Peter Mayhew Unhappy with ‘That Chewbacca & Leia Scene’ Near The End of Star Wars: The Force Awakens [Calgary Expo]

by | May 2, 2016

Peter Mayhew


[Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo 2016] Chewbacca himself, Peter Mayhew was on hand at this year’s CCEE16 to reminisce about past films, the legacy of Star Wars and how the new film stacks up to the franchise. Plus, that controversy with Chewbacca walking right past General Leia near the end of The Force Awakens? Mayhew discusses that moment candidly and is not pleased with how that scene turned out. Read about that here:

Major Spoiler Alert for Star Wars: The Force Awakens Ahead:

Peter Mayhew

Photo Credit – Keven Skinner

Most fans, the majority of fans it seems – love Episode VII, but there is one scene in particular that we still can’t get our heads around. The scene is near the end of The Force Awakens, after Han Solo is murdered by his own son Kylo Ren, the Rey, Finn and Chewie return to the Rebel base and this happens. Chewie walks off the ship and proceeds to walk directly past General Leia without any acknowledgment whatsoever that his best friend, Leia’s love – Han Solo just died. No hug, nothing, so Leia goes to Rey and instead those two embrace each other in sadness.


Now, even director JJ Abrams has admitted that this moment was probably an oversight on his part… So how does Peter Mayhew feel about it? Not good. When asked by a fan about the scene, he starts his response by saying, “Next question.” with a look of disgust on his face before elaborating further.

“That scene was my stand-in, so I think it was a technical thing or he just didn’t read the script. If I had done that scene I would have walked right up to Leia and consoled her,” said Mayhew.

Due to Mayhew having just had double knee replacement surgery, his performance as Chewbacca was very limited in The Force Awakens and much of the action or scenes like this one in particular which had Chewie walking down a ramp, were performed by actor Joonas Suotamo.


Mayhew came to the Calgary Expo stage on a motorized scooter and a very difficult time even moving from his ride to the guest couch for the panel, so unfortunately, fans may have to get used to Suotamo donning the Chewbacca suit in future films. Let’s hope he doesn’t make that mistake again – although come to think about it – the damage has already been done and even though it’s a simple mistake, the ramifications will be felt forever for those who loved the on-screen duo of Han and Chewie.