Jimmy Vee has taken over the R2-D2 role in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” replacing the late Kenny Baker.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to have worked alongside the legendary Kenny Baker,” Vee said in a statement released by the Oh So Small production agency. “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.”
Baker died in August at the age of 81. He had played R2-D2 — which stands for Second Generation Robotic Droid Series-2 — in all the “Star Wars” movies since the original 1977 film “A New Hope,” in which George Lucas introduced the droid as a comic-relief character that was influenced by the sidekick characters in Akira Kurosawa’s “Hidden Fortress.”
Vee performed some of the work as R2-D2 in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” but Baker was credited. Vee has appeared in the BBC television series “Doctor Who” as a variety of monsters.
Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will open on Dec. 15. Oh So Small made the announcement on its Twitter account.