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Star Wars Weekly: Celebrating May the Fourth, mourning an icon

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May 3, 2019

Time again for STAR WARS WEEKLY, the SYFY WIRE series that rounds up the most important news of the week from a galaxy far, far away. Think of us as your own personal Star Wars Holocron.

PETER MAYHEW HAS PASSED

A giant has fallen. Word came through Twitter this week that Peter Mayhew, the actor behind Chewbacca in five of the Star Wars films, passed away in his Texas home at the age of 74. Mayhew has been a mainstay on the convention circuit for the last two decades, interacting with fans on a near weekly basis around the world. Sure, the world would know him as Chewbacca the Wookiee, but fans would know him as "friend."

He was always gracious with his time and had a smile for every fan. He'll live on, not just as the character, but through the charitable work he founded. The Peter Mayhew Foundation was founded to help alleviate the financial burden brought on by traumatic events and Mayhew's family is asking for donations to the foundation in lieu of flowers.

"I loved him," Harrison Ford, his Star Wars partner in space crime, commented about Mayhew's passing.

To which his family replied via Mayhew's Twitter:

GALAXY'S EDGE RESERVATIONS SELL OUT

Disneyland opened reservations for Galaxy's Edge this week and these four-hour slots for fans to check out the park sold out in mere hours for the first month of the park opening.

Have no fear if you didn't make it, though. More reservations will open up soon and you'll be able to plan your first visit to Galaxy's Edge sooner rather than later. Eventually, there will be no restrictions on getting into the park. For now, though, this is probably just a measure to see how they can handle the unlimited waves of crowds that will no doubt be crushing them when they open the floodgates.

CALIFORNIA DECLARES A STAR WARS HOLIDAY

The state legislature in California decided that May the Fourth was holiday enough to declare it an official holiday in the state. At a ceremony at the Capitol in Sacramento, fan groups were on hand to help usher in the news.

There's no word on whether or not Star Wars Day will end up as a federal holiday, but literally anything is possible right now.

MAY THE FOURTH IN IRELAND

Many communities and libraries around the world are doing their own May the Fourth celebrations, but Ireland is pulling out the stops from one side of the country to the other. I'm in Ireland participating in the festivities and visiting the places where The Last Jedi was shot.

Fellow regular StarWars.com and Star Wars Insider contributor James Floyd and I took an extensive tour of Malin Head where three days of shooting happened on The Last Jedi. They were kind enough to fly us out here.

The various tourism offices across the country have united to hold a May the Fourth festival all along the entire Wild Atlantic Way. If you happen to be in Ireland, you can get more information here.

THE PHANTOM MENACE AT 20

Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace turns 20 years old this month and the official Star Wars website has launched a whole bunch of content to help celebrate. The one I've seen people having the most fun with is this quiz helps you decide which outfit of Queen Amidala's you should wear.

Make sure you're keeping up with all of the official channels for more celebrations of George Lucas's favorite Star Wars film (at least according to his video that he recorded for the 20th-anniversary panel at Star Wars Celebration).

Until next week, May the Force Be With You!

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