“The ‘Star Wars’ family meant so much more to him than a role in a film,” reads a statement.
"Star Wars" actor Peter Mayhew, best known for playing Wookiee Chewbacca in the original trilogy, passed away this week at the age of 74.
His family confirmed the news on social media, saying he died at his North Texas home on Tuesday, surrounded by family.
"He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every 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," read the official announcement. "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. As the films released and became more well-known he had his eyes opened to the possibilities of what he could achieve with his role in the Star Wars universe," the statement continued. "For more than 30 years Peter traveled all over the world spending time with his fans and friends. Peter developed lifelong friendships with the other cast members and his fans while on the convention circuit touching the lives of millions. As he realized over the years the impact he could have, he became heavily involved with the 501st legion, Wounded Warriors, Make-a-Wish, and other non-profit organizations."
The 7’2" actor appeared in the original trilogy, Episode III "Revenge of the Sith" and some of "The Force Awakens." He was also a consultant on "The Last Jedi," which saw his body double Joonas Suotamo fully take over the role.
He’s survived by his wife Angie and their three children. According to his family, a memorial service for friends and family will be held on June 29th. A memorial for fans will be held in December 2019.
Daniel Logan, who played the young Boba Fett in 2002’s "Attack Of The Clones", tweeted "We have lost a beloved member of the Star Wars family. My heart is breaking. I am so grateful I knew Peter & could call him a friend. He was a mentor, a friend & a family member."
He added: "Peter is now one with the Force. Lovely man who loved all his fans. RIP my friend. We all love you! He was a lovely person. He will be missed."
Jon Cryer simply wrote: "Oh man. This breaks my heart. #RIPPeterMayhew
Savage Garden frontman and mega Star Wars fan Darren Hayes wrote: "Oh, sweet Peter Mayhew. You were so kind and loving to all your fans. May The Force Be With You and your family. Always."
See some of the reactions to the sad news below.
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