Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, is optimistic about the “exciting possibilities” that Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm will create.
Yesterday, Disney announced the completion of a $4bn deal with George Lucas that will allow the company to make any number of future Star Wars films, and Chewie greeted the news with enthusiasm.
In a Twitter posting, Mayhew said: “I've always liked that Mouse, and I'm looking forward to all the exciting possibilities this brings to the Star Wars Universe.”
And he told those less convinced by the deal to remain optimistic: “Pssst. Stay calm and imagine the good things, like how about an entire Star Wars theme park at Disney designed by ILM...”
Mayhew, who last reprised the role of Chewbacca on screen on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2005, also joked that Disney’s ownership of Star Wars would bring about some wholesome changes to the franchise, writing: “So Disney Princess Leia? Goodbye slave bikini, hello tasteful one piece....”
Asked whether he had yet been approached to play Chewie in any future Star Wars movies made by Disney, Mayhew said: “About eleventy million of you have asked me about Chewie and episode VII. The answer is I don't know. But feel free to start a movement....”
And with tongue firmly in cheek, the 68-year-old actor also talked about working on a Star Wars/Disney mash-up for his character, saying: “About to start filming on Disney's ‘Chewbacca and the Beast - A love story with no conditioner'.”
Mayhew has worked with Disney in the past - having appeared as Chewbacca at the Star Tours: the Adventure Continues Disneyland attraction in 2011 - and recently told entertainment news site TMZ: "I have no doubt Disney will respect and continue the legacy of Lucasfilm. I have worked with Disney for many years during their Star Wars Weekends Celebration and seen how much they love the films and the fans."
Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, also took to Twitter last night to share his reaction to Disney’s announcement, writing: “Congratulations to George for today's mega-deal! Can't comment on Ep 7 before I have all the facts which are short supply right now-Patience.”
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