Peter Mayhew has died. The Wookie roars no more.
I saw him at CONvergence some years ago, when he was a Guest of Honor, before the convention got eaten by SJWs. As with another Original Trilogy cast member--the man behind Admiral Ozzel, Michael Sheard--he was a beloved guest and both the convention and the membership ensured that he had a good time. In person he was classy, witty, and goofy in that uniquely English manner that is so endearing. What you see in extra features on Star Wars home video isn't an act; he really was like that in person, out from under any Lucasfilm oversight.
Seeing him was a wonderful experience, and I know he'll be missed. Rest in peace, Peter.
The man's death is a marker that a generational turnover is now in effect, and it is in doubt that his biggest achievement will last long after he's done thanks to Disney. As more of the older generation die off or retire into obscurity, their presence fades and with it the memories pass out of life and becomes fossilized into what is archived. Those who come after the fact may never know what they're missing if they never see or hear what came before, and that assumes those descendant generations are not lied to about these past peoples and events.
It's been said that 1997 was the Year Culture Died. That's also the year the Special Editions of the Original Trilogy were released into theaters, unofficially canonizing them as the narrative of record, and the countdown to the Prequels began. In a sense, this was not so much death as a mortal wound, where the injured would persist for a time--growing weaker along the way--before finally expiring. We hit that point, but some folks need markers to acknowledge it and Mayhew dying did it for me.
There is nothing left to save. There is only a remnant to preserve until it can be used as a cornerstone to build something new to succeed what had died.
Some of us are doing that. I've repeatedly pointed to Nick Cole & Jason Anspach's Galaxy's Edge series as a place for those wanting to satisfy that itch that Disney now denies to Star Wars fans. They are not alone; there are others out there doing some form of #StarWarsNotStarWars (and feel free to promote yourselves in the Comments below). I have more to say about my own effort at the Study.