‘Star Wars’ Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew Undergoes Spinal Surgery

Alberto E. RodriguezGetty Images for Disney

He is beloved by fans for flying around the universe and beyond, but Star Wars star Peter Mayhew, who created the role of Chewbacca in the franchise, recently had to undergo surgery on his spine to help him with his mobility, reports Entertainment Weekly. The 7-foot-3 legend recently updated fans, apologizing for not having been active on Twitter, and shared a picture of himself at the hospital to explain why.

“Sorry, I’ve been quiet as of late. I’ve been planning & going through some spinal surgery to improve my mobility. It’s been a success & I’ll be spending the upcoming weeks recovering.”

This comes as a huge relief to the millions of fans he’s garnered over the years as a member of the original cast from the 1977 blockbuster. The actor continued to portray Chewbacca in every successive film in the franchise in which Chewbacca was needed, as well as in video games, but for the latest film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he turned the furry suit over to fellow actor Joonas Suotamo. In his Twitter posting, the actor also wanted to thank some people for his special care, in what had to be a scary experience to have to go through for the 74-year-old.

“A big thank you to the doctors, staff, my family & friends that have helped me through this.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news as he followed up that tweet with some information about an upcoming appearance he was no longer able to attend.

“Bad news. Due to my recent surgery, I will not be able to attend the upcoming London Film & Comic Con, but I have rescheduled and will be attending their show in March. Sorry to miss you all but I’ll be over as soon as my legs can paddle me across the pond. Cheers, Peter.”

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Despite all he has been going through, the actor has been in good spirits. He shared another tweet about the attention he has been getting, though he seemed to want to redirect it to here.

“Thank you all for the requests to send gifts & flowers. I would encourage you to donate to my foundation rather than send things to my hospital room. Not that I wouldn’t love a few cookies, but the foundation can always use help doing some good.”

The last film that Peter Mayhew appeared in was back in 2016 and called Killer Ink. The horror flick was written and directed by Lewis Leslie.