The first and only major character to die in Star Wars just passed away in real life

Behind the scenes of Star Wars: A New Hope with the actor who played Chewbacca, Peter Mayhem and makeup artist, Stuart FreebornLucasfilm

  • Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca is major sci-fi film series, Star Wars, passed away at the age of 74 on April 30.
  • The cause of death is unknown.
  • Chewbacca is only first and only character to ever be killed off in the Star Wars universe in Star Wars:The New Jedi Order - Vector Prime.
  • Mayhew called Chewbacca’s role a “teddy bear” in a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone.
May the 4th is just around the corner and the news has just come in that Peter Mayhew, the actor who played the iconic role of Chewbacca in Star Wars, passed away at the age of 74.


While his family did not disclose the cause of death, they assured fans that he died surrounded by loved ones. A public memorial will be held in Los Angeles in December.

What most people don’t know is that Chewbacca is the first and only Star Wars character to be killed in the Star Wars universe. It stirred up quite a controversy when Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - Vector Prime was published, despite George Lucas’ approval. The book even made it to the New York Times Hardcover Bestseller List.

The actor’s whose face is unknown to most behind the furry Chewbacca suit was actually 7-feet 2-inches tall. But the same height that helped Mayhew land the role of Han Solo’s best friend, also led to medical issues later in life where he even spent two years in a wheelchair and had both his knees replaced in 2013.

Before he became Chewbacca, Mayhew also played the mythological Minotaur in Sindbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). Later, the same year, Star Wars: A New Hope hit the screens and Chewbacca made history.

Scene from <em>Star Wars: A New Hope, </em>the first Star Wars movie to star Peter Mayhem, the actor who played ChewbaccaLucas Films

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Mayhew described Chewbacca’s role as a “‘teddy bear”. His final Star Wars film was The Force Awakens in 2015.

Even though he couldn’t play the role of Chewbacca in The Last Jedi and Solo:A Star Wars Story, he stayed on as a consultant to cheer on Joonas Sauotamo, the actor who currently plays Chewbacca in the Star Wars series.

He was an active participant in a lot of the Star Wars fan events and conventions around the US and even his cane was shaped like a lightsaber. He actually got into some trouble for that at the Denver International Airport.

Mayhew wasn’t only an actor but a published author as well. Mayhew was a children’s book writer having published My Favorite Giant and a graphic novel, Growing Up Giant.

See also:
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We tried the electronic Chewbacca mask that became the most viral Facebook Live video ever - here's what it's like

J.J. Abrams reveals his biggest regret about 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
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