The Chewbacca actor is tweeting pages from one of his original Star Wars: Journal of the Whills script -- which would eventually become Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope -- in the run up to a "big announcement." Unfortunately, figuring out what Mayhew means by "announcement" is like trying to understand Wookiee. [Insert unintelligible cry here.]
Mayhew's coffee-stained, well-thumbed pages -- dated March 15, 1976 -- give us a wondrous glimpse into the early adventures of Luke Starkiller. (Luke's surname was famously renamed Skywalker mid-production on A New Hope.)
Since Mayhew is keeping mum on his big announcement, it leaves the door wide open for speculation. Will Chewie make a cameo appearance in the Star Wars standalone film, Rogue One, later this year? There are already rumors that Lucasfilm and Disney plan to introduce their young Han Solo in the prequel ahead of his own solo film, set for release in 2018, so it makes sense that the Wookiee would be by his side.
We wouldn't exactly mind if the upcoming, untitled Han Solo standalone film, which will take place before A New Hope, was actually an origin story of Han and Chewbacca's friendship. They could call it When Han Met Chewie, and then they could take all of our money because that sounds like the kind of film we've been looking for.
On a more somber note, it's also possible that Mayhew could be announcing his retirement from the franchise. It's no secret that the actor isn't as spry as he once was, and his health was already a major obstacle to his return in The Force Awakens. Mayhew had a double knee replacement before production on Episode VII began, and he split his Wookiee duties with 6'11" actor Joonas Suotamo. It's also worth noting that Mayhew's name wasn't in the recent cast announcement for Episode VIII.
Given Harrison Ford's emotional exit from the franchise, now could be the right time for Mayhew to take his final bow. Chewie, loyal friend until the end.
Han + Chewie = ❤️
It's hard to imagine Star Wars continuing without Mayhew. For nearly four decades, his eyes have been the window into Chewie's soul. He's the heart of the franchise; there's no one who loves Star Wars more than him. He embodies the very spirit of these films.
Mayhew, a gentle giant, has been an integral part of the franchise' enduring appeal and indomitable legacy.
Or maybe Chewie is finally getting his damn medal. [WOOKIEE YELL.]