Peter Mayhew has retired from the role of Chewbacca. While this isn't that surprising to fans who follow Star Wars news very carefully it is a passing of the torch. Mayhew, who is in his 70's now, will play the role of Chewie one last time in Star Wars Episode VII: The Last Jedi before actor Joonas Suotamo takes over the role full time starting with the Han Solo prequel movie. Mayhew and Suotamo both played the role of Chewie in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens with Mayhew only able to play Chewie if the character was stationary. Suotamo, a Finnish former basketball player, posted on twitter to share the news and also thank Mayhew for his hard work and guidance.
— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) February 21, 2017
If Suotamo can put as much heart into Chewie as he did into those lovely words then the character is in good hands.