Shortly after news of his death broke, Hamill, 67, paid tribute to Mayhew, whom he described as “the gentlest of giants.”

“A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I’m grateful for the memories we shared & I’m a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete,” Hamill tweeted.

In 2015, Mayhew, who was 7’3”, told PEOPLE he enjoyed returning to his iconic role for 

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He also opened up about returning to his famous rapport with his onscreen buddy Harrison Ford, saying, “We were in our trailers in England, and there was a knock on the door. It’s Harrison, [saying], ‘Hey buddy. How are you doing? You’ve got to get back in the old suit again, have you?’”

“And a great big hug and everything was back to normal,” Mayhew added.

Mayhew is survived by his wife Angie and their three children. A memorial service will be held for him on June 29, as well as a memorial service in early December in Los Angeles for fans.

Rather than gifts and flowers, the actor’s family asks fans to consider donating to the Peter Mayhew Foundation.

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