Kenny Baker, the man behind R2D2 has passed away at the age of 81. Star Wars fans all over the world are mourning the loss of the man who played the beloved droid in six Star Wars films.
Actors, Mark Hamill and Ewan McGregor who played Jedi Masters, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the different timelines of the original and prequel trilogy gave tribute to Baker on social media.
Hamill tweeted out several pictures of Baker with his R2D2 costume, as well as one with him in Luke Skywalker-rebel-pilot gear sitting alongside the Droid.
He captioned it with: "Goodbye Kenny Baker A lifelong loyal friend-I loved his optimism & determination He WAS the droid I was looking for!" referencing the plot of the first Star Wars film wherein Darth Vader was hunting for R2D2 who was carrying stolen plans for the Death Star and his fellow droid C3P0.
Hamill spent the most screen time with Baker, since R2D2 often accompanied Luke Skywalker wherever he went, including a long and solo sojourn at Dagobah on The Empire Strikes Back.https://twitter.com/HamillHimself/status/764532827001991168
Ewan McGregor tweeted out a news article about Baker's passing, commenting, "so sorry to hear about this. It was lovely working with Kenny. Kenny Baker, Star Wars R2-D2 actor, dies aged 81".https://twitter.com/mcgregor_ewan/status/764519004841148416
But it wasn't only the older cast that mourned Kenny's passing. Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, who portrayed Captain Phlasma in the latest installation, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, tweeted out an autographed picture of a young Baker wearing a suit alongside his droid costume. She captioned it with "Rest in peace Kenny Baker. It was a pleasure to meet you & thank you for all the joy you brought us".https://twitter.com/lovegwendoline/status/764615554598596608
As for the man behind the Star Wars Universe, George Lucas gave his thoughts on a statement released at Starwars.com. “Kenny Baker was a real gentleman as well as an incredible trooper who always worked hard under difficult circumstances,” he said. “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.”