Star Wars fans around the world were stunned at the announcement that Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in the original trilogy of films, passed away earlier this week in his Texas home. In addition to starring in the original trilogy, the actor returned for a brief role in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The actor stood 7'2", allowing him to convey the Wookiee's impressive stature, while also endowing the alien with a human-like personality. Unfortunately, that impressive stature led to mobility issues later in life which oftentimes resulted in having to cancel scheduled appearances at various Star Wars events.
Mayhew's family posted the following statement on his Twitter account:
The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home. pic.twitter.com/YZ5VLyuK0u— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) May 2, 2019
The loss of such an iconic figure resonated all across social media, with fans sharing favorite photos, anecdotes, and condolences.
Scroll down to see fans celebrating the actor.
Chewbacca has been a huge part of ENTIRE life. I was 1 when my parents took me to see Star Wars in 1977. Like most kids, we worshipped Chewie. When you get older and realize there’s a person under that fur, and that that person was as great as the Wookiee he played....— Steve “Rael” Smoochenbacher (@SteveDunk5) May 2, 2019
Rest In Peace Peter Mayhew. An ever-present fixture of the #StarWars family, he will be remembered for his gracious, kind attitude toward fans, uplifting life story and unforgettable performance as Chewbacca. No one’s ever really gone. #MayTheForceBeWithYou pic.twitter.com/Nv2TCl52Jn— Star Wars Holocron (@sw_holocron) May 2, 2019
A short Chewbacca story: A few years ago, I got to visit Pinewood Studios, where they shoot Star Wars. In the Warbrobe Department, there was a small room where they kept the Chewie costumes. When I saw him, I couldn’t help myself. Something came over me.— Noah Segan (@kidblue) May 2, 2019
I ran up to Chewie and hugged the costume. The handful of other people on the tour did the same, one by one. No one mentioned it. When we left the room, our guide said, “Everyone has the same reaction when they see him. They all hug him. We don’t even try to stop it anymore.”— Noah Segan (@kidblue) May 2, 2019
Peter Mayhew was so genuine in his love for Star Wars and the character he brought to life. Chewbacca immediately felt like a kind, warm, dear friend on screen, and that was all Peter.— heath (@heathdwilliams) May 2, 2019
When you watch that behind the scenes clip for The Force Awakens and see him climb into that cockpit again and do the Wookiee roar....just perfect and joyous. What a gift he was, and what a loss this is.— heath (@heathdwilliams) May 2, 2019
Chewbacca will always be with us, of course. So Peter will be, too. Godspeed, sir. pic.twitter.com/jrtpZjWdN0— heath (@heathdwilliams) May 2, 2019
It is with the heaviest of hearts, that we say goodbye to one of the greatest Hero’s of any time.
We love you Peter Mayhew, and we appreciate you so much. You brought light to my childhood, and warmth to my heart.
Goodbye Chewbacca, Miss you I will♥️ pic.twitter.com/SS9stugeNJ— Star Wars DieHards (@StarWarsDH) May 2, 2019
So sad to hear the passing of the mighty Chewbacca himself Peter Mayhew. Under the mask of Chewbacca he brought to life the 7 foot tall Wookiee leaving a mark on all of our hearts. Happy to have had the chance to meet you and may the force be with you ❤️#petermayhew @starwars pic.twitter.com/eSmxRH1OWw— Brandon Wynn (@Wynnb15) May 2, 2019
R.I.P. Chewbacca - May the Force be with you always pic.twitter.com/WnopD894br— Little Mogwai Jedi (@starjedi007) May 2, 2019