Star Wars' Peter Mayhew Writes Heartfelt Remembrance Of Kenny Baker

One of the many things that sets Star Wars apart from other franchises is that fans know the names [...]


One of the many things that sets Star Wars apart from other franchises is that fans know the names by heart and easily recognize the faces of the actors that, because of the characters they played, never showed their mugs, or bodies, on-screen, such as 72-year-old Peter Mayhew, who portrayed Chewbacca, and Kenny Baker, who portrayed R2-D2 and passed away on Saturday at the age of 81.

Those two actors, who worked together on the first six Star Wars films and spent time together going to conventions, developed a close friendship early on, and Mayhew even paid tribute to him in his 2013 illustrated book, "Growing Up Giant."

"One of the most special friends I made on the movie was Kenny Baker who was inside the robot called R2-D2," Mayhew wrote. "We found that we had similar challenges in life. Kenny is a little person and he has problems finding clothes that fit, sitting in an airplane set, and driving a car. In a different way, I had the same type of problems. We both had to adapt things for our size."

Knowing how close they were, fans have been waiting for Mayhew to respond to the passing of his friend. Now that he's had some time to grieve, Mayhew penned this heartfelt letter.

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. - Peter Mayhew

You can listen to Baker talk a bit about Mayhew in the video below.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Baker's family and friends.