Yodasnews: Your most famous character
made his first appearance in STAR WARS: The Clone Wars on April 1. How
did you feel getting involved with the cartoon and from what you have
seen, are you pleased with the results?
Peter: It was a terrific experience
for me! Lucasfilm was highly involved with making sure that the
character was a reflection of me and Chewbacca. I went twice to
Skywalker Ranch for the preparations. The first time I spent a long time
in a theatre with the artists who would be animating Chewie so that they
could become familiar with me and my mannerisms. It was a terrific thing
for Lucasfilm to do. They took great care to animate Chewie as close to
the real thing as was possible. My second trip several months later was
to view the final product and do recordings that became the new voice of
Chewbacca. After thirty years I can finally answer the
question...."Yes!! I did the voice of Chewbacca!" It's a good feeling.
Lucasfilm has now given full blessings to run with Growing Up Giant.
Can you tell us a bit more about the project and the book? We haven't
seen too many details outside of your Facebook page.
Peter:Growing Up Giant is my personal story of
growing up in post war England and discovering, along with my family,
that I was destined to be a Giant. It chronicles my treatment for
giantism as a teenager and my struggle to find my place in the world. It
is illustrated in a graphic novel format and reflects the time period. I
think it turned out very well. It has never been easy for me to tell the
story, so my wife Angie decided to tackle it with art and a simple
story. I hope you enjoy it.
Do you ever grow tired of people asking you to do the Wookiee growl?
Most fans know that Ben Burtt mixed up growls and barks with a bit
of walrus to get the famous sound, but with a brand new younger
generation getting to see the character (some for the first time), you
will now be faced with young children approaching you who don't know the
history and asking to hear the growl. Are you practicing?
Yes, often! It's been a leap to get comfortable with it,
but I'm working on it.
Yodasnews:If you had
to pick ONE favorite item from the thousands of Chewbacca toys and
collectibles that have been made, what would it be?
The very first Chewbacca mug made in 1977. That, along
with the original R2-D2 Cookie Jar, still sit in George's office at
You were reunited with the Chewbacca suit you wore in STAR WARS when you
visited Skywalker Ranch. Has George ever offered it to you or the
updated version you wore in Revenge of the Sith for your personal collection?
You're joking, right?? Of course it's not been offered to
me. On the positive side of things, it has a very experienced bunch of
folks looking after it.
Do you have a favorite from all the 6 films? If so, which one and
My favorite film continues to be Empire Strikes Back. It
was the turning point for the actors. We had worked together on the
first film and became comfortable working together by the second. The
story is darker than the first and it required more from us. Kirshner
was a terrific director.
Some actors who have starred in the series of films seem to shy away
from it and refuse to embrace it the way you do; others even regret
accepting the roles. Do you have any regrets?
Never. I have really enjoyed the years I have spent
making friends and being a part of the extended family of STAR WARS.
I've got the best job in the world and take great satisfaction meeting
fans all over the world. STAR WARS has given me a wonderful life and I
wouldn't change it if I could.
Do you plan to keep doing conventions and celebrations, or will there be
a time when you retire from it all?
I hope I can continue to do it for many years. There are
always health issues, and being a giant, mobility is beginning to be a
problem. As long as I can get from point A to point B without too much
discomfort, I'll continue to be there.
Any other projects you are working on that you would like to share?
I did a cameo earlier this year with some young friends
of mine. The Independent Film is called Killer Ink. While it won't win
an academy award probably, it is a fun homage to the edgy slasher films
of the '70s and '80s. Somebody go and and get me a bucket of popcorn!!