Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Wookiee Chewbacca across five Star Wars movies, has died aged 74. Taking to Twitter, many castmates and famous faces, including the likes of Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, paid tribute to the man who has been called a “gentle giant.” Fans, too, have been sharing their favourite memories of one of the original Star Wars cast members, as well as looking back on how he made the role of Chewie so iconic.
Star Wars alumni react to Peter Mayhew's death
Both Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford shared their immediate reaction in the wake of Mayhew’s death, with Hamill calling the actor “a loyal friend who I loved dearly.”
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/8xbq9HEWF2May 2, 2019
Harrison Ford on the death of his friend, Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew: pic.twitter.com/DvVZYICwZ9May 3, 2019
J.J. Abrams, who directed Mayhew in his final appearance in a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has also opened up about the legacy of the 7ft 4in actor.
pic.twitter.com/IN7JJxRSw2May 3, 2019
Meanwhile, Mayhew’s direct replacement in the role of Chewie – and a man who was mentored by him for many years – Joonas Suotamo calls him a “legend of unrivaled class.”
R.I.P 😔 pic.twitter.com/FWRgaOS0TfMay 2, 2019
Star Wars supremo George Lucas also echoed his past and present contemporaries, revealing that Mayhew, as many can attest, was a “wonderful man.”
George Lucas on the passing of Peter Mayhew. @abc pic.twitter.com/P05qaVks5oMay 3, 2019
Star Wars dans and famous faces react to Peter Mayhew's death
It wasn’t just those who immediately knew him who felt touched by the Chewbacca actor’s passing. Everyone from the Prime Minister of Canada, to those who spent a generation sat in wide-eyed amazement at the larger-than-life character, all shared their thoughts, feelings, and touching fan art.
”No one’s ever really gone”RIP Peter Mayhew, Carrie Fisher, and Kenny Baker. pic.twitter.com/og5vVsEc7dMay 3, 2019
R.I.P. Peter Mayhew😔 pic.twitter.com/nWpAjkWzteMay 3, 2019
May the Force Be with You, #PeterMayhew! As the King of the Cinematic Sidekicks, your performance helped make my childhood fun! Thank you for bringing Chewbacca to life and for always waving the flag for fandom! We may have let the Wookie win, but YOU won our hearts, sir! pic.twitter.com/B6cpKTKyv2May 3, 2019
R.I.P. #PeterMayhew 🌟 Thank you for bringing us closer to the stars and for bringing one of the kindest, dearest characters in movie history to life.#chewbacca pic.twitter.com/RQpZiCKMB7May 3, 2019
Just heard the news that Peter Mayhew, who played our beloved Chewbacca, has passed away. His career spanned generations and he brought joy to millions of people on and off screen. At some point or other, he has made every single one of us smile. That’s quite an accomplishment ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sgePS1gI8mMay 3, 2019
Star Wars wouldn’t have been the same without Peter Mayhew as the loyal and lovable Chewbacca, and he will always be a favourite for generations of kids & kids at heart. Rest easy, Peter. pic.twitter.com/psEok9fzcqMay 3, 2019
I never met the man. But I spent my life with him. Just heard about the passing of Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca. You never think about someone like that behind the suit. His thoughtful eyes and the clumsy graceful way he played the wookie. Thank u, sir. Love, my childhood.May 3, 2019
I took this photo of Peter Mayhew in 2009, the first time I met him. He was at San Diego Comic-Con and was incredibly kind and generous with his time. RIP, Peter. You were in every way a great man, and you will be missed. #petermayhew #sdcc #starwars pic.twitter.com/8LclBIMYRNMay 3, 2019
My heart is very sad to hear of the passing of Peter Mayhew…I really don’t know what to say so ill just post this from when I met him at #starwarsweekends #chewbacca #RIPChewbacca pic.twitter.com/BAB3TVWQJSMay 2, 2019
Everyone at GamesRadar would like to extend their condolences to Peter Mayhew’s family and friends.