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.Comment on this story
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.