Skip to main content

Actor Taking Over Chewbacca Role for Peter Mayhew Shares Touching Letter About His Predecessor


Actor Joonas Suotamo, who will be officially taking over Chewbacca duties for the Han Solo Star Wars Story, penned a lovely, heartfelt letter to Peter Mayhew and Star Wars fans. He acknowledged that he’s got some big shoes to fill (how many times has that joke been made today), and that he aspires to “make Peter proud.”

One fact of nature nobody can argue with (… yet) is that people grow old. Despite pop culture and Hollywood’s often odd, misplaced priorities in fighting the aging process, sometimes folks just have to up and call it quits. The same goes for Mayhew, the original actor to don the Chewbacca costume in just about every Star Wars movie or Chewbacca television appearance since 1977.

But according to io9, Mayhew’s disabled, and has been since The Force Awakens started filming. Still, though, he wore the suit and acted in as many scenes as he could, with Suotamo filling in for some of the more physically demanding scenes. Going forward, one can expect that Suotamo will just be rocking the Chewbacca outfit for as long as he can stand it. And given how much genuinely heartfelt emotion he’s plugged into this letter, the role really is his to lose.

The still untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story is officially scheduled to come out May 25th, 2018.

(image via Lucasfilm)

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Follow The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google+.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.