Lately a lot of Hollywood Legends been passing away and yesterday (May 2nd) we lost one of my favorite characters of the Star Wars franchise.

According to Hollywood Reporter, Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca passed away at the age of 74 at his North Texas Home with his family by his side just days before National Star Wars Day (May 4th).

Before Star Wars, Peter did minor acting and was working as a hospital orderly when he auditioned for the part of Chewbacca.

He got the part because of his physical statue and played the beloved character in Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), Revenge of the Sith (2005), and The Force Awakens (2015).

George Lucas spoke on behalf of his deceased friend,

Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature…and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend and I’m saddened by his passing.

Also, other cast mates expressed their sadness of the news including Billy Dee Williams and Mark Hamill.

Mayhew had undergone spinal surgery in July in an effort to improve his mobility.

A private memorial will take place on June 29th, and there will be a gathering for fans at EmpireConLA in December.

Thanks for the memories Peter!  May the force be with you.....