Meet the new actor joining the Star Wars family, at least partially, as Chewbacca...
It's no secret that Chewbacca superstar, Peter Mayhew, has some physical restrictions these days. The 71 year old Star Wars legend has had double knee replacement surgery in recent years and find it very difficult to walk unaided. You'll often see Peter with his unique blue bladed Lightsaber walking cane at public events, or even, at times in a wheel chair. A difficult choice has been made to use another actor of large stature to perform as Chewbacca, under careful supervision by Peter and that gentleman is 6ft 10in foot tall Finnish basketball player Joonas Suotamo. Here is what director J.J. Abrams has to say about the new Chewie.
It's difficult to accept that we will be saying goodbye to many of our beloved Star Wars cast members as they leave their roles for various reasons. I was particularly saddened to see Kenny Bakers name missing from the Star Wars The Force Awakens end credits. As we know Kenny will not be returning to his R2-D2 role, with Scottish actor Jimmy Vee rumoured for the part. We are also starting to see our 'legend' actors' involvement minimised, to many people's disappointment. At least with Joonas Suotamo's gradual introduction under the expert tutelage of Peter Mayhew, we may get a smooth almost seemless transition. Hopefully Peter will enjoy many more years under the mask in close up shots.
Hopefully Joonas will reprise the role as a slightly younger Chewbacca in the Has Solo A Star Wars Story currently being put together by Disney and Lucasfilm. The movie will follow the adventures of an as yet uncast, pre-A New Hope, Han Solo.
All that's left to say is welcome to Star Wars Joonas, you have very big shoes to fill sir, but you have our support.
Thank you for reading,