Star Wars fans worldwide are mourning the loss of Kenny Baker, the actor who brought life to R2-D2 through the first six episodes of the Star Wars saga. That includes Star Wars creator George Lucas, who made a statement concerning Baker's passing on StarWars.com.
"Kenny Baker was a real gentleman as well as an incredible trooper who always worked hard under difficult circumstances," said Lucas. "A talented vaudevillian who could always make everybody laugh, Kenny was truly the heart and soul of R2-D2 and will be missed by all his fans and everyone who knew him."
"We're all saddened to learn of Kenny's passing," added Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. "There is no Star Wars without R2-D2, and Kenny defined who R2-D2 was and is. He will be greatly missed."
In addition to playing R2-D2, baker also played Paploo, the Ewok who stole a speeder bike in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Star Wars wasn't the only George Lucas film that Baker appeared in. He also had an uncredited role in Lucas's 1988 fantasy film Willow. Other roles included 1980's The Elephant Man, and Terry Gilliam's 1981 classic Time Bandits.
ComicBook.com offered its own remembrance of Baker and tracked his greatest moments as R2-D2. We've also been tracking the tributes offered by the Star Wars co-stars and other celebrities who knew or were influenced by Baker, including Mark Hamill, Ewen MacGregor, Kevin Smith, and Guillermo del Toro.
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