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"The gentlest of giants" - Tributes from fans and famous faces flood in as Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew dies, aged 74

Peter Mayhew
Image credit: Getty (Image credit: Getty)

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.”

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J.J. Abrams, who directed Mayhew in his final appearance in a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (opens in new tab), has also opened up about the legacy of the 7ft 4in actor.

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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.”

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Star Wars supremo George Lucas also echoed his past and present contemporaries, revealing that Mayhew, as many can attest, was a “wonderful man.”

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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.

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Everyone at GamesRadar would like to extend their condolences to Peter Mayhew’s family and friends.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.