Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew writes letter to young Star Wars fan on the death of his best friend

The boys had promised to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens together this Christmas

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He’s known as the gentle giant Chewbacca in Star Wars, but actor Peter Mayhew has a heart as big as the Wookie himself.

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On hearing of the death of a Star Wars fan Liam’s best friend Sam, the 71 year old actor sent the boy a comforting letter.

The letter was later posted to Reddit by Sam’s father, where it attracted widespread praise and expressions of sympathy. Sam’s older sister later explained: 

“Sam was seven, and while he may have only been here for a short time in retrospect, he lived more than most adults I know. And boy, did he love Star Wars. The force was definitely strong with this one. One of his very good friends, Liam, promised to go see the new Star Wars movie with Sam on Christmas… And word of Sam’s passing got back to Peter Mayhew. This was the response.”

Speaking to RadioTimes.com, the actor confirmed the letter was genuine. “Liam’s grandmother is a friend of my wife’s sister,” he explained. “My wife’s sister reached out to me with his story. I hope my words were of some comfort to him.” 

A fund set up in the wake of Sam’s initial ATV accident currently stands at almost $15,000. 

The letter’s appearance comes at the same time as the fan community mourns the death of Daniel Fleetwood, 32, who died one week after his final wish to see The Force Awakens before succumbing to cancer.

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Cast members including Mayhew were instrumental in granting Fleetwood’s request, leading the campaign #forcefordaniel on social media.