There’s a new Wookie in town. And he’s from Finland.
Joonas Suotamo first doubled for Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca, in ‘The Force Awakens’, and now he’s confirmed for the ‘Star Wars’ standalone movie about the young Han Solo.
“Chewbacca is one of the most iconic characters in the history of film, and Peter’s development and portrayal of this beloved Wookiee has spread so much joy around the globe,” Suotamo said in a statement announcing his casting.
“Peter’s guidance and kindness have been invaluable gifts which warmed my spirit and prepared me for this journey.
“I aspire to make Peter proud and bring Star Wars fans the Chewie they know and love.”
Joonas is a statuesque six-feet, 10-inches tall, and is also – obviously – a basketball player too, having attended Penn State University, and playing for the Penn State Nittany Lions.
But as impressively tall as that is, he’s still a few inches short of Mayhew’s dominating seven-foot, two-inches.
As well as playing basketball at Penn State, he also graduated with a degree in film.
And he was also on-set in the wookie outfit when Harrison Ford had that calamitous run-in with the door of the Millennium Falcon, which resulted in Ford breaking his ankle.
“I immediately tried to lift it, but it wouldn’t even move,” the actor said in an interview with Business Insider.
“It was stopped by an emergency button, but none of us knew that. We were all freaking out. But [Ford] was great, he wanted everyone to not worry about him.”
— Star Wars (@starwars) February 21, 2017
A first shot of the cast of the Han Solo standalone was released yesterday, with Alden Ehrenriech (Han), Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge all at the controls of the Millennium Falcon.
And, of course, Joonas in full walking carpet mode bearing over his other cast-members.
Photography began on the movie on Monday this week at Pinewood Studios, with the movie due out on May 25, 2018.