Farewell, Chewbacca: Astronaut Honors Peter Mayhew of 'Star Wars' in Space

NASA astronaut Nick Hague honored actor Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca of "Star Wars," with a photo memorial on the International Space Station on May 8, 2019.
NASA astronaut Nick Hague honored actor Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca of "Star Wars," with a photo memorial on the International Space Station on May 8, 2019.
(Image: © NASA/Nick Hague via Twitter)

"Star Wars" fans on Earth aren't the ones mourning the death of actor Peter Mayhew, who portrayed the iconic Wookie Chewbacca.

 NASA astronaut Nick Hague on the International Space Station honored the late actor, who died April 30, in a way only astronauts can: with a photo tribute above planet Earth. 

"Honoring Peter Mayhew (also known as Chewbacca) up here on Space Station," Hague wrote on Twitter Wednesday (May 8). "Thank you Peter for inspiring generations of explorers."

Hague added a photo printout of Mayhew in full Chewbacca garb, with only his head uncovered, floating in the space station's Cupola (a 7-window observation module). A brilliant blue Earth shines behind the photo, as do the gold solar arrays of a visiting Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship.

Mayhew died last week at age 74. Standing 7 foot 3 inches tall, he originated the role of Chewbacca in the original "Star Wars" film trilogy, and revisited the role in the "Star Wars Holiday Special," "Revenge of the Sith" and "The Force Awakens."

A memorial service for friends and family will be held on June 29, with a memorial for fans early December at EmpireCon in Los Angeles. Mayhew is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children. 

 Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom and Facebook.  

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