The Sunday Post (Dundee)
New R2-D2 actor heaps praise on predecessor
NEW R2-D2 actor Jimmy Vee has paid tribute to the late Kenny Baker.
Jimmy, 80, who is joining the cast of the new Star Wars film Episode VIII as the loveable ’droid, described Baker as a hugely influential character.
The Scot – who has also starred in Doctor Who and Harry Potter – said: “Kenny Baker is one of those guys who has led the way for short people getting into the acting world.
“You could basically call him an ambassador for leading the way for short people and other actors like myself coming up in the world. He was a lovely man.”
Jimmy, who is 3ft 8in, has already been spotted during secret filming with Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, in a remote part of Ireland.
He also admitted recently he didn’t know that much about Star Wars. “I know there’s a guy with a sword in it and I think that’s about it.”
Baker, who first appeared as R2-D2 in the original 1977 Star Wars movie, died earlier this month aged 81 after a long illness.
The star was a well-known face in his adopted home city of Preston.
Hamill paid tribute to his old friend on Twitter.
He said: “A lifelong loyal friend. I loved his optimism and determination. He WAS the ’droid I was looking for.”
Baker’s funeral is due to take place in Lancashire this week.