So even though he was cast in Star Wars , Mayhew didn't put in his two weeks notice: he just took a week leave of absence, then came back after filming wrapped. Yep, Mayhew went from the Millennium Falcon right back to the hospital.

After the film exploded across the world, U. Jedi fans started hounding Mayhew for autographs. Though he continued working at the hospital, the changes in his life allowed him to afford his own place again.

He made Star Wars into his full-time career, becoming a regular guest at sci-fi and comic book conventions. Meanwhile, after he moved to Texas, Mayhew used his spare time to make furniture, according to People.

Who wouldn't want a dining room table designed by Chewbacca himself? Peter Mayhew's staggering height is certainly one his most defining features, and his size has obviously had a huge impact on his life.

On one hand, being so tall has some great benefits: according to People , he says he was "never bullied in school," and his big feet were also the factor that landed him on George Lucas's doorstep.

But unfortunately, the condition that causes Mayhew's height has also been a lifelong struggle. It has been widely reported that Mayhew's enormous size was the result of Marfan syndrome , a connective tissue disorder.

As he writes in his autobiographical graphic novel Growing Up Giant , doctors treated him by hitting his pituitary gland with X-rays.

They didn't want him to grow to 8 feet, as his heart would have had a hard time keeping up. Wonderful bit of stuff from jamieswb!! These days, the mark of a true Star Wars fan is your ability to accurately reproduce the furry one's famous Wookiee growl, which in Star Wars canon is referred to as Shyriiwook.

We won't try to type out Chewie's distinctive sound — would such a feat even be possible? Most us have probably tried to replicate it in the shower with little success.

Surprisingly enough, it turns out that Chewbacca's famous sound was originally not the product of human vocal chords, but rather a clever composition by Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt, according to The Atlantic.

To create Chewie's voice, Burtt combined recordings of bears, seals, badgers, lions, and even a walrus. Burtt's goal was to create a sound that looked believable coming from Chewie's unarticulated lips.

His efforts paid off, but this raises a question. If Peter Mayhew wasn't making Chewie sounds on set, what kinds of sounds was he making? Well, crazily enough, he actually just talked to the other actors in his regular voice.

While on the set, the English actor verbally said whatever Chewie was thinking, allowing other actors to react appropriately. His vocals were then replaced by Chewbacca sounds during post-production.

Mayhew posted the above behind-the-scenes clip on his Twitter, showing a classic scene with the audio of Mayhew's regular voice in it. Even back in , when Return of the Jedi was being filmed, Mayhew had health difficulties that required him to take a break from filming, according to the Guardian.

This didn't last long, though, because when Mayhew's stand-in couldn't properly capture the role of Chewbacca, Mayhew had to come back in and re-film all of the understudy's scenes.

Though his health challenges were not widely reported at the time, he found himself unable to walk and began using a wheelchair to get around.

In , his family announced to the world via Twitter that he had just undergone double-knee replacement surgery, with the hope that the procedure would give him the ability to walk again.

Well, mission successful! According to the Telegraph , Mayhew was back in action by When the big announcement came that J. Abrams was going helming Star Wars: Episode VII , it wasn't too long before it was also announced that Mayhew would be coming back to once again don the furry costume he made famous.

Anyone who's ever been to New Orleans knows the city is a hotbed for art, creativity, and unique subcultures.

It's also home to a Mardi Gras parade organization called the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, named after a certain popular character.

On their website , this parade krewe states their grand mission in life is to "save the galaxy by bringing the magical revelry of Mardi Gras to the poor, disenfranchised, socially awkward, and generally weird masses.

These folks are some of the biggest Star Wars fans out there, for sure. But then in , the krewe rocketed their game to the next level.

That year, according to the Times-Picayune , Peter Mayhew and his wife, Angie, came to New Orleans and rode alongside the Krewe of Chewbacchus in the parade, sitting atop a Millennium Falcon-shaped float.

During this event, the Intergalactic sci-fi squad bestowed upon Mayhew the honor of being their " Emperor for Life. Chewbacca might not be an amazing emperor, but we'd take him over that Palpatine guy any day of the week.

Though the double-knee surgery was definitely a success, Peter Mayhew has had to overcome a few other tough health challenges since then.

