Peter Mayhew is thrilled to be playing Chewbacca again.
The Star Wars: Episode VII news is really rolling in. Oh wait, no it isn’t. Filming has already begun, and the studio has only confirmed one cast member. We’ve heard plenty of rumors about villains and returning heroes, but we don’t know anything for sure. Now we have word that Peter Mayhew will be returning to play Chewbacca. Mayhew played the wookiee in the original trilogy as well as Revenge of the Sith. He also appeared as Chewie in the Star Wars Holiday Special and an episode of The Muppet Show.
Mayhew is very active on the convention circuit. Word spread that he would play Chewbacca after he canceled an upcoming appearance “due to filming”. Texas’ Comicpalooza runs May 23-26, which is when Episode VII will shoot in London. Fans quickly put the pieces together, and the rumors began to swirl.
The news contradicts earlier reports that a new actor would be cast as Chewbacca. The 7’3″ Mayhew had double knee replacement surgery last year, which would make it difficult for the 69 year-old actor to perform. It’s possible that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took that into consideration during their rewrite, and wrote in an injury or amputation for the wookiee. Perhaps they plan to use CGI to put Mayhew’s masked head on another actor’s costumed body. Or maybe Han and Chewie had a contest to see who could sit longer. Obviously, Solo knew enough to let the wookiee win. There’s only one thing that we know for sure; I will always find a reason to post photos of Karen Gillan.