Peter Mayhew, who brought the original Chewbacca character to life, has officially retired from the role. People didn’t find out directly either. When the first Han Solo photo was released, Mayhew was nowhere to be found.
Instead, Joonas Suotamo was announced to be playing Chewbacca. Suotamo was originally the stunt double for Mayhew, which means he already is familiar with the role. He is also known as a basketball player, which explains his height by being 6’10”.
After the first Han Solo photos was released, Suotamo took it upon himself to post his official statement to Twitter, showing his excitement for the new role. Fans showed equal excitement by tweeting back to the actor.
— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) February 21, 2017
To show his appreciation for fan’s acceptance, he posted a photo to Instagram a day later thanking everyone for their support.
After all these years and several movies, Star Wars has proven to still be going strong, even with the switch of actors.