It’s hard not to think of Star Wars without thinking of Han, Chewie, and Luke and the many adventures they had together. With the passing of Peter Mayhew, some who knew him best reflected on their time with the actor.
Harrison Ford (Han Solo) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) paid tribute to the loss of their costar and friend, Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca). George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy also fondly remembered working with Peter Mayhew. And Joonas Suotamo, who took over the role of Chewbacca when Peter Mayhew retired, talked of his experience with the Star Wars legend.
From Harrison Ford:
“Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character. These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca. We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.”
From Mark Hamill:
“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-I’m grateful for the memories we shared & I’m a better man for just having known him.”
From George Lucas:
“Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature.and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend and I’m saddened by his passing.”
From Kathleen Kennedy:
“We are deeply saddened today by the news of Peter Mayhew’s passing. Since 1976, Peter’s iconic portrayal of the loyal, lovable Chewbacca has been absolutely integral to the character’s success, and to the Star Wars saga itself.”
From Joonas Suotamo (who took over the role of Chewbacca):
Studying the character he helped create was always a daunting task, but one that was made easier by his tutelage and kindness as we sought to bring Chewbacca to life for a new generation. He was an absolutely one-of-kind gentleman and a legend of unrivaled class and I will miss him.”
Photo Credit: Getty Images for Disney/Gerardo Mora