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Peter Mayhew to Star Wars fans: 'It's okay to grieve'

The man who plays Chewbacca opens his arms to Star Wars fans mourning the passing of Princess Leia actress Carrie Fisher.

Princess Leia and Chewbacca had been friends for a long time.


There's a scene in 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" when General Leia reunites with tall, furry Chewbacca. They embrace in a genuine hug of friendship.

Leia actress Carrie Fisher died from a heart attack on December 27. Fisher's mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, died on December 28. Peter Mayhew, who plays Chewbacca, has been sharing his thoughts about their passings through Twitter and now on social site Reddit.

Mayhew occasionally chimes in on Star Wars conversations on Reddit, but on Sunday he posted a direct message of his own to the Star Wars group, titled with the simple statement, "It's okay to grieve."

"For most of us, it's real grief, whether you met her or not, we all knew her," Mayhew writes. He invites fans who see him out to stop by and talk about Fisher and share condolences. He also reminds the community to "tell a joke and be happy, because it's what she would want us to do."

Mayhew's post has nearly 800 comments from Star Wars fans, but one note from Reddit user Gilbone sums up the overall response.

"It's difficult enough to express condolences for people you idolize," he writes. "Your permission shows your compassion for us, the fans. Thank you and I'm so sorry for your loss."