Further proof that Disney plans on going back to basics whenever possible in its quest to expand the Star Wars universe is the news that the next time R2-D2 rolls across the silver screen he will not be just a remote-controlled automaton or CGI element, but a nuts-and-bolts construct with an actor inside, just as he was in the 1977 original movie. Jimmy Vee (Dr. Who) has been announced as the successor to original R2-D2 operator Kenny Baker, who died last year, and will portray the iconic droid in this year’s The Last Jedi.
In a statement, Vee said:
It’s been an absolute pleasure to have worked alongside the legendary Kenny Baker. 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.
Rian Johnson (Looper) wrote and directed The Last Jedi and is currently editing the film. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro star.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is slated to open on December 15, 2017.