Another Myth Shattered (aka "Last Thoughts on Peter Mayhew")

Discussion in 'Milwaukee, WI' started by Buckaroo, Apr 29, 2002.

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  1. Buckaroo Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Is it just me? It doesn't look like anyone else has voiced an opinion like this. I'm hoping that there is someone among the Fan Force who can restore my faith.

    I arrived at the convention later than I had planned and the whole scene was eerily quiet. Where the hell was everybody? Peter Mayhew was alone at the autograph table. Chewbacca from Star Wars was in my town and no one had shown up? It just didn't make sense. The first words I heard him say were, "I gotta pee." Another jolt. Did Chewbacca really say that? I mean, THE Chewbacca? Chewie?

    And why was he charging me $10 to autograph my 1977 trading card?

    Shortly thereafter my friend and I walked passed the entrance to the building and we saw him again. Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca, was outside smoking a cigarette. Disheveled. In the rain. The harsh reality of it was something I wasn't prepared for.

    And at the 7:30 discussion, Peter Mayhew was clearly drunk. I have no problem with any of this except for the fact that...well...he's Chewbacca from Star Wars, dammit, and life isn't supposed to be like this! Even before he announced that he'd had a couple beers at Brew City, I turned to my friend and said, "He's three sheets to the wind!" She disagreed at first, but later conceded that, yeah okay, he's drunk. There were a couple of moments when he trailed off during his talk and I thought for sure he was about to pass out. Again, I have no problem with drinking. I drink all the time. In fact, I drink so much that some people might say I have a drinking problem. It's just that I wasn't prepared for a larger-than-life childhood icon to be lowered to the level of human.

    I've met or worked with people of relative notoriety before and never had a problem with their "normalcy" (for lack of a better word) before. At the end of the day, we're all human. We all have the same basic needs and concerns. But this was Chewbacca from Star Wars!

    Smoking, drinking, peeing. Chewbacca the Wookiee doesn't do that kind of stuff.

    But I guess Peter Mayhew, the human being, does. And I'll just have to accept that.

    Jon
  2. BYOB_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2000
    star 5
    You have got to be kidding me. [face_plain]

    But you're not, are you? Well I'm sure there must be some kind of 12 step program that can help you. Until then, take a deep breath, slowly back away from the keyboard, put the Ewok doll down, and go take a walk in the park. Feed some pigeons. Smoke some pot. I don't care. Just get a grip, man!



    P.S.: Thanks for your documentary skills, Indian giver. :mad:
  3. Bishop76 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2002
    star 3
    I've not much to say to this except ditto on BYOB's thoughts

    Although, I do agree with the fact that fandom in this city stinks out loud (present company excepted). I was more frustrated that so few people showed up (although, I guess the con made some $, so that's good) than anything else. I could go on about this for hours, but I'm tired and if you really want to hear me rant, I'll put on a show next time we have a meeting.

    Jeff
  4. TheWampas1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 4
    It's not the first time I've seen it, Billy Dee at GenCon was clearly hung over and still a little shaky when he was autographing at the table. It's hard to accept but they did their jobs and we made them larger than life. Peter Mayhew is not Chewie but he most certainly walks like him and Anthony Daniels isn't C3-P0 but certainly sounds like him. I'm sure each of them sometimes loves but often times secretly hates what Star Wars has done to their lives and must be repulsed by those that have nearly deified their characters at the expense of what else they might have done. No one ever asks them what else they've done be it stage, film or television. Fandom can be death for their careers. I don't blame them and I don't fault them for their flaws. At C2, they will spend a moment in pure adoration but then spend the rest of the year signing autographs alone...at a table and watching the clock. They made history and created some of the most amazing characters of all time but I wouldn't trade places with any of them, not for anything. So I felt sorry for Peter Mayhew and I didn't care that he had too much to drink nor that he was outside smoking a cig. Let him, after a day like he had he deserved it.


    Just my opinion,

    Marcy

    PS- I'm sure Dwayne will add his piece later.:p
  5. Buckaroo Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Okay, before anyone else gets offended, let me just say this.

