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Actor Joonas Suotamo, who played Chewie's double in "The Force Awakens" and officially replaced Peter Mayhew in the role for "The Last Jedi" and "Solo: A Star Wars Story" took to Instagram this week to talk about his experiences.

SALT LAKE CITY — Chewbacca will return to the big screen this December in "Star Wars: Episode IX," and this week the man behind the mask is giving us a glimpse of what it's like to fill the iconic role.

What happened: Actor Joonas Suotamo, who played Chewie's double in "The Force Awakens" and officially replaced Peter Mayhew in the role for "The Last Jedi" and "Solo: A Star Wars Story," took to Instagram this week to talk about his experiences, according to ComicBook.com.

  • Though he called playing Chewie "a dream," Suotamo wrote that the role can be demanding, especially with all of that hair.
  • "On interior sets there might not be any real airflow and the hairs would just trap all the heat to the fur and cause a slow temperature rise," Suotamo said, adding that on set, it could typically take one to two hours do to takes for Chewie's scenes.
  • Suotamo said in longer filming sessions, he would sometimes have to conserve his energy by "reserv(ing) some of my jokes for after filming."

In August 2018, Suotamo cancelled a convention appearance due to having a larger role in "Star Wars: Episode IX" than expected, ComicBook.com reported, an announcement that prompted excitement from Chewbacca fans over the role the character might play.

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Chewie is Suotamo's first onscreen role. According to ComicBook.com, the actor is well-built for the role at 6-foot-11, coming in shy of Mayhew's 7-foot-2.

Other Chewie news: It's been quite the week for the Wookiee, as Mayhew took to Twitter Wednesday to share an old photograph of Mark Hamill donning his mask.

  • Hamill responded to the tweet with an interesting bit of Star Wars trivia, saying the original Chewie mask was a "rarity" and was not mass produced because George Lucas "didn’t want the finished product to be snarling."

Chewie will return to the big screen for "Star Wars: Episode IX" on Dec. 20.