Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew Passes Away Aged 74

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In saddening news, the man behind the iconic role of Chewbacca has passed away, aged 74.

Pretty much everything in the Star Wars franchise was about as iconic as you could get in the world of cinema, but there are a few things that stood head and shoulders above the rest.

The lightsabers, obviously, the force, Darth Vader, and with out a doubt, Chewbacca.

If you ever told anyone that a walking bear-man with a crossbow would become such an important character in cinema history, they’d have laughed you out of the room, but thanks to Peter Mayhew, that’s exactly what happened.

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Among other roles, the towering actor brought Chewie to life in all of his appearances in the Star Wars series up until he had to quit after Force Awakens, due to mobility issues. Former basketball player Joonas Suotamo then stepped in, with Mayhew staying on as a consultant.

Mr Mayhew’s family broke the sad news on his personal Twitter account, saying that he passed away on the 30th of April.

He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in ever frame of the films from his knock kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth.” The statement from his family reads in part. “But to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film. The relationships that began then grew into the friends and family that he would love for decades to come.

Many people have shared their condolences on Twitter…

Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Peter Mayhew. A great man who was genuinely proud of his work. Rest in peace.

Images via Getty, LucasFilm

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