Peter Mayhew, the man behind Chewbacca since 1977, spent part of his holidays with Ashley Fleetwood, the widow of Star Wars mega-fan Daniel Fleetwood, who passed away earlier this year after being one of the first people to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Mayhew and his wife invited Fleetwood, along with members of the 501st Legion charity group, to spend a day at their ranch over the holidays, ET reports. Fleetwood had expressed interest in coming to spend her father's sixtieth birthday with the Mayhews after they became acquainted during the "Force For Daniel" social media push to get her husband an early look at The Force Awakens.
"The Mayhews were so kind and gracious," Fleetwood said. "When Daniel was sick, they actually Skyped him. It was so sweet and amazing. They invited us to visit, but he was unable to travel. After he passed, they extended the invitation again. So I asked if, for my dads 60th birthday, if we could maybe visit. They said 'yes' and were so welcoming."
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters December 18, 2015, kicking off a new trilogy of Saga films as Episodes VIII and IX are already scheduled. The film garnered a record $247 million at the domestic box office and $529 million globally in its opening weekend.