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Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo towers over his co-stars

He took on the role of the famous Wookie in seventh star wars installment The Force Awakens, which he shared with 7ft 3in actor Peter Mayhew.

And for the premiere of his third Star Wars appearance Joonas Suotamo stood head and shoulders above his famous cast mates as they posed for pictures in Cannes.

At 6ft 9in, the Finnish basketball player, 31, loomed over his co-stars during the star-studded line up outside the Palais des Festivals during the Solo: A Star Wars Story screening at Palais des Festivals.

Towering: For the premier of his third Star Wars appearance Joonas Suotamo (second left) lined up with his famous cast mates as they posed for pictures in Cannes

Joonas seemed an obvious choice to play the part of Chewbacca, Han Solo’s co-pilot and best friend due to his extraordinary height.

The new Star Wars spin off takes a look back at how the friendship between Chewbacca and space rascal Han Solo began and blossomed.  

The role of iconic Wookie warrior was originally given to 7ft 3in actor Peter Mayhew in the late 1970s.

Up in the clouds: The Finnish basketball player, 31, towered over his co-stars during the star-studded line up outside the Palais des Festivals during the Solo: A Star Wars Story

Up in the clouds: The Finnish basketball player, 31, towered over his co-stars during the star-studded line up outside the Palais des Festivals during the Solo: A Star Wars Story

However due to Peter’s inability to take part in more demanding scenes a new actor had to be found take on the part for the more physically rigorous aspects.

For his first appearance as Chewbacca, Jonas shared the part with Peter, who had played the part since the film series’ inception.   

His part in the seventh installment was shrouded in secrecy and until recently, Joonas was still hoping he would have ‘better luck’ about his invitation to the premiere.

Before landing the role in Star Wars, Joonas was selling insurance but recently said he ‘wasn’t planning to go back’ as a hint that his future with the franchise is secure.

New Chewbacca: Joonas, who is an impressive 6ft 9in, seemed an obvious choice to play the part of Chewbacca, Han Solo's co-pilot and best friend

New Chewbacca: Joonas, who is an impressive 6ft 9in, seemed an obvious choice to play the part of Chewbacca, Han Solo’s co-pilot and best friend

Previous job: Before landing the role in Star Wars, Joonas was selling insurance but recently said he 'wasn't planning to go back' as a hint that his future with the franchise is secure

Previous job: Before landing the role in Star Wars, Joonas was selling insurance but recently said he ‘wasn’t planning to go back’ as a hint that his future with the franchise is secure

He graduated in 2008 after playing power forward for his college basketball team. 

Despite his hectic filming schedule Joonas proposed to his fiancee Milla in August last year, on a day out in London’s Notting Hill.

‘Would I be his wife?’ she wrote in a post about the ring on Instagram. ‘He asked me today after making pancakes and caught me completely by surprise.

‘I nearly swooned like maidens in old novels. Yes, I will. And such a pretty ring. I feel so happy’

Proposal! Despite his hectic filming schedule Joonas proposed to his fiancee Milla in August last year, on a day out in London's Notting Hill

Proposal! Despite his hectic filming schedule Joonas proposed to his fiancee Milla in August last year, on a day out in London’s Notting Hill

At the time of the seventh film, original actor Peter was recovering from a pair of knee replacements.

He says he learned a lot about the character from Mayhew himself, explaining: ‘[Peter] talked about the mindset of Chewie, how he’s loyal to his pilot — things that require underlining.

But basketball player Joonas – who used to play for Penn State – was warned that he was ‘too skinny to be a Wookiee’ by actor Peter, USA Today reports.

Peter was originally hired by Star Wars director George Lucas who at the time, was said to be searching for ‘a tall actor who could fit the role of the hairy alien.’

He has starred in five Star Wars films, including the original trilogy Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Last Jedi: Joonas at the premier of The Last Jedi with his fiancee Milla 

The Last Jedi: Joonas at the premier of The Last Jedi with his fiancee Milla 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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