Stuart Freeborn dies - Yoda and Chewbacca makeup artist was 98

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Stuart Freeborn, the makeup artist responsible for "Star Wars" characters Yoda and Chewbacca, has passed away in London at the age of 98. Lucasfilm confirmed the news to the Associated Press.

"He brought with him not only decades of experience, but boundless creative energy," says George Lucas of Freeborn. "His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created."

"Star Wars" frenzy is renewed with Disney taking over the franchise, as announcements keep coming about sequels and spinoff projects in the works. Still, Lucas says of Freeborn, "His 'Star Wars' creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations, but at their heart, they continue to be what Stuart created for the original films."

Freeborn's other film credits include Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Doctor Strangelove" as well as the Christopher Reeve "Superman" film series.

Stuart's family says he died of complications related to old age.

Photo/Video credit: Fair Use