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The Star Wars Universe Mourns Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew

Here's how the Star Wars family said goodbye

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Rachel Paige

Following the news that long-time Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew passed away at the age of 74, social media was flooded with remembrance and praise of the beloved actor, who'd been a staple in the Star Wars saga since the very beginning.

Mayhew first took on the role of Chewie for the first Star Wars film in 1977, and later reprised the role for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and most recently Star Wars: The First Awakens. Following his bow as the wookiee in 2015, he passed the role over to Joonas Suotamo for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Storywhile containing to work as a "Chewbacca Consultant" for the films.

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In a statement about his passing, Mayhew's family wrote on Twitter that "Star Wars meant so much more to him than a role in a film."

Star Wars' Peter Mayhew Dies at 74

Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo, told The Hollywood Reporter: "Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character. 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," Ford continued. "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.... "

Read some of the other touching tributes below: