While working at my current nine-to-five job (here at the design 'ho-house) I've been shocked to discover that many of the under-thirties on the staff just don't think the original STAR WARS (1977) was all that big of deal, despite the fact that they eat up much of the subsequent genre offerings like a smorgasbord. They explain this away as STAR WARS having had a huge impact at the time, but it doesn't grab them the way it did my generation because sci-fi spectacles brimming with kickass visuals are now par for the course, rendering their predecessor a sort of "you had to be there at the time" movie experience for them. Thirty-one years ago that concept would have been blasphemous to me, but I guess I can understand it, so for those of you in that camp, please feel free to skip this post. But, for the rest of you...
Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and some guy.
Chewbacca. Enormous co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, staunch ally, incomprehensible growler that everyone understood anyway, and "walking carpet," a fun and lovable space alien who has certainly earned his place among the immortal screen characters. And underneath that mask and furry costume can be found a 7' 3" Englishman with a sweet face and a kind nature, one Peter Mayhew.
Happy birthday, dude. You may not have met all of your millions of fans, but you made all of us very happy, and that means something in this turbulent existence. May you live to enjoy many, many more birthdays.