“Yes, this is absolutely true.” –Peter Mayhew responding on Reddit to rumors of requiring protection from Bigfoot hunters while in Chewbacca costume. Peter mayhew (Chewbacca) was required to be accompanied by crewmembers who wore brightly-colored vests while in the forests of the Pacific Northwest filming scenes set on Endor, so as not to be mistaken for Bigfoot and shot.
This is interesting, and definitely viral-worthy, but as a Start Wars nerd I’m pretty sure all the scenes of Endor were shot in Northern California (in the redwood Groves of Marin County and Del Norte County to be exact.
Because of the discrepancy of location I have to admit I was a little leery of the this factoid. Digging deeper I did find a supporting story written by Sean Whitley on Cryptomundo. The following excerpt is from 2011 and retells a story of how the filmakers were concerned for Peter Mayhew’s safety in Bigfoot’s backyard.
While shooting “Return of the Jedi” in the redwood forests of Northern California, Peter Mayhew, the seven foot, three inch actor who portrayed Chewbacca the Wookiee, was warned not to walk off set in costume for fear of being shot by hunters.
“Remember, this is Bigfoot country,” he was told by concerned crew members.
This is a little different than being surrounded by crew members wearing brightly-colored vests. No doubt the addition of being surrounded by crew-members on security detail makes the story a little more tantalizing. One of the best ways to find out would be from Peter mayhew himself and how would we get him to respond to such a trivial detail. Apparently Peter Mayhew has a confirmed reddit account and on, June 22nd 2015.
Although the Pacific Northwest filming site is still in question as least we know Bigfoot hunters were a large concern on the set of filming Jedi and protection included not walking offset with the costume on and a squad of brightly colored crew-members.