After I was a younger geek rising up within the ’70s and ’80s, Chewbacca outlined my childhood. I cherished Chewie for being such a loyal sidekick and finest good friend to the snarky Han Solo. He was the oneÃ‚Â Star WarsÃ‚Â character who may preserve Han in examine.
However Chewbacca additionally felt like somebody I would hang around with in actual life. Or may have carried out if I lived on the Wookiee planet of KashyyykÃ‚Â moderately than in Kansas.Ã‚Â
I cherished Chewbacca a lot that hisÃ‚Â — which I discovered as a child by chance on a mud highway by my home — sits proudly on my workplace desk. Generally I even carry the toy round with me as an excellent luck appeal.Ã‚Â
So after I heard thatÃ‚Â Thursday on the age of 74, I felt like a beloved member of the family left my orbit.Ã‚Â
As a toddler, I all the time related Mayhew with Chewbacca. However as an grownup, I used to be fortunate to know him as a sort, beneficiant and humorous man in his personal proper. Ã‚Â
WhenÃ‚ÂÃ‚Â as a senior editor for the web site StarWars.com, I all the time felt honored when my path crossed together with his. Every time he visited Lucasfilm headquarters for a particular occasion, or if he was at one of many many comedian guide conventions I attended, Mayhew was all the time comfortable to say hi there and provides me considered one of his well-known Wookiee hugs.Ã‚Â
I do not know the way he did it, contemplating the 1000’s of individuals he is met through the years, however he all the time remembered my identify.Ã‚Â
Peter’s spectacular stature, at 7 ft, 2 inches (2.1 meters) tall, made him appear intimidating at first. However his light and sort demeanor made me really feel immediately comfortable.
Considered one of my fondest recollections was after I was doing my first guide signing for my Star Wars Craft E-book at San Diego Comedian Con. I used to be so nervous about assembly followers as an creator. Peter stopped by to say hi there and pose for a photograph . His go to to my signing gave me the much-needed confidence increase I wanted to speak with fellow followers who needed my signature.Ã‚Â
However that was Peter Mayhew in a nutshell. He would stroll round conventions and say hi there to Star Wars artists, comedian guide creators, cosplayers and different followers, making all of them really feel like rock stars. Mayhew delighted in seeing followers dressed up in Chewbacca cosplay. He cherished it when a younger fan greeted him with a Wookiee roar. And he by no means rushed via a dialog.Ã‚Â
Peter made you are feeling particular every time he chatted with you. At his personal autograph desk, he took his time to speak with followers who stood in lengthy strains simply to say hi there. Every time I used to be working on the Lucasfilm space throughout conventions I might make excuses to be close to him when he was in deep conversations with followers.Ã‚Â
It was enjoyable to see how comfortable he made followers by sharingÃ‚Â Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and within the authentic . Peter gave followers one thing additional particular with each interplay.Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â about performing alongside
Hamill summed it up finest when describing Mayhew’s loving persona.Ã‚Â
“He was the gentlest of giants,” Hamill tweeted on Thursday. The person who performed Luke Skywalker described Mayhew as “a giant man with an excellent greater coronary heart who by no means didn’t make me smile, and a loyal good friend who I cherished dearly.”
Peter can be missed by tens of millions of followers, his costars and anybody who was fortunate sufficient to speak with him — and get a Wookiee hug.