‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’: Will Peter Mayhew Play Chewbacca in the Upcoming Movie?

Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca, recently passed away. Some Star Wars fans might wonder if he will be in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? This is everything you need to know.

Peter Mayhew who originally played Chewbacca has passed away

Actor Peter Mayhew attends the premiere of Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
Actor Peter Mayhew attends the premiere of Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Mayhew passed away on April 30 surrounded by his family at his
North Texas home. He is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children, according to CNN.

The actor’s family released a statement and mentioned his dedication to the role of Chewbacca. “He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films from his knock-kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth,” the family said. “But, to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film.”

The actor played Chewbacca in the original movie trilogy and in Episode III of the prequel series. He returned to the role yet again for The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker teaser shows Chewbacca

The teaser trailer for the upcoming movie has already dropped. One thing we know is that Chewbacca is in it.

The wookiee is seen co-piloting the Millennium Falcon with Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams.) That’s an exciting reunion considering Chewbacca recently lost his friend who would fly the ship with him.

There is another shot of Chewbacca with C-3PO, BB-8, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe (Oscar Isaac), and Fin (John Boyega) on a grassy planet. There isn’t a lot known about the plot of the movie, however, the teaser made waves because it ends with Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) laughing.

Joonas Suotamo will be playing Chewbacca

The good news is that Chewbacca will be seen in the new movie. However, Mayhew won’t be playing the role.

Suotamo will be returning as Chewbacca. He previously was Mayhew’s double for The Force Awakens. He then played the wookiee in The Last Jedi and Mayhew acted as a consultant to help him. The young actor went on to play the role in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Suotama was one of many actors who shared a tribute to Mayhew after the news of his passing.

Suotama is 7 feet tall which makes him just a little shorter than Mayhew. Mayhew gave his successor advice on how to play the role.

He told me to have my chest real high, how to turn my head at these angles — stuff I’d already researched by watching his performance,” Suotama told The Verge. “But it was just good to meet him and refine my knowledge about him and why he did things a certain way.”

Still, their performances might come across differently for a reason. “It was very good for my performance to know there was this original way, and think about how much of it I should incorporate into my performance,” he continued. “Because we’re different people physically. We’re very differently built, so I needed to adjust my performance to my physicality and work from there.”

Star Wars fans will get to see Suotamo put Mayhew’s advice to work again in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The movie will be released on Christmas day.

Read more: 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Carrie Fisher

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