The Internet has been abuzz with the news that production for Star Wars Episode VIII was in full swing. A plethora of photos surfaced from various sources confirming that filming was taking place on the Irish island of Skellig Michael where director Rian Johnson, and even Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, we're spotted in the area. There have also been reports that a few other Star Wars stars have journeyed to the Island to participate in the filming. Just a few days ago we heard that both BB-8 and R2-D2 had been seen on Skellig Michael, and there was also a rumor floating about that Kenny Baker, who has portrayed R2-D2 in all previous Star Wars films, was there as well. Our friends at Making Star Wars are reporting that the little person seen on set that was believed to be Baker is actually Jimmy Vee.
Vee is a British actor who is know for his roles in Doctor Who and the upcoming film Pan. Star Wars 7 News reports that Vee is part of Warwick Davis' short actors agency. A photo released by the Irish Examiner reportedly shows Jimmy Vee on the docks near Skellig Michael after filming ending on Tuesday.
Standing at 3' 8" tall, Jimmy Vee is the same height as Kenny Baker, which would make him the perfect fit for R2-D2. As strange as it seems to think of someone besides Baker playing the beloved Astromech, this was inevitable. Kenny Baker just turned 81 years old last month, so it's only logical that another actor be chosen to fill in for him when he is unable play Artoo. The conditions on Skellig Michael are said to be particularly challenging, so Baker may have been unable to make the trip to the island.
Of course there's a lot of rumors and speculation here, so take this report with a grain of salt until we hear an official confirmation. Nevertheless, if this is indeed true and Jimmy Vee portraying R2-D2 for at least a portion of Episode VII, we certainly want to wish him the best and welcome him to the Star Wars family.
Star Wars Episode VIII hits theaters on May 26th, 2017!
Sources: Making Star Wars, Irish Examiner
Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.