Peter Mayhew is gone. It’s still tough to come to grips with that fact. But those who knew him have been sharing some wonderful, heartfelt sentiments about the man best known for playing Chewbacca in the Star Wars saga.
As soon as the sad news broke, the world began to mourn his loss. Among those expressing their feelings were Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy; Star Wars creator George Lucas; co-stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams; the new Chewbacca, Joonas Suotamo; directors J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson; and many others.
Below, read their touching remembrances to a true Hollywood icon.
"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."-Kathleen Kennedy.
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 3, 2019
'Star Wars' creator George Lucas on the death of Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew: "He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature" https://t.co/ANrDJCY3J9 pic.twitter.com/Up0xPHZnEj
— ABC News (@ABC) May 3, 2019
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. Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken @TheWookieeRoars pic.twitter.com/8xbq9HEWF2
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 2, 2019
Harrison Ford statement on the passing of Peter Mayhew. pic.twitter.com/heDmZR61VZ
— Clayton Sandell (@Clayton_Sandell) May 3, 2019
R.I.P ???? pic.twitter.com/FWRgaOS0Tf
— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) May 2, 2019
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) May 3, 2019
— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) May 3, 2019
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 2, 2019
RIP Peter Mayhew. To create a beloved character with warmth and humor is a testament to any actor’s spirit. To do it under a half ton of yak hair takes a true legend. ❤️❤️
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 3, 2019
— Greg Grunberg (@greggrunberg) May 2, 2019
— Pegg News (@simonpegg) May 2, 2019
Sad to hear of Peter Mayhew's passing. So long, Chewie, may the force be with you.
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) May 2, 2019
You will always represent the best friend I have been drawn to all my life. Thank you Peter Mayhew for breathing life and sensitivity into #chewbacca #rip #becurious @starwars https://t.co/GpzMUWReBp pic.twitter.com/muKRkasvf0
— Dominic Monaghan. (@DomsWildThings) May 3, 2019
Peter Mayhew created one of the greatest film characters of all time. Chewbacca was funny, courageous, and caring. He did it all without the benefit of speech, just that vocal growly cry that 1 in 100 fans can do real well when they're drunk. He was always really nice to me.#RIP
— alan tudyk (@AlanTudyk) May 3, 2019
Just heard about Peter Mayhew. Wonderful man. One of my favorite memories was him generously explaining to our Clone Wars animation team what’s at the heart of Chewie, to inspire the artists so that Peter’s spirit still inhabited his animated form. He will be missed.
— Pablo Hidalgo saw JAWS (@pablohidalgo) May 2, 2019
#Mayhew did an extraordinary thing, conveyed empathy, humor and an incomparable soulfulness, all from inside that furry suit. My dad often said, “Chewie is the moral center of Star Wars.” It’s something Peter created & @JoonasSuotamo has faithfully continued and expanded.
— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) May 2, 2019
Mayhew was such a huge presence in the world of science fiction, even actors from the world of Star Trek responded to his loss.
????I am so sorry to hear about Peter. We had so many fun and memorable tweets back and forth over the years plus seeing each other at a convention here and there. My deepest condolences to his family. He will be sorely missed! ???? https://t.co/R3lAEvkQJc
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) May 2, 2019
A sad day for millions of fans. https://t.co/qRfFWOd4ck
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 2, 2019
And millions more took to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to pay tribute to our favourite Wookiee. Rest in peace, Mr Mayhew. We wish you all the Wookiee hugs you could ever have.