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CT BTS Words from a Wookiee: Peter Mayhew's Time on the Jedi Council Forums

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by jedi_master_ousley, Jan 5, 2024.

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  1. jedi_master_ousley

    jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    A long time ago, in an Episodes II & III Spoilers Forum far, far away...

    On February 06, 2001, the Jedi Council forums Episodes II & III Spoilers Forum received a post from a user named PeterMayhew titled Does Chewbacca get to come back in Episode III?? The thread is still available in the Prequels forum at this link. Other members of the forums were of course skeptical that it was the real Peter Mayhew, because anyone could make an account with that name.

    The Head Administrator at the time, darthcleo, was able to confirm that this Peter Mayhew was the real deal. Cleo later added another message stating that many have met Mr. Mayhew at conventions since the creation of the thread and he confirmed face-to-face that it was really him who was posting.

    Many users asked him questions, and he did his best to answer quite a few of them. Later in 2001, he posted a topic called Wookiee Talk in which he invited and initiated more conversation with fans. I've compiled a list of relevant summarized questions with exact quotes from Mr. Mayhew (as he preferred to be called). Not all of them are in the same order as they were answered, as I've tried to organize similar subjects, so I've also included links to each original post if you want to go back and view the complete context.

    Preservation of Mr. Mayhew's interactions with fans are not only important for the history of these boards, but also for the history of the Star Wars films and the legacy of Mr. Mayhew himself. His time here is but one of endless examples of what a great attempt he always made to connect and share with fans.

    Note: I'm placing this in the Original Trilogy forum because all of the information he provided deals with the Original Trilogy. He posted many times between February 2001 and February 2003 before disappearing. Considering the timing, he likely received a phone call about a cameo in Revenge of the Sith and thus could no longer communicate about the future of his character. If anyone has solid confirmation of that, please share.

    Part I: The Original Thread
    Does Chewbacca get to come back in Episode III??


    The beginning:
    Would you play Chewbacca in Episode III? What about a cameo as a new character?
    Regarding people suggesting creating a petition to get him in Episode III:
    Was that you in the suit at the MTV movie awards in 97?
    Did you actually do that growling? How did Obi-Wan learn how to speak Wookiee?
    In response to speculation that Obi-Wan and Chewbacca knew each other prior to the scene in the Mos Eisley Cantina:
    Can you share some memories of filming the OT?
    How did you find out about Chewbacca being killed in Vector Prime?
    And his thoughts on Vector Prime several pages later:
    Response to Mr. K: "Mr. Mayhew, thanks for helping me get through childhood. Being full-blooded Native American in a smalltown community where everyone looks different from you was tough sometimes. Watching Chewie gave me a lot of self esteem and self acceptance, because like me, he was the odd-man-out. Thanks for inspiring kids like me."
    Did you play any of the Wookiees in the Senate in Episode I?
    What do you get a Wookiee for Christmas?
    Which was more uncomfortable... the Chewie costume or the Minoton costume?
    How about the idea of a group of wookies being captured by the Empire in Episode III, and Chewie fighting it right up until the end?
    A follow up post several pages later addressed this idea and asked about his thoughts on the concept of the Empire's racism and slavery:
    A poster shared thoughts about growing up African American and how him and his friends considered Chewbacca to be black and it made them feel represented:
    Regarding comments about how Mr. Mayhew is the only person who could play Chewbacca:
    Do you still talk to other cast members from Star Wars?
    There was a troll who made an account named Carrie Fisher trying to claim that Mr. Mayhew invited "her." He shut it down:
    Which was your favorite movie? And some thoughts on filming the Hoth scenes:
    What was your least favorite scene to film?
    Will you post anywhere else on the site? What did you think of Phantom Menace?
    Can you share some thoughts about George Lucas?
    How cool is it that there are Chewbacca action figures?
    Does Grandfather (Michael Sheard) also try to sell you one of his books when you're doing cons with him or have you already fallen for his evil salesman mindtrick?
    Did you have any ad-libbed moments while filming?
    Did you enjoy working with Alec Guinness? What about his negative comments about Star Wars?
    How cramped was the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon?
    Are you excited for upcoming AlphaCon?
    Can you tell us anything about the Ewok Village? How do you feel about Jar Jar?
    Were you using a real welder when repairing the Falcon?
    What are you up to these days? How's life?
    How many Chewbacca suits were there?
    Can you describe the trash compactor set?
    How did they make the Chewie hair stick out when he was being tortured?
    Did you ever have to use duct tape for last minute costume fixes?
    What are some of your favorite movies?
    What kind of music do you enjoy?
    Did you get some cowboy boots when you moved to Texas? And other moving related questions.
    Updating everyone about a Star Wars Insider interview and some Fan Force activities:
    Would Chewie have won that chess match anyway? What are your thoughts on the Ewoks?
    Do you have any Valentine's Day plans? (Question asked on Feb 12)
    Did Chewie eat any of the Ewoks?
    Will you be attending the Episode II premier?
    Does Chewbacca have a tuxedo too?
    Have you read any of the Chewbacca related comics?
    Do you think any of the other OT actors know exclusive details about the prequels?
    About people and dogs being called Chewie:
    Did they really drop you all from the net in Return of the Jedi? Or was it stunt men or dolls?
    Do your (step) kids like Star Wars?
    What is your favorite 'powerful' scene from the films?
    What is your favorite piece of Chewbacca merchandise?
    Will you share anything about the Holiday Special?
    Do you know any Episode II spoilers?
    Have you seen any of the other OT actors recently?
    What is your favorite drink?
    Who is your favorite Star Wars character (besides Chewbacca)?
    Responding to a comment about the "R2 Wrangler"
    What are your thoughts on the Jabba's Palace scenes?
    What was your experience doing the Oprah Show?
    Any thoughts on the Special Editions?
    Thoughts on new generations loving Star Wars:
    In response to this great post about the relationship between Han & Chewie:
    Response to someone writing a song-parody of his favorite song mentioned earlier:
    If you could change anything about Chewbacca's character, what would it be?
    Who would win in a fight, Chewbacca or Freddy Kreuger?
    Do you remember any practical jokes on set?
    Was Harrison Ford cool to work with?
    Was Billy Dee Williams cool to work with?
    What scene took the most takes to get right?
    Thoughts on the Muppets:
    Thoughts about movie stars:
    Do you have a collection of Star Wars related things?
    Do you have the original script?
    In which he remembered meeting details of meeting Darth-Swede in NYC the week before the Episode I release:
    General comments and updates on various things:


