A Fond Farewell to a Gentle Giant

A Fond Farewell to a Gentle Giant- Rest in Peace and May the Force Be with You!
Contributed by ‘Comic book artist’ Rob Vellone
I love dogs and I grew up with one of the best! I also love Star Wars. So, it should come as no shock that I fell in love with the “dog” of Star Wars and of course I mean Chewbacca.
Chewie was instantly one of my favorite characters and has remained so throughout my life. While writing for the Golden Words newspaper at Queen’s University in the early 90’s, where we had to use a pen name, I took “Chewie” and it’s stuck with me as a nickname ever since.
As a comic book artist, I’ve appeared at many conventions throughout Canada and the US and it was during a show in Detroit that I first met Chewbacca himself, actor, Peter Mayhew.
We would run into each other at shows over the years and during that time we’d have drinks together and chat in the hotel bars wherever all of the guests of the conventions were staying. We became convention friends and I always looked forward to seeing him if I knew we would be appearing at the same show.
Sadly, his appearances became more and more rare as his physical health deteriorated.
I was extremely saddened when Peter passed away on April 30th of this year at the age of 74.
I don’t think I can say this any better than Harrison Ford did when he was asked about him.
He was a really sweet man, a nice man. He was a kind; funny gentle giant with dignity and class and I will miss him.
Most people never get fortunate enough to meet their heroes, let alone befriend them. I count myself among the very lucky.

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