May 19th marks an important day for Star Wars fans, not only because Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith were released on those dates in 1999 and 2005 respectively, but because it marks actor Peter Mayhew's birthday. While the actor's face might have been hidden underneath a Chewbacca costume, the actor's impressive stature made the Wookiee feel all that more real, as well as Mayhew helping define the creature's entire physicality, which Jonas Suotamo would go on to attempt to replicate in Solo: A Star Wars Story and in the sequel trilogy of films.
Sadly, Mayhew passed away on April 30, 2019, with the Star Wars fandom still missing not only his contributions to the saga on screen, but also the many encounters he shared with fans during his convention appearances.
Scroll down to see fans paying their respects to Mayhew on what would have been his 76th birthday.
Remembering Peter Mayhew – who played the galaxy’s favourite Wookiee – today, on what would have been his 76th birthday. pic.twitter.com/aod6TOQrkJ— Star Wars UK (@StarWarsUK) May 19, 2020
Happy Birthday To the legend that is Peter Mayhew you might not know his name but you all know him pic.twitter.com/1JSALYTr2D— chris (@chriscr10571) May 19, 2020
Big Man, Bigger Heart
HappyBirthday #PeterMayhew @TheWookieeRoars(RIP♥️🌹)May you celebrate your #BD amongst the stars!✨@HamillHimself has said it so beautifully,''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.” pic.twitter.com/n6dNuTyhXb— 💙LOVE💙MARK💙HAMILL (@GabrielleOrlita) May 19, 2020
Greatest of Wookiees
Happy Birthday in Heaven to the greatest Wookie of them all, Peter Mayhew! pic.twitter.com/n6s0vBmeiR— Jerry Dennis (@JerryD70) May 19, 2020
Happy Birthday, Peter Mayhew ❤️ Miss you pic.twitter.com/RVB7zxGXad— K.S ✨ (@legendarylourd) May 19, 2020
happy birthday Peter Mayhew, forever the fuzzball. <3 pic.twitter.com/nClTs0ga3u— 🦋emmalyn🦋 (@_e_m_m_a_l_y_n_) May 20, 2020
Always With Usprevnext
Born on this day, the gentle giant who will forever be in our hearts ❤️, Peter Mayhew 🎂 pic.twitter.com/e0eukOAeav— Starwarsgirl75 (@Starwarsgirl75) May 19, 2020
"No one's ever really gone..."
Happy birthday to the late, great Peter Mayhew. You are deeply missed💔 pic.twitter.com/iPKgNB4EL5— Noah (@SkyTrash77) May 19, 2020