We are incredibly saddened to report the loss of a legendary member of the Star Wars family. Kenny Baker, the man under the dome of the beloved Astromech droid R2-D2, has passed away at the age of 81.
Kenny Baker portrayed R2-D2 in the original six Star Wars films and recently was credited as an "R2 Consultant" for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Standing at 3-foot, 8-inches tall, Baker famously operated many of Artoo's functions from inside the Droid's body in much of the films and helped created Artoo's iconic personality. In addition to R2-D2, in Return Of The Jedi Baker took on an additional role as Paploo the Ewok. Beyond Star Wars, Kenny had roles in such films as Flash Gordon(1980), Time Bandits(1981) and the George Lucas produced Labyrinth(1986) and Willow(1988), as well as a plethora of television series and more.
The Guardian reported the sad news of Baker's passing earlier today and received a statement from the actor's niece, Abigail Shield
“It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless. He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”
On behalf of all of us here at the SWU, I would like to send our most deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Baker. He had an incredible life and career which left an indelible mark on pop culture, film and history as a whole. His continued involvement in the fan community in more recent years through appearances at conventions and other events made him a beloved member of the Star Wars family. He will live on in our hearts and minds forever.
If you will, share your favorite R2-D2 and/or Kenny Baker memories in the comments below.
Source: The Guardian
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