Harrison Ford honored his friend and Star Wars co-star, the late Peter Mayhew, while on The Tonight Show.
Harrison Ford is known for playing tough, rugged characters on screen. But off screen he can be thoughtful and reflective. He proved this on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon when asked to comment on the passing of Peter Mayhew.
Mayhew was the actor in the Chewbacca costume in the original Star Wars trilogy. He also returned to the role for Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens. It all adds up to a lot of time spent as the sidekick, or more appropriately partner, of Ford’s Han Solo.
Mayhew passed away on April 30 at the age of 74. Countless tributes came out to honor Mayhew, both from his Star Wars family and the millions of fans who appreciated his contributions to the Star Wars universe.
As you can see from his Tonight Show appearance, Ford was especially impacted by Mayhew’s death. After reflecting on his time as Indiana Jones and reacting to Mark Hamill’s impression of him, Ford turns his attention to the legacy of Peter Mayhew:
It is always sad news to learn of someone’s passing. But some solace can be taken in knowing how much Mayhew was loved and appreciated. Ford makes a point to highlight the physical challenges Mayhew endured in part due to his 7’3″ body.
We know from previous interviews that Ford doesn’t always appear to revere the Star Wars franchise in the same way as fans. But what is clear is that he has a special admiration and affection for the people involved in those movies.
This was evident during the run up to The Force Awakens when Ford was reunited with Mayhew, Hamill, Carrie Fisher and others from the original films. It was proven again when Fisher passed away in 2016 and Ford paid tribute to her life.
The next Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker, is coming to theaters in December. The role of Chewbacca may have been passed on to Joonas Suotamo but there will undoubtedly be an acknowledgment of Peter Mayhew’s contributions. Harrison Ford has set a pretty high bar for honoring his friend, and deservedly so.