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Published on June 19th, 2008 | by simeon

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Peter Mayhew talks Chewbacca

GVK: Did you see the Phantom Menace, and what did you think of it?
PM: Yes, It was the first chapter of a book, and as such it was an introduction to the larger story of Star Wars. Parts of the film were good, but some parts were not as good.
GVK: How do you think the new films will compare to the original series and how do you think they will be compared in the future?
PM: I do not think they compare at all. The new films are different stories and they have a greater emphasis on effects than the earlier films did. I think that in the future, the original series will still be considered good films.
GVK: What have you been doing of late, and do you have any projects in the works?
PM: Lately I have been attending many conventions the world over. It is always great to be able to meet the fans and be able to speak about my Star Wars experiences. I had some theater projects that I have been looking into as well, but they are currently on hold and there is nothing to say about them.
GVK: If you were to be given the chance to play Chewie again, how would you like to see the character used?
PM: It would be the same as before as Han’s sidekick.
GVK: When the decision was made to kill off Chewie in the book series, were you contacted about this and what were you thoughts on this?
PM: Yes, I was contacted about this. I saw that a character needed to be killed in order to jostle the other characters and add an element of freshness and danger to the series and Chewbacca was the most likely to go, as they could not kill Luke, Han, or Leia.
GVK: If you could change anything about your portrayal of Chewie, what would it have been and why?
PM: I would not change anything, as I was happy with the character and my work bringing him to life.
GVK: Do you keep in touch with the original cast and do you have fond memories of the experiences?
PM: Yes, to both questions. The friends and experiences I made and encountered were amongst the best in my life.
GVK: Do you think that Star Wars has faded in terms of popularity over the years?
PM: No, it has not faded, in fact, based on recent happenings such as the new films, and the book series, I would say that the interest is stronger than ever.
GVK: What would you attribute the staying power of the series too?
PM: Having a good story and great effects as well as characters that are likeable, interesting, and memorable. It is a fairy tale battle of good vs. evil, and in that, it will always be timeless.
GVK: Are you and Chewie alike and how much input did George Lucas allow you to have in the character?
PM: Yes, Chewie and I are alike in some ways. I would say that the character and the input are one in the same. By combining 50% of myself and 50% of what was given to me for Chewie, I was able to create the character and personalize him.


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