    Maybe my post wasn't "funny enough" for you to realize that I was half-joking. Granted, I wasn't trying to produce belly laughs among you, but I thought there were enough signs there that you'd all see I was merely making light of certain obvious factors that no one else seems to have touched upon. My overall reaction to the con?

    It was weird.

    That's all. The whole experience was weird. I'm not condemning Peter Mayhew or any other celebrities who's real personalities don't live up to our expectations. After all, how could they? We all use the bathroom. We all have vices (smoking, drinking, etc).

    I hold nothing against Peter Mayhew. In fact, I appreciate him and his contributions to Star Wars even more. When The Empire Strikes Back was screened that night, I paid particular attention to Chewie and thought to myself, "Yeah, Peter Mayhew did a pretty great job." As he said himself, he is not an actor. He never did mime. It was all instinct. He did exactly what was needed for the role and that's a pretty cool thing.

    I truly do feel sorry for him. I have no idea what his financial situation is like, but I got the impression that he is somewhat hard up for work. It's not fair. It's not fair that an actor who portrayed a character in my favorite film is struggling and has to resort to charging for autographs (even for an item I brought in).

    Like I said, it seemed odd to me that there weren't more people there. I drove 120 miles in the rain and suffered a nasty cold just to see him. I thought I'd be fighting a crowd of people to get near him. When I walked in and the place was dead, I felt like crap. It didn't make any sense.

    If I had gotten to go out and have a beer with him, it would have been a great experience, I'm sure. Maybe I'm just jealous that others got to do that and I didn't. To be able to say "I had a beer with Chewie" would be a wonderful thing. It would have made my day! Instead, I saw Peter standing in the rain. I saw him ride the elevator alone. I saw him use the bathroom.

    That's life.

    I salute you, Peter Mayhew, wherever you are. And thank you for being a part of Star Wars.

    That's all I gotta say on the subject.

    Jon
  6. TheWampas1138 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 4
    I'm not really sure he was drunk. When MoffPeter and I talked to him earlier in the day, he pretty much talked that way then too. Maybe he had a beer or two, but I don't think he was plowed or anything. If he trailed off at all, maybe that's because he's answered the questions a thousand times. If you have a favorite narrative joke, chances are by the fiftieth time you've told it, it's lost its luster and you no longer find the punchline very amusing. Either way, drunk or not, he gave pretty decent answers to the questions, like how he felt about Vector Prime, etc. If he was drunk... heck, after being at that lonely desk all day, trying to see who had the highest number on their button, who could blame the guy. And buying Miller beer helps the local economy.

    As for charging for autographs, I think $10 is fine. That money is split between him and his agent/publicist most likely, plus it is his job more or less. It's not like he gets a piece of the action for Chewie figures, posters or re-releases of the movies. Plus, do you really think a con that small paid him to be there, or put up the money for his hotel, airfare, etc? Maybe some of it, but probably not first class. For a man that big to fly coach from England... that's gonna suck.

    Dwayne
  7. BYOB_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2000
    star 5
    This is crazy. To expect anything, to think Mayhew and/or others like him owe you something, is asking too much.

    And about this "vices" crap. Don't get all Catholic on us, O pious pilgrim. I'd like to see you get up in front of the meat circus without a drink or a cigarette to calm the nerves. Or for that matter, why don't you try walking around in public places and have everyone give you that kind of inhuman stare. He'd get that even without being famous. I only hope to God he didn't have any of that Miller swill, and that he treated himself to some Sprecher or Lakeside... something good that isn't owned by Phillip Morris.
  8. MoffPeter Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2002
    I thought Peter Mayhew was a pretty decent guy. He answered all of my questions, let me take a picture with him and even e-mailed me back that night thanking me for sending him pics of a custom Chewbacca action figure.

    I've seen Peter Mayhew speak at different cons. He was no different at MSOE. He just has a very strange way of talking.

