Though there has been no comment from Disney or Lucasfilm, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that actor Peter Mayhew will (for the fifth time) reprise his role as the Wookiee Chewbacca, first mate of the Millenium Falcon and hero of the Clone Wars in Star Wars: Episode VII.
Just yesterday we reported that Episode VII has begun filming, and casting is nearly complete, and in March it was revealed that the new film will take place 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi.
Chewbacca was already an adult when he appeared in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith–so this would make him almost as old as Peter Mayhew looks 😉
I kid! I kid! Anybody who would be up for such a physical role at his age (he’ll be 70 this May) deserves nothing but respect and admiration, seriously.
Rumors began to surface that Mayhew would be suiting up once again recently when the actor cancelled an appearance at Texas convention Comicpalooza “due to filming”. As the Con takes place from May 23-26–during the period Ep. 7 is scheduled to be filming, many fans speculated that Mayhew would be returning as Chewie.
Assuming this info is kosher, I wonder if it means they’ve decided to completely ignore the events of the non-canon “Expanded Universe” novels? If I remember the EU timeline correctly, Chewbacca should be dead by now…
(Is it still a spoiler if it’s a non-canon event that didn’t technically happen?)
I leave you with a question: Given the nature of the Chewbacca costume, and his dubbed “voice”, do you folks think anyone would have been able to tell the difference if some other freakishly tall dude was sweating his balls off underneath all that hair?
It’s cool that Mayhew is coming back, but does it really matter all that much to the overall quality of the new film?