I woke up yesterday at around 4am and of course turned to my phone and twitter. As I do in moments of unrest and the inability to sleep and was deeply saddened by the news that popped straight up on my phone that Star Wars Legend, Peter Mayhew had sadly passed away.
It may seem odd to dedicate a blog post completely to an actor that I have never met before and someone I don’t know at all on a personal level either (though I had a ticket to meet him at comic con last year sadly the event was cancelled). But, Star Wars has been a huge feature in my entire life, it was something my Dad introduced to me when I was a toddler probably, just like he attempted to get me hooked onto Westerns – luckily Star Wars was what caught on for me. But I was completely absorbed into the universe which George Lucas created although perhaps I didn’t quite understand what was going on at a young age – not like I do now at least.
But the one thing which has always stayed in my mind was Chewbacca, this giant lovable creature which I could only ever describe as something between a bear and a long-haired shaggy dog. I was fascinated by ‘Chewie’ which meant he fast became one of my favourite characters of all time, not even just in the franchise but I mean one of my favourite characters ever. I even have a build a bear plush of Chewbacca because of it.
Chewbacca was more than Han Solo’s sidekick and companion. He was his co-pilot yes but Chewie was so much more than that – he was a warrior, despite Chewbacca’s prolific size he certainly encaptured the role of a gentle giant. By all accounts of Star Wars co-stars and people who knew Peter Mayhew, he and Chewie were incredibly alike and I think that is probably why Chewbacca is the loveable character that he is. This post was always going to be a Star Wars related post but I think it is a Chewbacca appreciation post it more suited to today’s date.
Thank you, Peter Mayhew, thank you for bringing the character of Chewbacca to life, for making him what he was and showing the world the loveable Wookie which has become an icon in itself. Thank you for everything you have done for the Star Wars universe and may the force be with you.