    If the guy can make a living off of his past glories, so be it. There's a lot more difficult ways to make money in this world.

    Moff Peter
  9. Boba-Fett-Favre Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2002
    This Indian Giver promised to make a documentary about us and then he stabs us in the back!

    Doesn't he know that this board is not a place for levity and observational humor? A Force Fan must have "the most serious mind and most serious commitment."

    You best keep your opinions to yourself, Buckaroo. We don't like the way you come around here poking fun and talking smart. We don't want to hear about how you were disillusioned or how no one showed up at the con. Why do you have to bring up that unpleasant stuff? Maybe the attendance was low. For all I know, the majority of attendees were Fan Force (as opposed to normal people). So what? We don't want to address such subjects as Mr. Mayhew's human foibles in the context of this message board. In an attempt at damage control, I am going to email Mr. Mayhew myself and assure him that your views do not represent those of the rest of us.

    You probably think we're socially retarded geeks incapable of forming normal, healthy relationships in the real world so we have to resort to the safe "anonymous" virtual kind.

    Not true.

    I agree that a mutual interest in Star Wars is a pretty thin bond on which to hang a friendship, but who cares? We could do a lot worse. We could be out getting high or committing crimes. I guess you could say that my love of Star Wars has kept me off the streets and safely indoors. The world is full of unusual, horrible and often subversise people and I am thankful that I never had to experience them. People think I'm missing out on life, but I say that the internet has only brought people closer. We fans are a diverse group with common goals and dreams. With respect to you, I think the posters on this board have made it clear. I speak for the group when I say:

    Get lost.
  10. DWilliamL Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2002
    I agree with Boba Fett Favre. Buckaroo, make the jump to lightspeed! This ain't like dustin' crops, boy! Meeting Peter Mayhew fulfilled a life-long dream of mine. I was happy to hand him $10 to have him autograph my RIPCHUY license plate. I told him how devastated I was to read of Chewbacca's death in Vector Prime. Maybe he thought I was a little crazy. It is just a fictional character. But he smiled and was nice enough to sign my Wisconsin DMV-issued metal tombstone crafted in honor of one noble wookiee's passing. (I couldn't believe the MSOE student rag spelled "wookiee" wrong!)
  11. cruznseal2 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2001
    star 2
    hey, guys let's not jump all over Bukaroo i think we all agree that meeting Peter Mayhew was a thrill and if we want to get into price gouging we are taken advantage of at every turn by Mr. Lucas himself.

    I'm not saying I particularly agree with Bukaroo, but I think its important to make every one feel welcome on the forum and in the group as well.

    -mike
  12. Skywalker1138 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 3
    Peter had dinner with me and 5 others, including his agent, and he had no alcohol what-so-ever , which is directly where he came from before the Q&A session.

    I am sorry for your disappointment, but please don't make assumptions and jump to conclusions making disallusions.

    He ate the pork on top of my Beans-N-Rice because I don't eat red meat--that's it. He may have been nervous slightly due to the small turn-out, and he was VERY JET LAGGED due to the fact he'd JUST come back from Australia doing another con, but He was _NOT_ drunk.
  13. Buckaroo Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Thanks for the support, Mike, but it won't be neccessary. I respectfully withdraw from the forum.

    I tried to clarify my original post with a follow up, but everyone still missed the point. I might as well have just said, "Peter Mayhew is a drunk who ripped me off" since that is what everyone is reading into it anyway. I've also been accused of "making disallusions" and I don't even know what that means.

    In today's world of confusing satires and unexpected anecdotal diatribes, I can see why some of you may have misunderstood me. I am tempted to say "Go back and read what I wrote. I mean really READ it." But what's the point? Just let this thread die.

    Best of luck with your local Fan Force group.

    Jon

    By the way, the documentary IS still happening. A local investor just gave me the green light. The subjects of the film are a couple of guys from Cudahy that I met at Concinnity. They eat, breath, and live SW. They claim to be "the world's biggest Star Wars fans."

    Anyway, best of luck to all of you.
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