After Kenny Baker passed away last year, there was lots of speculation surrounding what Lucasfilm and Disney would do to bring the droid to life in subsequent Star Wars movies. Now, we have our answer.
The film franchise has announced that they have hired a new actor to play R2-D2. Actor Jimmy Vee, known for Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Pan, has been cast in the role for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Many thought that Lucasfilm and Disney would just use a robot or CGI to bring Artoo to life. In The Force Awakens BB-8 was a physical prop while Rogue One’s K-2SO was created using computers. In a way, continuing to have an actor inside of the droid pays homage to Baker.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to have worked alongside the legendary Kenny Baker,” Vee said in a statement. “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.”