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In a heartfelt passing of the torch (or crossbow, depending on how deep your Star Wars knowledge goes), the actor who’s been tapped to take up the mantle of legendary Star Wars character, the Wookie Chewbacca, has written an open letter of gratitude and tribute to Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca.

Per UPROXX:

Fans have known for a while that Peter Mayhew hasn’t been in the best of health, but he still managed to put on the suit as Chewbacca one more time in The Force Awakens. He did so with the help of body double Joonas Suotamo, a former power forward for Penn State and generally interesting guy. Suotamo, it turns out, was being groomed to take over Chewie for good, which he announced last night in a heartfelt letter.

Mayhew’s career has been defined by Chewie, having played him everywhere from amusement park rides to an appearance on Late Show With David Letterman, not to mention five Star Wars movies so far, and apparently he’ll be getting one last go in the suit when Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out this December.

Fans will get to see Suotamo as Chewie for the first time in the new Han Solo feature film, which is set to hit theaters some time next year.

(h/t UPROXX)

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