Around the globe today, Star Wars fans are celebrating May The 4th. And, we wish you a merry one.
Earlier this week Peter Mayhew passed away at his home in Texas. Mr. Mayhew brought the iconic Chewbacca to life in the film franchise. He originated the wookiee role in 1977 and appeared in the films through The Force Awakens.
The story goes that George Lucas was looking for a tall actor to portray Chewbacca and had settled on David Prowse. However, Prowse chose to play Darth Vader.
Lucas was auditioning for the role in London. Mayhew came out for the audition and was seated on a couch when Lucas entered. He stood up to be polite. Lucas looked up at the 7 ft 3 in Mayhew, and said, “I think we found him.”
Due to declining health, Mayhew handed off the role after nearly three decades to Joonas Suotamo, but stayed on as ‘Chewbacca Consultant’.
If you ran into Mayhew at a Comicon or other event, you would know he had a gentle heart. He stopped to talk to fans, especially the little ones and posed for photos.
His work as Chewbacca certainly leaves a legacy, but you what you may not know is that he founded the Peter Mayhew Foundation. Its motto is “Moving towards a better life…the Wookiee way.
The Peter Mayhew Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to the alleviation of disease, pain, suffering, and the financial toll brought on by life’s traumatic events.
The foundation has helped many different charities as they help make children’s lives a little better, often in a Star Wars way. In Peter’s honor, consider a donation to the foundation in his memory: http://petermayhewfoundation.org/make-a-donation.php
May The 4th Be With You!