STAR WARS EPISODE VII: Peter Mayhew Returns as Chewie

After Comicpalooza’s announcement on Twitter that Peter Mayhew has been forced to pull out of the Texas convention this year due to filming, Heat Vision has now confirmed that Mayhew will be inside that Wookiee costume after all as Han Solo’s loyal companion Chewbacca in Star Wars: Episode VII.

This comes after the revelation from Disney Chief Alan Horn that they’d already begun shooting sequences for Episode VII, though casting isn’t complete. J.J. Abrams was no doubt rewriting Michael Arndt’s screenplay to focus more on the original characters.

Mayhew played the big walking carpet Chewie beginning with Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977, as well as in Revenge of the Sith. The actor has had some serious health issues and he has been working his butt off to get back in shape and walk again unaided.

Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher also are said to be reprising their roles, along with rumored contenders Adam Driver and Lupita Nyong’o.

The latest installment, set three decades after Return of the Jedi, opens December 18, 2015.

Do you think original C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels will be next?

Check out Mayhew during the filming of the original Star Wars with Ford, Daniels and Fisher.