Peter Mayhew, who reprises his role as the iconic Wookiee Chewbacca in Star Wars: The Force Awakens this year, is not a massive movie star. He is not instantly recognizable to anyone who’s not a devoted Star Wars fan. He doesn’t have the profile of Harrison Ford or Carrie Fisher or Mark Hamill. He got the role because he was tall, and it could have just been a novel experience that marked a certain period of his life.
In the decades since he became Chewie, though, Mayhew has remained acutely aware of the impact he’s had on the lives of so many fans. He’s a regular on the convention circuit, he visits children’s hospitals, and he was one of the Star Wars actors who worked to make a dying fan’s dream of seeing The Force Awakens early come true. Put simply, Peter Mayhew is one of the Good Guys.
A few weeks ago, a seven-year-old Star Wars fan named Sam passed away after an accident. Sam’s friend Liam was devasted. The two had planned to see The Force Awakens together next month, and with his friend gone Liam’s joy over the movie had dimmed. Through family friends, the story got back to Mayhew, who decided to write Liam this letter:
“Liam’s grandmother is a friend of my wife’s sister,” Mayhew said. “My wife’s sister reached out to me with his story. I hope my words were of some comfort to him.”
Peter Mayhew: Still one of the Good Guys.