When it comes to losing Hollywood legends, the past eight months have not been kind. Unfortunately, it's now fan-favorite Kenny Baker, the star of six Star Wars films, that the world is paying tribute to.
It's been two days since the 3'8" actor who played R2-D2 in the saga passed away following a long battle with an undisclosed illness just 11 days short of his 82nd birthday.
Shooting to fame in 1977 with our first cinematic venture to the galaxy far, far away, Baker went on to play the enigmatic robot in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, '83's Return of the Jedi, and the franchise's three prequel movies. He was reportedly invited to attend the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in LA late last year — after working on the epic as a character consultant — but was by this point too ill to travel to the US.
Fans of the British actor will also remember Baker from his appearances in other much loved films, including The Elephant Man, Time Bandits, Flash Gordon, The Goonies and Labyrinth.
Over the weekend, Star Wars creator George Lucas paid tribute to Baker, remembering "the actor who brought R2-D2 to life," saying:
“Kenny Baker was a real gentleman as well as an incredible trooper who always worked hard under difficult circumstances. 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.”
Lucas' salute to the star was in good company, joined by a multitude of Star Wars alumni and some new generation actors who took to social media to share their praise for Kenny:
1. Mark Hamill a.k.a Luke Skywalker
2. Ewan McGregor a.k.a the young Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi
3. Anthony Daniels a.k.a C-3PO
4. Simon Pegg a.k.a Unkar Plutt
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Of course, it's not only humanoids and co-droids flooding Twitter with homages; many of the celebs inhabiting this galaxy shared thoughts of love alongside messages of how Baker's work impacted them:
5. Warwick Davis on Baker building a platform for "short actors"
6. Monty Python master Terry Gilliam references Time Bandits
7. Filmmaker Kevin Smith mourns a childhood inspiration
8. Jurassic World producer Frank Marshall sends well wishes
10. Family Guy's James Woods ends on a sad note
11. Gwendoline Christie of Game of Thrones on Baker's spirit
12. Community's Yvette Nicole Brown lost a childhood hero
13. Rainn Wilson from The Office is #R2D2Forever
14. Trekkie William Shatner joins the force
15. Peaky Blinders actor Paddy Considine kept his tribute simple
16. Dominic Monaghan spoke of Baker's incredible legacy
17. Josh Gad a.k.a Olaf from Frozen's tweet was anything but icy
18. Director Edgar Wright paid homage to his favorite Baker characters
In memory of Kenny Baker, Movie Pilot has made a video of R2D2's most heroic moments, which you can watch below:
Share your tributes to the internationally beloved Kenny Baker below.
Source: Star Wars