‘Star Wars: Episode 7′: Peter Mayhew is Reprising as Chewbacca

Published 1 year ago by

star wars episode 7 chewbacca Star Wars: Episode 7: Peter Mayhew is Reprising as Chewbacca

Star Wars: Episode VII is happening at last and will hit theaters a decade after the last installment in the cosmic adventure property created by George Lucas. It’s not been officially confirmed yet, but the main cast members from the original Star Wars movie trilogy (a.k.a. Episodes IV-VII) – Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford – are all expected to play significant roles in the film, blazing the trail for a new generation of heroes to take the lead in Episode VIII and beyond.

Fisher has spilled the beans on her return for Episode VII multiple times in spite of director J.J. Abrams’ “mystery box” pre-production approach, while Hamill very much looks like he’s been getting in shape to play the older version of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Elsewhere, Anthony Daniels has been playfully teasing his return as golden-plated protocol droid C-3PO, opposite his trusty astromech droid companion R2-D2.

THR is reporting that Peter Mayhew is also returning as the 7’5” (or so) tall Chewbacca, the seasoned wookiee warrior and companion to former smuggler-turned rebel hero Han Solo (Ford) from the original Star Wars trilogy. There should be more official confirmation on that front, as production on Episode VII has already partially begun.

There was previously some back and forth, on the matter of whether Mayhew would be physically able to reprise his iconic role in the next Star Wars installment. Shortly after rumors emerged asserting that he might be replaced in the Chewbacca role (which he reprised in Episode III), Mayhew passed on a message to fans, claiming “I intend to pursue the role of Chewbacca for Episode VII,” having undergone double-knee replacement surgery in order to regain his ability to walk. Then, about a week ago, news emerged that Mayhew won’t be attending the 2014 Comicpalooza Con, which takes place at the time as Episode VII will be shooting – and thus, breathed new life into rumors about his involvement with the film.

chewbacca star wars episode 7 Star Wars: Episode 7: Peter Mayhew is Reprising as Chewbacca

We’re glad to hear that Mayhew is fit enough to reprise as Chewbacca in Episode VII; depending on how the film plays out, it could be one of the last times (if not the last time) that we see the older iteration of the character in the cinematic Star Wars universe.






There are rumors that the Episode VII storyline – based on a script written by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) that was drawn from an earlier draft by Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) – might take a number of cues from the Star Wars “Expanded Universe” literature. As EU fans are aware, Chewie’s last chronological appearance was in R.A. Salvatore’s Vector Prime novel; that’s the first installment in the New Jedi Order series (which takes place 21-26 years after Return of the Jedi), and sees the character sacrifice his life in order to save Han and Leia’s son Anakin.

It looks safe to assume there will be pivotal differences between the EU canon and how things play out in Episode VII, seeing how the latter is confirmed to take place over 30 years after Return of the Jedi and Chewie is apparently still alive. Nonetheless, there’s a chance that everyone’s favorite wookiee might meet his demise onscreen sometime during events in Episode VII-IX. The same could be true for other older citizens of the Star Wars universe, but we’ll save that uncomfortable discussion for another day…






Chewbacca Mayhew Star Wars: Episode 7: Peter Mayhew is Reprising as Chewbacca

No matter what happens to Chewbacca in Episode VII (or subsequent Episode installments), it might not be the last time we see Han’s “giant, walking carpet” in action. Disney and Lucasfilm have confirmed that spinoff films that will be released in the years between Episodes (so that there’s a new Star Wars film opening in theaters each year) are in development, with a Han Solo origin movie heavily rumored to be one of the first coming down the pipeline.

So, again, there’s a fair chance that Mayhew as Chewie will have one more Star Wars film in his future besides Episode VII – since, really, what would a Han Solo origin adventure be if it didn’t bother to show how the scruffy-looking scoundrel met up with his big, furry partner? (Whether or not it differs from the explanation in Ann C. Crispin’s Han Solo origin book trilogy, that remains to be seen.)


Star Wars: Episode VII opens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015.

Source: THR

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. *gargles in appreciation at the news*

    Thing is, since he can barely walk properly these days, is Chewie gonna have a sitting role?

