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    Star Wars: Episode VII Casting Coup: Peter Mayhew Returning as Chewbacca?!

    Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca Robin Platzer/FilmMagic

    Another pretty big piece (a 7-foot-3-inch-tall piece, in fact) of the Star Wars: Episode VII casting puzzle is said to be in place.

    Following news that production on the hugely anticipated reboot of the famed George Lucas-created franchise was quietly under way, sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that Peter Mayhew is returning as Han Solo's No. 1 wing-Wookie, Chewbacca.

    The rumor mill started churning at high speed after Mayhew had to cancel a May appearance at Comicpalooza in Texas "due to filming."

    And that's gotta be music (lyrics charmingly unintelligible, of course) to big-time fans.

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    Mayhew joins reported returnees Harrison Fordand Mark Hamill, confirmed returnee Carrie Fisher, series newcomer Adam Driver and...

    That's all anyone really knows at this point, though surely the super-secretive J.J. Abrams, who cowrote the script and is directing, can't keep a lid on his entire cast for long.

    Oscar winner Michael Arndt started penning the screenplay but Abrams ultimately took over with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi scribe Lawrence Kasdan.

    Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn told THR last week that, as far as actors go, the production has "a lot of them. We're just not completely done yet."

    But cue the epic fanfare when that announcement is made! May the force continue to be with the casting department.

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