Peter Mayhew passed away today at the age of 74. Fans and co-stars have been gathering online to celebrate the man who brought Chewie to life. “He was the gentlest of giants,” tweeted Mark Hamill. “A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly.” Billy Dee Williams also expressed his sadness at losing a friend who was “much more than Chewie to me.” Mayhew was a convention fixture, even making it to Star Wars Celebration this year, weeks before his death. His passing coming so close to May the Fourth, a.k.a. Star Wars Day, makes the sting all the worse for Imperialist and Rebel Scum alike. A celebration of Mayhew’s life will take place at EmpireConLA in December.
Harrison Ford also gave a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, expressing grief and love for his co-pilot, which you can read here.