Star Wars Action Figures


Yodasnews Q&A with Peter Mayhew


    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. 

    Yodasnews: 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. 

    Yodasnews:  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?

    Peter: 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?  

    Peter: The very first Chewbacca mug made in 1977. That, along with the original R2-D2 Cookie Jar, still sit in George's office at Skywalker Ranch. 

    Yodasnews: 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?  

    Peter: 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. 

    Yodasnews: Do you have a favorite from all the 6 films? If so, which one and why?  

    Peter: 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.  

    Yodasnews: 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?  

    Peter: 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. 

    Yodasnews: Do you plan to keep doing conventions and celebrations, or will there be a time when you retire from it all?  

    Peter: 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. 

    Yodasnews: Any other projects you are working on that you would like to share?  

    Peter: 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!!


    We want to give a huge thanks to Peter for taking the time to chat with us. Be sure to check out his official site at this link and also follow him on Facebook at this link. You can pick up Growing Up Giant right here!