Skip to main content

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 credit: 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.  

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter.