There have been a lot of Star Wars losses in recent years, especially one many fans are still mourning – Carrie Fisher.
But no one is forgetting about Kenny Baker, however, who died last August at 81.
The 3-foot-8 actor has portrayed perennial Star Wars favorite R2-D2 since A New Hope in 1977. But now Lucasfilm has unveiled the new actor inside the droid: Jimmy Vee.
The news comes well after filming for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has completed, so Vee already has finished his first credited go-round with C-3PO. He also did some work on 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but sole credit in that film went to Baker, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Vee’s credits are primarily in the Doctor Who universe. He’s appeared in four episodes of Doctor Who between 2005 and 2014 as various characters including Bannakaffalatta in the 2007 episode “Voyage of the Damned,” and as Skovox Blitzer in the 2014 episode “The Caretaker.”
Vee also popped up in the Doctor Who spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, aliens like the Slitheen and the Graske. He also appeared in the 2015 Hugh Jackman film Pan as Lofty.
He’s currently filming the comedy Train Set and is set to appear in the fantasy adventure Dark Ascension, which opens Dec. 7, just a week ahead of The Last Jedi.
Vee celebrated Baker through a statement to the trade publication as the news about his new role broke.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to have worked alongside the legendary Kenny Baker. Kenny was a fantastic actor, and taught me all the ‘tricks’ on how he brought R2-D2 to life, which I will continue to portray in his honor.
“I’m so excited to be a part of the Star Wars universe, and can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve been working so hard on for the last year.”
The Last Jedi, written and directed by Rian Johnson, is the planned followup to The Force Awakens, which earned $2.06 billion globally at the box office.
It opens Dec. 15.
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