Chewbacca has Left the Building
Peter Mayhew AKA Chewbacca, Chewy, Han Solo’s BFF and iconic sidekick died this year without the usual fanfare accorded a superstar.
There were no news breaks, day and night and even weekly coverage like a Kobe or a Michael, just a sense of loss on so many levels from Star Wars fans.
Not to denigrate from others’ greatness, but if you cut us do we not bleed?
To a Star Wars geek the loss of Chewy is a giant blow, pun intended. He was able while wearing a costume to evoke emotions some actors can’t do while the camera is staring right at their face. He also suffered physical pain and difficulties while creating an iconic character and handled it all with class and professionalism.
Chewy was lovable, loyal, funny, protective and smart. His utterances transcended words and fans loved the character and appreciated that the man who played him hit exactly the right notes.
I want to know who decides. Who says this person is more important and deserves more coverage than another? Who in the entertainment business speaks for us all?
Watching the Academy Awards, while hoping my gag reflex didn’t fail me I was shocked that Kirk Douglas’s death wasn’t mentioned the entire night until the pictures of the dead rolled on the giant screen. Kirk Douglas is just one of the throng? Really? Seriously?
I know that most of old Hollywood was either dead or missing in action at the awards ceremonies, proving the theory that old people are not welcome, but to not even mention a man like Kirk Douglas, an icon, and a legitimate legend.
At one point in the “festivities” Tom Hanks who was speaking about AMPAS, ended with “I am Spartacus,” alluding to Kirk Douglas’s iconic words in Spartacus.
That was it. A shout out to Hanks, but can’t the academy do better?
Not a single actor acknowledged him in any way. No “we lost a legend a few days ago” speech, nod or comment on a man that so contributed to Hollywood’s reputation. Just a cavalier, “another one bites the dust,” kind of attitude.
Tom Hanks was the only one who felt compelled to honor a legend? How sad.
What are the Academy Awards anyway? The entire industry takes itself so damn seriously, but it is that one night a year we are most reminded of their ego.
The fashion is no longer as entertaining as when Joan Rivers mocked and trashed the celebs parading across the red carpet. The movies are many no one has even seen or heard of anymore. Heaven forbid a movie that actually rakes in billions should be given a shout out. Hello Avengers, Star Wars, etc.
A place where Hollywood goes to convince itself it’s more than all that and stars become political commentators while everyone pats everyone else on the back because they finally caught one of the bad guys, Harvey Weinstein; with no help from Hollywood, by the way.
A show where the best acting is done by the losers who pretend to be happy for those who just beat them out for the award.
Shouldn’t there be a category for the Peter Mayhews who must act beneath ten tons of makeup and a confining costume. For someone who can create a character that is beloved by hundreds of millions across the globe.
Chewy didn’t need no stinkin’ subtitles to create a legend.
I’m not equating Kirk Douglas and Mayhew. They were far different actors, yet both excelled at their craft.
If numbers are the judge Chewy had as many fans as Michael Jackson or Kobe Bryant.
If character is the criteria, Mayhew and Harrison Ford created a more iconic and world renown team than Abbot and Costello.
Perhaps it’s because the geek in me was fired up when Chewy and Kirk Douglas’s deaths went so unheralded by the news and their own colleagues.
Douglas was part of a time when Hollywood was golden and stars were stars, and the big screen held magic and wonder because movies were played on giant screens instead of an iphone. One escaped into the world of make believe not into the palm of their own hand for escape.
Douglas was a true gentleman and an artist. I met him and I can say that first hand.
Mayhew was part of a franchise so gigantic that only something as huge as the mouse AKA Disney could take over and be trusted to carry on its greatness.
Unfortunately, I should be more surprised than I am by the slight, but in the end I, with all my fellow fans salute two Hollywood greats, along with many others that left the building this year.
The Hollywood sign outside my window is looking just a little rustier and older than before.
No Beverly Hills plastic surgeon can cover the mark they both left on the entertainment world.
RIP Kirk and Chewy, you will never be forgotten.