Ford’s last time as Han Solo. The role of Chewbacca has since been portrayed by Mayhew’s protege, Joonas Suotomo.
Mayhew’s death follows the recent passing of other original Star Wars alumni, including R2-D2 himself Kenny Baker and Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher in 2016. The character of Chewbacca will live on in the upcoming Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker later this year.