A tweet from a Houston comic convention leads to speculation that Peter Mayhew may be reprising his role as Chewbacca in Star Wars Episode VII.
In a tantalizing bit of possible Star Wars Episode VII casting news, it appears that Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca, is dropping out of an upcoming convention appearance to film a project.
Mayhew was scheduled to appear at Comicpalooza, a Houston comic convention, from May 23 through the 26th. However, on March 28, Comicpalooza tweeted that Mayhew would no longer be appearing, stating "We regret to announce that Peter Mayhew is canceling his appearance at Comicpalooza this year due to filming."
Mayhew is mostly retired from acting, so his participation in a film project is unusual, especially considering the 7' 2" actor recently underwent knee replacement surgery and physical therapy. The announcement, coupled with Lucasfilm's confirmation that Episode VII will begin filming in May, makes Mayhew's participation in a new Star Wars film all the more likely.
JJ Abrams has been keenly aware that Star Wars fans want as many connections to the original trilogy as possible, so Mayhew's participation will likely be well received.
The 69-year-old actor made headlines last year when his lightsaber cane, which he uses to assist his walking, was confiscated at an airport by TSA officials as a weapon.
It should also be noted that Billy Dee Williams, who played Lando Calrissian in the original trilogy, is also scheduled to attend Comicpalooza, but has not canceled. Williams' participation in the new films has not been confirmed.