CNN- Kenny Baker, the British actor who gave life to the droid R2-D2 in the “Star Wars” films, has died at the age of 81, according to his niece, Abigail Shield. Baker was being looked after by Shield’s brother, who found him Saturday morning. Shield said Baker was ill for years with a lung condition. She also said her uncle — who was 3 feet, 8 inches tall — did not expect to “live past his teenage years because he was a ‘little person,’ so it is pretty amazing he lived this long.”
Shitty year for actors that were in costumes that I didn’t realize were costumes. First we had the guy that played Alf die in June and now the OG R2-D2 is gone. I always thought Alf was some sort of puppet and R2-D2 was just a machine. Nope, they were as human as you and I.
Obviously the Skywalker family gets most of the shine during the Star Wars movies. But when you think about it, R2-D2 was the most clutch character in the game like Robert Horry. R2 and Big Shot Bob both did it over the years with a bunch of different greats. Horry was the guy that stepped up clutch despite being on teams with Hakeem, Clyde, Shaq, Kobe, and Timmayyyy. R2 was in movies with studs like Obi-Wan, Anakin (pre-Vader obvi), Luke, Han Solo, and Rey. But R2 always came through at the most important moments, whether it was having important plans on his hard drive, picking locks like a member of Ocean’s Eleven, or popping light sabers out of his ass in Jedi. And much more.
In addition to having giant robot nuts that scrape the floor, R2 also has the subtle comedic chops of a Phil Hartman in his prime. RIP Kenny and thank you for bringing that round mound of metal and sound to life as one of the greatest movie characters ever without ever saying a word.
And if you didn’t well up with tears while reading this tweet by the actor that plays C-3PO, well you are probably a well-adjusted human. But if you aren’t, it definitely tugs at the heart strings. Best robotic tag team with just a hint of sexual tension ever.