Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams and more pay tribute to Star Wars’ Peter Mayhew

Geesh, the timing of this one really couldn’t be worse for Star Wars fans. Peter Mayhew, who made such an impact to generations without saying a word in his iconic role of Chewbacca, died Tuesday at 74. For Star Wars fans, that definitely puts a somber note on the annual May the Force (May 4)  celebrations, which are always special in the year of a new movie coming to theaters.

Mayhew always seemed to appreciate being a part of one of the biggest franchises in movie history and was one of the few performers to take part in all three trilogies.  Here’s some tributes from his co-stars and peers.


Harrison Ford, whose Han Solo was most closely connected with Mayhew’s Chewbacca issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter citing Mayhew as ‘a man of great dignity and noble character whose command of Chewbacca was instrumental to the franchise’s success’

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. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all.

Star Wars creator George Lucas sent a statement to USA Today: 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.

Joonas Suotamo, who worked alongside Mayhew in playing Chewbacca in The Force Awakens before assuming the role full time had a very nice message.

Suotamo has always been extremely gracious in discussing Mayhew’s warmth and grace in transitioning the role to his successor.

Mayhew was a regular on the con circuit in this area. Here’s a shot I got from Baltimore Comic Con 2014 when he was meeting with fans.

Baltimore Comic Con 2014 - Peter Mayhew