We're sure, unless you have been living under a rock since 1977, that you've seen, and fallen in love with, the Star Wars movies. We actually just celebrated May 4th with Star Wars tattoos, May the Fourth be with you, and it's basically a global community effort of cool nerds, sci fi aficionados, and George Lucas fans coming together to show their deep appreciation of the film series. And although everyone has their own favorite character, we're pretty sure that Chewbacca, and Chewbacca tattoos, will always remain in our top faves, because not only is he a total bad ass, a furry babe, and a loyal, down af friend, but he also supports our other faves: Luke, Leia, and every other rebel in between.
On April 30th, only four days away from May the Fourth, Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars film, passed away leaving behind his wonderful wife, three children, and a huge mass of devoted fans. These Chewbacca tattoos hint at all the wonderful things that made us love him so, but they are also portraits of an integral character in the films...one that could not have been played by anyone so fitting as Peter Mayhew.
Believe it or not, apparently Mayhew was working as a hospital orderly when he got the Star Wars part. "He got the role based on his physique, as writer-director George Lucas was in desperate need of someone who would be able to play taller than Darth Vader." Although George Lucas hired him because he was tall, 7' 2", he gave the character so many affectations that audiences absolutely adored. The Chewbacca noises were created by sound designer Ben Burtt, but Mayhew imbued his character with so much expression that it made the Wookie unforgettable and irreplaceable. In a statement to the public, Lucas expressed the loss of his compatriot, "Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature … and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend and I'm saddened by his passing."
Harrison Ford had similar sentiments to add. "Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character. These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca," read Ford's statement. "We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience. Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend."
That's part of what makes these Chewbacca tattoos so intensely endearing now. Peter Mayhew created a character that so many people resonated with, and loved. Through CGI skins, and cool Star Wars tattoos, Mayhew will love on not only in our hearts, but through art as well! He, along with his wife Angelique, is a gift that keeps on giving..."In lieu of gifts or flowers, Mayhew’s family has asked friends, family, and fans to consider donating to Mayhew’s organization – the Peter Mayhew Foundation. The foundation’s website describes the organization as “a 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to the alleviation of disease, pain, suffering, and the financial toll brought on by life’s traumatic events. By providing its available resources directly to deserving children and adults in need, we assist numerous charitable organizations in order to promote and boost their effectiveness and provide support where needed.” Gentle giant playing a gentle giant, indeed.