As another May the Fourth comes around Star Wars fans might be feeling some nostalgia after the recent death of Chewbacca actor, Peter Mayhew.
Mayhew died at his home in Texas on April 30 at the age of 74, according to a family statement.
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
The 7-foot-3 character was a sidekick to Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and was co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon.
Mayhew played Chewbacca, or “Chewie,” in every Star Wars film from 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope to 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Here are some fun facts about the loveable character and wookiees from the Star Wars website:
1) Chewbacca’s well-known voice was made up of various pieces from a collection of animal sound recordings like bears, badgers and lions.
2) Mayhew was told not to wander the area in costume. There was concern he would be mistaken as Bigfoot by hunters and get injured.
3) Mayhew studied a monkey family to see how they interacted with each other to help with his portrayal of Chewbacca.
4) In the Season Three finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Chewbacca joined the animated cast. Supervising director Dave Filoni and his team brought in Mayhew to help portray the character in animation.
5) The concept of Chewbacca as Han Solo’s co-pilot came about after people mistook George Lucas’s Alaskan Malamute as a human riding in the front passenger seat of his car. However, the character was influenced by multiple animals like monkeys, lemurs and cats as well.
6) Wookiees have three different languages, all made up of the familiar howls and growls. Chewbacca speaks a dialect called Shyriiwook.
7) Wookiees can be Jedi, like the wookiee padawan Gungi from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
8) Chewbacca’s fur in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is yak belly fur attached to a knitted wool suit.
9) Chewbacca’s head tilt came from Mayhew constantly needing to duck to fit through doorways.
10) Wookiees make a lot of their tools and vehicles from the wood on their home planet, Kashyyyk.