The family of Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew has thanked fans for their tributes as devotees of the Star Wars franchise gathered around the world for the annual May the Fourth celebrations.
A message from the British-born actor’s closest said reading posts online and seeing many years’ worth of photos taken by members of the public had helped them deal with their loss.
Mayhew, best known for playing the famous Wookie, died on April 30 at his Texas home at the age of 74.
A message posted to the actor’s Twitter account said: “May the 4th is a tribute to the scale of Star Wars reach and as we process losing Peter we have been reading all of your posts, hearing your stories & seeing decades worth of fan photos and from the bottom of our hearts we wanted to say Thank You.”
Star Wars events are held around the world on May 4, due to the date sounding like the film’s famous phrase – ‘May the Force be with you’.
Co-stars Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill were among those who paid tribute to Mayhew, who was 7ft 3in and appeared in five Star Wars films, most recently 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.