“He was the gentlest of giants,” Hamill wrote. “A big man with a big heart who never failed to make me smile and a loyal friend who I loved dearly. I’m grateful for the memories we shared and I’m a better man for just having known him.”
Ford, whose character was rarely seen without Chewie by his side, spoke fondly of Mayhew to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character,” said Ford.
“These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca. We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience. Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend…”
Representatives running Mayhew’s Twitter account took the opportunity to respond with a simple, heartbreaking “He knew.”
J.J. Abrams took some time out to honor Mayhew with a handwritten note.
“Peter was the loveliest man…kind and patient, supportive and encouraging,” wrote Abrams. “A sweetheart to work with and already deeply missed.”
Star Wars writer and director Rian Johnson called Mayhew a “true legend.”
Billy Dee Williams, who portrayed Lando Calrissian, called Mayhew “much more than Chewie.”
George Takei also had kind words for the fallen actor.
Simon Pegg posted a simple photo with a broken heart emoji.
Elijah Wood sent Mayhew off with in-universe well wishes.
It’s clear that Mayhew’s passing touched a variety of celebrities in different ways, and he will be sorely missed.