Wednesday 21 August 2019

May force be with him: Fans hail Chewbacca actor

Members of the 501st Legion, Ireland Garrison (fans) arrive at Greencastle in Co Donegal, on the Lough Foyle Ferry for the May the Fourth Festival in Malin Head where scenes from 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' where filmed. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Members of the 501st Legion, Ireland Garrison (fans) arrive at Greencastle in Co Donegal, on the Lough Foyle Ferry for the May the Fourth Festival in Malin Head where scenes from 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' where filmed. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

David Young

'Star Wars' fans have paid tribute to Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew as they gathered for the annual celebration of the film franchise.

Devotees of the films admitted the May the Fourth festivals, which are being held in Donegal and Kerry, will be tinged with sadness after the death of the British-born actor who played the famous Wookiee.

Tributes: Actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the 'Star Wars' films. Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo
Tributes: Actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the 'Star Wars' films. Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

Mayhew died at his Texas home at the age of 74.

'Star Wars' events are held around the world on May 4, due to the date sounding like the film's famous phrase - 'May the force be with you'. Two festivals are being staged this weekend at locations close to where scenes from the most recent movies were shot - Malin Head, Co Donegal, and in Portmagee, Co Kerry.

Costumed fans arriving on Donegal's Inishowen peninsula from a Lough Foyle ferry yesterday hailed Mayhew as a 'Star Wars' legend.

Tiffany Gutierrez, from New Mexico in the US, said: "We were really shocked to wake up this morning to hear that," she said.

"Especially with the coming weekend and all the festivals going on.

"He always made an appearance at 'Star Wars' celebrations and different comic conventions."

Irish Independent

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