Harrison Ford has paid tribute to the late Peter Mayhew.

The star - who was best known for playing Chewbacca in the 'Star Wars' franchise - tragically passed away on April 30 at the age of 74, and on Friday (03.05.19) his co-star Harrison, who stars in the series as Han Solo, praised Peter for his ''wit and grace'' and said he ''loved'' his friend of 30 years.

In a statement to Variety, he hailed the actor ''a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character.These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca.

''We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.

''Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them.

''I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend.''

'Star Wars' creator George Lucas has also spoken out following Peter's death, insisting: ''Peter was a wonderful man.

''He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature ... and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend and I'm saddened by his passing.''

Warwick Davis - who starred as Ewok, Wicket W. Warrick in 1983's 'Return Of The Jedi' - has also paid tribute to Peter and stated the actor had a ''big heart and lovely humour''.

Speaking on 'This Morning' he said: ''I first met Peter when I was 11 and was obviously enthralled by Chewbacca. But I soon learned to realise Chewbacca was Peter, he had a big heart and lovely humour and he bought that through the costume.

''Testament to him as well, it's hard to convey emotion when you don't have your facial features to work with. I had the pleasure over the years to interview him, and he will be sadly missed.''