Much digital ink has been spilled over the meetings between Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover and their respective forebears (read: Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams), but they weren’t the only ones to seek the advice of their peers while preparing for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
As revealed by Entertainment Weekly, Joonas Suotamo worked in close collaboration with Star Wars legend Peter Mayhew all throughout production. A 31-year-old former basketball player from Finland, Suotamo inherited the role of everyone’s favorite Wookiee in time for The Last Jedi, having leveraged Chewie’s screentime with Mayhew for The Force Awakens.
That means Solo brought about an increased workload for Suotamo, who met with Peter Mayhew each and every week in what quickly became a “Wookiee boot camp.”
We had a weeklong Wookiee boot camp where Peter taught me what he thought was very important for the character. That was so helpful, because we got to go over the flailing of the arms and the upright posture. The thing that stuck to me most was he told me to lead with the chest when walking. That was a very important thing for Peter. Because Chewbacca is a very proud creature.
On a more general note, Joonas Suotamo still holds on to that description that Solo: A Star Wars Story is, in fact, a love story between the galaxy’s greatest double act.
In some ways you can say that what forms is a “love story,” but between those two characters, there’s just a deeper bond. And it gets complicated to describe in any other way than that they are two very talented space travelers who are on a task. And I’m happy that this movie combines both the emotional arc and also the daring space adventures that we have come to love.
On May 25th, Solo: A Star Wars Story chronicles the early years of a bona fide screen legend, and we simply can’t wait. As for what’s next? Well, it would seem Ron Howard has left the door open for a potential sequel…or two.