There's been a lot of speculation and serious concern about the direction of the next movie in the Star Wars saga and rightfully so. Remember all the giddy anticipation that bubbled out of our collective consciousness in the days leading up to the release of the first Star Wars prequel in 1999? The world had a collective joygasm as they waited in long lines to be among the first to experience the geek orgy that was Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace, only to leave the theater and feel as though they participated in an actual orgy. Their anticipation had got the better of them and the end result just left them covered with a sticky film of remorse, regret and what they hoped was movie popcorn butter.
However, JJ Abrams is no George Lucas and in this case, that's actually a good thing. He's a Bob Vila of fallen movie and TV franchises who seems to know how to identify its structural weaknesses and build supporting walls in places where they can no longer stand like with his work on the last two Star Trek movies (i.e. keep Shatner out of the picture). Now that he's hard at work on the next Star Wars movie, he seems to be making an earnest attempt to bring it back to its roots by not only putting Chewbacca back on the big screen but he's also bringing back Dallas legend Peter Mayhew, the towering actor who spent three long shoots in the first three Star Wars movies in what must have been an extremely hot Wookie costume.
Vanity Fair reported that Abrams called Mayhew, now 69-years-old, back to the set to don the Wookie costume one more time for Episode Seven, a bit of news that was only speculation after he had to cancel his appearance at the Comicpalooza convention next month in Houston. So ticket holders who were hoping to get a picture taken with the humble giant may be disappointed but happy to learn that he's bringing back the reason he spends so much time at conventions before endless lines of adoring fans. If not, they still get to meet Clark "Agent Coulson" Gregg and Billy Dee Frickin' Williams so what the hell are they complaining about?
We've reached out to Mayhew to see if he can talk about his big return to the big screen as the big character that made him such a big name in Star Wars circles. Rest assured that when we do, we'll post the details as quickly as we can as soon as we come down from the geek high that such delightful news has already produced.