    Part II: Wookiee Talk

    Bigfoot production updates:
    Will you be in Ep II or III?
    Which is your favorite OT film?
    How did you end up with the role of Chewbacca?
    Asked again about Vector Prime:
    Responding to this: "Don't worry about Vector Prime. I'm sure the EU will clone your character thousands of times. Can't wait to read about Chewbaaca, C'hewbacca, and C''he'ewbaaaaac'a."
    Why weren't you at Celebration I ?
    Will you be at the premier for Episode II?


    Thoughts about the MTV Lifetime Achievement Medal:
    Do you remember throwing the stormtroopers off the platform in ESB?
    Do you have any memorabilia related to Chewbacca?
    Do you have any of the original props?
    Response to a question about an unidentified filming location from one of the ROTJ "making of" books:
    What happened to the piece of meat that was hanging as bait in ROTJ?
    About him and Kenny Baker having similar challenges due to their heights:

    How do you feel about the amount of blue screen / CGI in Episode I?
    About the relationships on set:
    About Disney Weekends with Carrie Fisher:
    What did Chewie say to Han after Leia kissed Luke?

    In response to a magazine claiming that Mr. Mayhew had a cameo in Phantom Menace:

    Is George Lucas a genius, or insane?
    If there's another Final/Special edition of Ep IV, should Chewie getting a medal be added in?
    Are you still in contact with other Star Wars actors?
    What was it like working with Harrison Ford?
    Last year i worked for a company called "Forbidden planet" in London and they said that once at a Con one of thier security tried to stop you from entering because he didn't recognise you. I was wondering is that true and do you have anything to say about it?


    What was the Chewbacca mask made from?


    What was the bowcaster made out of?
    Did you make any of the Chewbacca noises yourself?
    How do you imagine the ending of Episode III?
    Do you have any unreleased photos from on set you'd be able to share?
    What is your favorite Chewbacca scene?
    About the Holiday Special:

    My 4 year old sisters favorite character is Chewbacca, who she calls Chewmacca. She watches the films over and over. Once when I was putting in the tape for TESB, she stopped me and said "no the other Chewmacca" apparently she wanted to watch RotJ.


    About being petted and patted like a dog:
    How was it being chained and dragged around by Carrie Fisher?
    What are some of your favorite non-Star Wars movies?
    Have you heard the joke that British comedian Phil Jupitus tells about everyone's favourite Wookiee?