Luckily, he has a hugely supportive family and millions of fans around the world rooting him on. Despite never saying a word of English, the Chewbacca character connected with many viewers, and a lot of that is because Peter Mayhew embodies the same qualities of courage, loyalty, and warmth that made the furry guy so popular in the first place.

In , Mayhew unexpectedly came down with a severe case of pneumonia that led to him being hospitalized, as reported by ABC News. This newest bout with sickness came to the attention of fans when, due to his pneumonia, Mayhew was forced to cancel an anticipated appearance at a comic book shop.

As soon as the news broke, people all over the internet reached out to the family to show their concern. As you've probably gathered by now, the real Chewbacca takes care of his fans.

Between riding with the Chewbacchus parade, going to frequent conventions, and giving fun little behind-the-scenes glimpses to his social media followers, Peter Mayhew is a pretty amazing guy who truly reaches out and connects with the many millions of people who grew up watching him play a classic film character.

As a youth, he performed roles as a stage actor. With childhood interests in music, arts, and movies he studied film and video at PSU.

He got out of the army with a rank of second lieutenant res. Suotamo played seven seasons in Finland's basketball leagues, including four seasons in the top tier Korisliiga. Suotamo played three games for the Finnish national basketball team and sixty-six games for the junior national teams.

Suotamo is mostly known for his role as Chewbacca in the Star Wars franchise, a role which he started out being a body double for the original Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew in Star Wars: The Force Awakens , as Mayhew's age and worsening health was making it more difficult for him to fill the role Mayhew would later pass away on April 30, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Joonas Suotamo. Suotamo at Cannes Film Festival along with his character. Espoo , Uusimaa , Finland. Penn State Nittany Lions. Retrieved Retrieved 17 December Business Insider.

who plays chewbacca in solo

If Peter Mayhew wasn't making Chewie sounds on set, what kinds of sounds was he making? Well, crazily enough, he actually just talked to the other actors in his regular voice. While on the set, the English actor verbally said whatever Chewie was thinking, allowing other actors to react appropriately.

His vocals were then replaced by Chewbacca sounds during post-production. Mayhew posted the above behind-the-scenes clip on his Twitter, showing a classic scene with the audio of Mayhew's regular voice in it.

Even back in , when Return of the Jedi was being filmed, Mayhew had health difficulties that required him to take a break from filming, according to the Guardian.

This didn't last long, though, because when Mayhew's stand-in couldn't properly capture the role of Chewbacca, Mayhew had to come back in and re-film all of the understudy's scenes. Though his health challenges were not widely reported at the time, he found himself unable to walk and began using a wheelchair to get around.

In , his family announced to the world via Twitter that he had just undergone double-knee replacement surgery, with the hope that the procedure would give him the ability to walk again.

Well, mission successful! According to the Telegraph , Mayhew was back in action by When the big announcement came that J. Abrams was going helming Star Wars: Episode VII , it wasn't too long before it was also announced that Mayhew would be coming back to once again don the furry costume he made famous.

Anyone who's ever been to New Orleans knows the city is a hotbed for art, creativity, and unique subcultures. It's also home to a Mardi Gras parade organization called the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, named after a certain popular character.

On their website , this parade krewe states their grand mission in life is to "save the galaxy by bringing the magical revelry of Mardi Gras to the poor, disenfranchised, socially awkward, and generally weird masses.

These folks are some of the biggest Star Wars fans out there, for sure. But then in , the krewe rocketed their game to the next level.

That year, according to the Times-Picayune , Peter Mayhew and his wife, Angie, came to New Orleans and rode alongside the Krewe of Chewbacchus in the parade, sitting atop a Millennium Falcon-shaped float.

During this event, the Intergalactic sci-fi squad bestowed upon Mayhew the honor of being their " Emperor for Life. Chewbacca might not be an amazing emperor, but we'd take him over that Palpatine guy any day of the week.

Though the double-knee surgery was definitely a success, Peter Mayhew has had to overcome a few other tough health challenges since then. Luckily, he has a hugely supportive family and millions of fans around the world rooting him on.

Despite never saying a word of English, the Chewbacca character connected with many viewers, and a lot of that is because Peter Mayhew embodies the same qualities of courage, loyalty, and warmth that made the furry guy so popular in the first place.

