Nowadays, we get to have a ton of A-list actors who really truly seem to love the super-hero and sci-fi parts they do. They know the audience falls in love with heroes and wants to imagine them- idealize them. and they show up at conventions and events in full costume and have fun. They dress up like their characters and go to hospitals to make sick kids happy. They sign things and role play parts with fans at special events, show up in costume on stage and excite people who just love what they do. They are proud to be the hero people love. And they love their audience.
That wasn’t always the case. There was a time when being in a sci-fi film was not something the actors wanted on their resume and they would often avoid their fans and downplay it. Even then, Peter Mayhew was different. He spent the time to put on his elaborate Wookie makeup and costume and visit hospitals, conventions, anywhere that would make people happy. Because of his height, they offered him the Darth Vader role if he wanted it, but he chose Chewie, because he wanted to be a hero, and so he was. To a lot of people. And the people who grew up Learning what heroism and friendship and loyalty was from a giant hairy Wookie loved him back.
I hope he felt that and knew how beloved he was. Life is too short. And if you can make that many people happy without saying a single understandable word, I think you get to say, at the end of your time, that you absolutely, without a doubt, crushed it.
From the YouTube channel of Nerdist:
A light went out in the galaxy this week as we learned that Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in all three Star Wars trilogies, has passed away. Jessica shows us how friends and family are remembering the world’s favorite Wookiee on today’s Nerdist News. More on this story: https://bit.ly/2WopnNZ
Photo credit: Screen shot from video