Just hours ago the world learned of the passing of actor Peter Mayhew.
Mayhew was best known for his work in the Star Wars films as the original lovable sidekick, Chewbacca.
The 7 foot 3 inch actor led a rich life of 74 years. He passed away in his Texas home, surrounded by his family on April 30.
For the few left in the universe who are unfamiliar with Star Wars, Chewbacca is a Wookiee who stands faithfully at the side of Han Solo, originally played by Harrison Ford.
Ford and Mayhew worked closely together for the entirety of the original Star Wars trilogy — Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi — as well as in the more recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
As would be expected, Harrison Ford was among the first to publicly pay tribute to his fellow actor and friend.
"Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character. These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca."
"We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him."
Ford's emotional eulogy continued.
"He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience. Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them."
"I, and millions of others, will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend..."
After Ford's words were published, the official Twitter account for Mayhew responded in the most heartbreaking way.
He knew. https://t.co/sbixEmncx1— Peter Mayhew (@Peter Mayhew)1556855676.0
(Those who don't understand the reference, watch this.)
Luke Skywalker actor, Mark Hamill, also penned a tribute to the beloved actor.
He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal frien… https://t.co/bMcfHn4S1q— Mark Hamill (@Mark Hamill)1556839716.0
Other celebrities joined in to celebrate Mayhew's life.
Sad to hear of Peter Mayhew's passing. So long, Chewie, may the force be with you.— Elijah Wood (@Elijah Wood)1556839390.0
May the Force Be with You, #PeterMayhew! As the King of the Cinematic Sidekicks, your performance helped make my ch… https://t.co/aQciiVyY6m— KevinSmith (@KevinSmith)1556866018.0
Star Wars wouldn’t have been the same without Peter Mayhew as the loyal and lovable Chewbacca, and he will always b… https://t.co/p2HJuDwgfi— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau)1556853929.0
And of course fans could not help but share their admiration and love for their favorite Wookiee.
@TheWookieeRoars https://t.co/xLVhWc7lin— Jonathan Notman (@Jonathan Notman)1556856178.0
@CNN This news saddens me deeply. Chewbacca was one of my favorite characters since I was 7 years old in 1977. And… https://t.co/At9B8pj71p— Timmy Monkey, Your Weird Uncle. (@Timmy Monkey, Your Weird Uncle.)1556879634.0
@CNN I hope he rests in peace in Wookiee heaven. He brought great joy to millions of people.— Sara Praeger (@Sara Praeger)1556870856.0
R.I.P. #PeterMayhew 🌟 Thank you for bringing us closer to the stars and for bringing one of the kindest, dearest ch… https://t.co/h2aYbUgd54— Esther Wagner (@Esther Wagner)1556872780.0
Just heard the news that Peter Mayhew, who played our beloved Chewbacca, has passed away. His career spanned genera… https://t.co/eBwvmgvggB— Hazel Hayes (@Hazel Hayes)1556873360.0
Awww, damn. 💔 RIP, Peter Mayhew. https://t.co/6UR3FgQzx8— Jeri Ryan (@Jeri Ryan)1556892696.0
Lovely little tribute to Peter Mayhew aka Chewbacca from @OfficialTfGM this morning. #starwars https://t.co/E1SNFpCm0A— Ryan Owen Gibson (@Ryan Owen Gibson)1556868224.0
Rest in peace, Mr. Mayhew.