With the news of Peter Mayhew’s passing earlier this week at the age of 74, many of the longtime creators and stars of Star Wars have penned tributes to the late actor, who originated the role of Chewbacca and played the character in five Star Wars films. That includes one from Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo opposite Mayhew’s Chewie in four of those five movies. He told The Hollywood Reporter:

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. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.

Ford’s colleague in the fraternity of original Star Wars actors, Mark Hamill, posted a long note to Twitter, along with a few photos of the two together throughout the years. Hamill called him “the gentlest of giants” and a “loyal friend”:

J.J. Abrams worked with Mayhew on The Force Awakens, his last time donning the Chewbacca suit. Abrams posted a handwritten note to Twitter, calling Mayhew “a sweetheart to work with and already deeply missed”:

While Mayhew didn’t play Chewbacca in The Last Jedi, he was a consultant on the film; its director, Rian Johnson, posted this:

Finally, the man who inherited the role of Chewie from Mayhew, Joonas Suotamo, said he was “devastated” by the news, but assured fans “his legacy will live on and the spirit he gave the character when he first donned the suit will never be forgotten”:

It seems like in addition to the loss of a fine actor, who brought so much personality and character to a big pile of fur, the Star Wars galaxy has lost a good and kind person. He really will be missed.

Gallery — Amazing Star Wars Concept Art:

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