In , Mayhew unexpectedly came down with a severe case of pneumonia that led to him being hospitalized, as reported by ABC News. This newest bout with sickness came to the attention of fans when, due to his pneumonia, Mayhew was forced to cancel an anticipated appearance at a comic book shop.

As soon as the news broke, people all over the internet reached out to the family to show their concern. As you've probably gathered by now, the real Chewbacca takes care of his fans.

Between riding with the Chewbacchus parade, going to frequent conventions, and giving fun little behind-the-scenes glimpses to his social media followers, Peter Mayhew is a pretty amazing guy who truly reaches out and connects with the many millions of people who grew up watching him play a classic film character.

However, one instance that really stands out among the rest is the time when Mayhew took time out of his busy schedule to write to a young fan who'd lost a loved one.

In , as the entire world waited with bated breath to see what The Force Awakens was going to be like, a couple of 7-year-old fans named Sam and Liam promised to see the new Star Wars film together, as soon as it came out in theaters.

Sadly, young Sam died in a tragic accident before the movie came out, as posted by Sam's older sister on Reddit , leaving Liam deeply saddened. According to Time , as soon as Peter Mayhew heard about Liam's grief, he made a point to write the young fan a personal letter, to give some comfort to the boy in his time of loss.

Okay, so Peter Mayhew is Chewbacca, there's no question about that. But as Mayhew approaches his mid-seventies, and as the Star Wars saga lives on, the time has come for him to hand the role down to a new actor, and that process has officially now begun.

According to Entertainment Weekly , the new Chewbacca is a young Finnish basketball played named Joonas Suotamo, who stands at 6'10". Suotamo started learning the ropes during the filming of The Force Awakens : though Mayhew still was the primary actor playing Chewie, the younger Suotamo filled the costume during any of the heavy action sequences.

During an accident on the set, Suotamo at one point helped lift the door of the Millennium Falcon off Harrison Ford's real-life broken leg, so basically, he got his Star Wars career starting by helping out his buddy.

Hey, that sounds like Chewie to us. To his credit, when Suotamo first donned the mantle, he made a point to honor the past, by writing a loving tribute — and offering a "Wookiee fist bump" — to the man who made Chewbacca into the beloved character he is today.

All rights reserved. The untold truth about the man who played Chewbacca. Getty Images. His acting career began due to his big feet Getty Images. He was originally supposed to be Darth Vader Getty Images.

He didn't quit his day job Getty Images. Why is he so tall? On the set, Mayhew spoke in his regular voice Wonderful bit of stuff from jamieswb!! He was in a wheelchair for two years.

He was crowned 'emperor'. He was hospitalized for pneumonia in Getty Images. Business Insider. Archived from the original on Namespaces Article Talk.

Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Pennsylvania State University B. Playing Chewbacca in Star Wars.

Penn State — Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Solo: A Star Wars Story. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joonas Suotamo.

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He's a character with a mind of his own, with desires and dreams, and we had to show those, and we had to do it in a way that gives the character his deserved depth, because he's a very total character. I love the vastness of the universe of Star Wars , that anything could happen, everything will happen, that kind of feeling. So I do the character as I feel the character should be done, and so far have gotten very good feedback from it. It's also crucial to understanding Suotamo's conceptualization of the character. You May Also Like. It's one thing to love Star Wars; it's another thing for Kathleen Kennedy taps you, a lover of Star Wars , to play one of the most beloved characters in the series. Granted, that familiarity is rooted foremost in the efforts of Peter Mayhew, who originated the character in Star Wars , played him in The Empire Strikes Back , Return of the Jedi , and Revenge of the Sith , split Chewie duties with Suotamo for 's The Force Awakens , and then served as the Chewbacca consultant his actual credit for The Last Jedi , marking Suotamo's first full-time foray in the costume.

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It's kn. Like Us. But if who plays chewbacca in solo make a friend of good to play mmorpg, you make a friend for life. It's just a very good example of how these characters are supposed to be played. It's not even something I joke about," Suotamo says, though equally as important for him is the responsibility he felt making Chewie his own. Now You Know.

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Previous Learn to play rugby nyc Start Visit web page. Naturally, Mayhew provided Suotamo with the initial template for bringing Chewbacca to life. Star Wars isn't a blank page you can write any old story on. He's not just an actor in a Star Wars flick. View On One Page.

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