    • i think they will make him a pimp in the future so that he’ll walk with a limp. LOL

  2. Come on, Screenrant! It’s spelled “Wookiee”

    Hah – I’m not too annoyed, though ;). It’s nice to have REAL news about the next installment.

    • Bah, my bad, should’ve remembered that.

      Thanks for the catch, it’s been fixed.

  3. Thanks be to the Maker. About time he got confirmed.

    • “The NJO is a chronological storyline covering a four-year span of galactic history, beginning twenty-one years after the events of Return of the Jedi…”

      That’s pretty much the same thing that I wrote in the article (except you could argue NJO takes place over 4-5 years). :-)

      • Not sure where you got 21 years after but it is wrong. All the books have that as the date. The books and Wookiepedia are not wrong. My favorite books series and I have known date for years.

        • Oops zoned out badly there. Just realized you were putting the number 21 after Return of the Jedi and not A New Hope. My apologies Sandy. My favorite series and Star Wars time period. I should know better.

          • No worries. I just thought I was going crazy for a moment there. ;-)

            • You are going crazy, just not about this :)

  4. But will Chewbacca be wearing pants this time around?

    Seriously, why don’t wookies wear pants?

    • If it’s good enough for Donald Duck to not wear pants, it’s good enough for wookies.

  5. I didn’t know Howard Stern was Chewbacca…

  6. If I could go back to in time, I would prevent Lucas to create this saga just to stop the Expanded Universe from existing.

    • I just want to prevent him from inventing Jar Jar also MIDICHLORIANS (ugh)

      • Jar-Jar was one of my favorite characters, and was crucial in Episode III, and the Midichlorians needed more mentions that was awesome finally the science behind the force.

        “Hail Hydra!”

  7. If Ford is in it they should get William Shatner to play Hans Solo’s dad.

  8. Why does everyone keep perpetuating this myth about the EU being involved in these movies? What we know so far is that Michael Arndt wrote a screenplay based on a story by George Lucas, which has since been revised by Lawrence Kasdan and JJ Abrams. Of those four names, do you think any of them took the time to sit down and read the Thrawn Trilogy or the NJO? Um…no!

  9. Where there’s Chewie, there’s Han. Where there’s Han, there’s Leia. Where there’s Leia, there’s Luke. Can someone please confirm everybody already??

  10. This is great news! Now all we need is Billy Dee to be confirmed as Lando, and we’ll have the whole original crew!!!

  11. who cares they could stick anybody in that monkey suite and the audience would be none the wiser
    all he does is wave his arms around and over emote, not like it’s him making the noises or anything
    peter mayhew = luckiest guy in hollywood, has the same skill set as the people who walk around posing in costumes on hollywood boulevard for tourist chump change

  12. Let’s see a return of Yoda, Darth Vader, General Grievous, Darth Maul, and Boba Fett, maybe with clone versions of each of them.

    • Your joking, right? Please say you’re joking.

      Y’know, even as a joke, that’s pretty cruel humor.

      • fleming, bad form.

  13. This is pretty neat news I guess but I honestly would prefer a more mobile Chewbacca. Mind you with the tricks they can do in movies these days I guess it won’t matter much.

  14. Um… cool… when it comes to the new Star Wars being fantastic or not, Peter playing Chewie isn’t exactly a deal breaker.

  15. They shouldn’t be making a Han Solo origin movie> That would mean someone besides Harrison Ford would be playing him and that wouldn’t be right. Leave it alone guys.

  16. OMG!!! wow, SCREW Disney! CHEW BACCA DIES!!! GET OVER IT GUYS!!! You KIDDING ME???? These imbeciles just got rid of 30+ years of content for NO REASON. You mean to tell me they couldnt figure a way to just continue from where the books left off?! BULL. Officially NOT seeing Episode VII in Protest of this. Thanks Abrams for tossing away 20+ years of the lives of SW fans all over who have followed this OFFICIALLY LISCENCED MATERIAL just to turn Star Wars into another FRIGGIN DISNEY CASH COW. LET CHEWIE DIE. GUYS, JUST ACCEPT THAT HE DIED. All the old fans who cried about Chewie ruined it, now instead of one neat and tidy continuity, JJ is giving it the Star Trek or Marvel Treatment, and I’m not having it.

  17. If there setting the new film after the New Jedi Order, how is Chewbacca going to be in the film as he dies in the first book