Fans learned after the theatrical release of The Force Awakens that Peter Mayhew didn’t bring Chewbacca back to life alone. Now that Mayhew is older, a Finnish actor named Joonas Suotamo helped portray Chewbacca during many of the film’s action scenes. While fans already knew about the casting of Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover as Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, the announcement from Lucasfilm revealed that Suotamo would be taking over Chewbacca completely for this movie.
After the news became public, Suotamo posted a touching note to Star Wars fans about what it meant for him to take up Chewbacca’s mantle. He particularly thanked Mayhew for the help and guidance he’s provided to help him prepare for the role.