May The 4th Be With You is a bittersweet affair this year

Peter Mayhew sporting Chewbacca ring
Peter Mayhew by randychiu on Flickr

Every year “Star Wars” fans celebrate May the 4th for pretty obvious reasons. The hashtag does its inevitable rounds on Twitter and other social media sites.

2019 is no different, but this year, however, the special day is a little bittersweet.  The news was released Thursday this week that Peter Mayhew, 74, he who hid in the furry suit and made incomprehensible sounds in the role of Chewbacca, has passed away from this world. While Peter Mayhew died on April 30 in his North Texas home, his family released the news to his many fans on May 2. Regrettably, the cause of his passing was not revealed.

Mayhew starred as the large and furry Chewie in the first three “Star Wars” films, starting in 1977.  He later also starred in the 1980 film “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in 1983.  Peter was seen again in the 2005 film “Revenge of the Sith” and also with an older Harrison Ford in “The Force Awakens.”

Peter Mayhew - Chewbacca on "Star Wars"
Peter Mayhew by Florida Supercon/Wikimedia Commons

Tributes to Peter Mayhew

Many touching tributes have already appeared on Twitter, some of which are shared below. With Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) having already left us, it is nice to think the two actors might meet up again somewhere in a galaxy far, far away.

At 7 ft 2 in, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) towered over Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), as can be seen from this great image.

Mark Hamill, known to fans as Luke Skywalker, also paid tribute to his friend, the “gentlest of giants,” with “an even bigger heart.”

Harrison Ford had once jokingly called Peter a “walking carpet” on entering his trailer. Ford also paid tribute to his great friend.

#MayThe4thBeWithYou humor still abounds

While the passing of Peter is mourned, in keeping with his wonderful sense of humor, other Twitter users made appropriate posts.

Even Batman fans added their own humorous touch.

It seems there is a cat who loves playing Yoda, he does.

Many fans will no doubt spend time bingeing some of the epic “Star Wars” films this weekend to remember gentle giant Peter Mayhew in his passing. RIP to a great man and May the Force Be With You all, every day of the year.