Late last week, the world was shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Kenny Baker, the man most notably known for his roles in films like Time Bandits and of course, for being the man to bring R2-D2 to life in the Star Wars films. The world’s show of love and support, both from fans and some of his Star Wars cast members has been enormous in the days that have followed as well, and one of the saga’s most beloved original stars has finally shared his heartfelt thoughts on Baker’s passing.
Chewbacca actor, Peter Mayhew, who was one of Baker’s closest friends from the Star Wars series, posted the following tribute to his friend online recently, after many fans had waited to hear Mayhew’s reaction to the news:
I know I’m a bit late with this, but my sadness is profound and no words seemed adequate to convey what we collectively and I personally have lost with the passing of my dear friend Kenny Baker. Kenny and I became fast friends the first time we met and formed a lifelong bond after realizing that we had so much in common. Although people liked to contrast the difference in our heights, we found we shared many of the same struggles, from finding clothes, driving cars, and fitting in airplane seats to health issues and the ever constant stares of strangers; we understood each other on a level that few others can. I am so very glad I got to spend time with him in London earlier this month. His talent and his wicked sense of humor never diminished even as his health did. Ever the showman, Kenny was always eager to meet his fans. In the decades we knew each other, I never met anyone who enjoyed the public more. For all the joy he brought this world on screen and off I give my thanks, and a final farewell to my little friend with the giant heart who’s gone to soon. Rest in Peace Kenny.
One of the things that has always set the Star Wars films apart from all other properties and franchises out there, has been the fans’ love not only for the characters in the films, but also for the actors that portrayed them as well.
Baker and Mayhew are two of the best examples of that, actors who have grown to be some of the most beloved stars of the franchise by the fans, and whose legacies as the characters will continue to live on for many, many more years to come. RIP, Mr. Baker.
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