2016 has been an absolutely tragic year for names known all over the world. In the world of acting some of the big names to have sadly passed include David Bowie (Labyrinth, The Prestige), Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Harry Potter) and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek). We now sadly add iconic Star Wars actor Kenny Baker to this list.
Over the weekend we very sadly said goodbye to Kenny Baker. He is known for the man behind, or in this case inside, R2-D2; one of the most instantly recognisable characters in cinema history. He was approached by George Lucas to be the man inside R2-D2 for Star Wars in 1976 while part of a comedic group ‘The Minitones’ with Jack Purvis. Baker would go on to star in all six of the Star Wars films made from 1977 to 2005 as the blue and chrome droid as well as an Ewok who steals a speeder in Return of the Jedi. Although he did not star as the droid in The Force Awakens, he was on set as a consultant for the character.
Baker’s niece, Abigail Shield, was speaking to The Guardian after news broke of the actors death. “It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless. He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”
Outside of Star Wars Baker also made appearances in many famous Hollywood films such as Flash Gordon, The Elephant Man, Amadeus, Time Bandits and Labyrinth.
We, at Casual Critic, are shocked and heartbroken at the loss of Kenny Baker and we offer our most sincere condolences to his friends and family.