    Are you familiar with Marphans Syndrome?
    About the Nature's Guard Project:
    Miscellaneous comments:

    We should all appreciate the amount of time and energy Mr. Mayhew put into interacting with the fans here all those years ago.
     
  2. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    While I haven’t read through this entire thing. I just want to thank you again for finding these old pieces of forum history. They are such a blast to read through. While I never had the pleasure of meeting Mathew he always seemed so nice
     
  3. jedi_master_ousley

    jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Some of the old forum drama stuff is entertaining to look back on, but moments like Peter Mayhew doing Q&A here was something far beyond the forum itself, and could be considered a part of Star Wars history. These are answers and statements from the legend who played Chewbacca that you can't get anywhere else. I'm so glad that they weren't all lost in a forum purge.
     
  4. Happy Sando

    Happy Sando Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 2023
    @jedi_master_ousley Wow. This is nothing short of heroic. Chewie would approve.

    As a relative newcomer to these forums, thank you!
     
    jedi_master_ousley likes this.
  5. gezvader28

    gezvader28 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2003
    yeah , thanks for compiling this.

    are there any others ?
     
    jedi_master_ousley likes this.
  6. Count Yubnub

    Count Yubnub Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 2012
    This is awesome. Thank you!
     
    jedi_master_ousley likes this.
  7. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    May 18, 2017
    Wow that was very nice to read Peter's comments.
     
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  8. jedi_master_ousley

    jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    I hope Chewie would approve anyway! It was a pleasure to put it together. If you ever have time, reading the original threads is very interesting. It was nice to see how gracious the members of the forums were to be able to ask him questions, tell him stories, and just send general praises of his work.

    To the best of my knowledge, he was the only actor or person directly involved with the films who posted here. There was a rumor that Ian McDiarmid was posting here anonymously but it was never substantiated and I don't recall why people suspected him. Grimby said yesterday that a lot of people think Dave Filoni posted here under a generic username before he ever worked for Lucasfilm, but that has never been confirmed either.

    A few people associated with Lucasfilm posted here long ago. Ghent was originally an admin here and moved over to working on content for StarWars.com. A lot of authors and artists from the expanded universe novels and comics as well as video games have posted here over the years. I've been working on a list of them, but some date back to the New Jedi Order publishing era so remaining posts are sparse. Most of them only posted a few times, but their presence and time was of course appreciated. Occasionally someone will still be active: John Jackson Miller posted fairly recently when his new book was announced. DarthInternous is an editor for Del Rey / Random House. and shares a lot of great information about behind-the-scenes of how some publishing/editing decisions are made and used to host a Q&A thread.
     
  9. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 14, 2018
    SW 1977 modelmaker Colin Cantwell (RIP) posted on these forums several years ago as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2024
  10. jedi_master_ousley

    jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2002
    That's awesome! Thank you for sharing! I'll be putting him on my list for sure.

    I've also discovered that Warren Duxbury had an account here. He worked in creatures / puppeteering in Episode II and played an aide to Senators Aide to Senator Dowmeia and Pacithhip, the latter of which didn't make the final cut.
     
  11. Django Fett

    Django Fett Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Probably my earliest memory of SW is why doesn't Chewie get a medal too? PM is legendary and will live forever through his performances as Chewbacca.
     
    jedi_master_ousley likes this.
  12. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    May 18, 2017
    His Billy Dee comments were interesting. He made it sound like Williams did not socialize much with the cast. Maybe he is just shy?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2024
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  13. DarthHass

    DarthHass Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Oh this is too cool.
     
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  14. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2001
    I remember when he came on here and was pleasantly surprised. It is important to keep these posts around for future fans.
     
  15. dick rodgers

    dick rodgers Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Wow talk about a rabbit hole! Brilliant!
     
  16. Dandelo

    Dandelo SW and Film Music Interview Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 25, 2014
    I was expecting this thread to be about a seance.
     
  17. Deanna Montgomery

    Deanna Montgomery Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 3, 2014
    Thank you so much for posting this. Well worth the time. RIP Mr. Mayhew. You are missed.
     
  18. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Wow. I’d never known about all of this. How cool
    to read.
     
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  19. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2005
    This is a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Great work and thank you, @jedi_master_ousley [face_party]
    I knew that PM was active here once upon a time, but I'd never read any of his posts. It's remarkable how I'm literally hearing him read them aloud in my head.
    And check this out:

    "Please be patient and allow me my learning time as I'm only a wookiee..you know....and the keys on the computer are very, very small..."

    Am I the only who gets a Tolkienesque vibe from the way he expresses himself? He had that old-fashioned, gentlemanly air about him. So lovely!
     
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