Chewbacca Actor Joonas Suotamo Pays Tribute To Peter Mayhew

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In the wake of Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew’s death, many have turned to his replacement Joonas Suotamo for perspective on this sad loss. In an interview recorded before Mayhew’s death, Suotamo made it clear that he has giant (furry) shoes to fill. “He’s the guy who started this all and his legacy is what I’m continuing here,” he said. “I’ll never forget meeting him and how he wished me good luck on the lifelong journey that this is… I’m very excited to continue his legacy.”

As Suotamo sees it, Mayhew didn’t just create a character, he created a species. “When I watched Chewbacca growing up, Chewbacca was always… a distant creature, you know, a race that’s very, appearance-wise, unlike humans,” he explained. “It’s like watching an animal move in a very unique way and all the species of that animal move the same way and then you characterize that species as having that certain unique trait and Peter brought that into the character and that’s what I’m bouncing off of on my journey, continuing playing this character.”

Although these words serve as a fitting tribute to Mayhew, Suotamo offered a more specific reaction to the sad news on Twitter:

You can see Suotamo build on Mayhew’s legacy on December 20 when The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theatres. Check out the teaser below.