It’s a sad time for the Star Wars community, who just learned of the recent passing of legendary Chewbacca actor, Peter Mayhew. The man behind the Wookiee passed away at age 74 on April 30th, and fans and people involved with the Star Wars films have all been paying tribute to Mayhew. The latest in a long line of heartwarming posts comes from Jon Kasdan, the co-writer of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Considering Kasdan is the son of Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, it’s safe to assume Jon has known Mayhew for most of his life.
#Mayhew did an extraordinary thing, conveyed empathy, humor and an incomparable soulfulness, all from inside that furry suit. My dad often said, “Chewie is the moral center of Star Wars.” It’s something Peter created & @JoonasSuotamo has faithfully continued and expanded.— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) May 2, 2019
“#Mayhew did an extraordinary thing, conveyed empathy, humor and an incomparable soulfulness, all from inside that furry suit. My dad often said, ‘Chewie is the moral center of Star Wars.’ It’s something Peter created & @JoonasSuotamo has faithfully continued and expanded,” Kasdan wrote.
Mayhew portrayed the iconic character in the original Star Wars trilogy and returned to reprise the role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Due to Mayhew's limited mobility and recent health problems, Joonas Suotamo has taken on the role of Chewbacca in the subsequent films, but Mayhew continued to serve as a consultant for the role he created.
Many fans were quick to comment on Kasdan’s tweet, sharing in the celebration of Mayhew’s life.
“A thousand times yes,” @Illy1Silly agreed.
“Well said, Jon! He was also a proud #StarWars ambassador to the very end,” @TheYodaPagoda wrote.
“He was the moral center! He’s the reason I fell in love with Star Wars as a kid, Peter gave Chewie heart and emotion and vulnerability And then humbly passed all that along to Joonas,” @Jawadog1 added.
A memorial service for friends and family of Peter Mayhew is set to be held on June 29th, with a memorial for fans expected to occur in December at EmpireCon LA.
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