How did Peter Mayhew come up with and do the voice of Chewbacca

How did Peter Mayhew come up with and do the voice of Chewbacca

Peter Mayhew did not come up with or do the voice of Chewbacca. Lucasfilm sound designer Ben Burtt did, compositing it from grunts and growls from a variety of different animals. Mayhew actually had English lines, which he spoke for the benefit of the actors on set.

Peter brought a charm that I don’t think many people could pull off. Let’s face it: when Star Wars first started, it could easily have fallen off the rails — 70s sci-fi / fantasy has still stuck in the campy mindset of the 50s and 60s (with notable exception of 2001: A Space Odyssey).

Dressing up as a giant Sasquatch with a crossbow could’ve been an utter disaster, but Peter made it work. Actually, strike that: he gave Chewie life.

One of the most interesting aspects of Mr. Mayhew’s work is that the costume was a rather rudimentary one. The face had minimal articulation, so he relied mostly on body language for conveying emotion.