Everyone’s favorite droid has a new face. Disney has officially announced that actor Jimmy Vee will perform the role of R2-D2 in the upcoming Star Wars movie, titled The Last Jedi, after the death of original actor Kenny Baker last year. Vee is a veteran of the entertainment industry who has had several roles in Doctor Who episodes and Harry Potter movies.
While much of the little droid’s on-screen work is now handled by remote-control units and CGI, actors are still used in some scenes, allowing R2 to make his trademark shuffles, bloops, and whistles. While Disney’s announcement is the first time the baton has been officially passed from Baker, it’s not Vee’s first experience with the droid — the actor worked alongside the original R2 actor on 2015’s The Force Awakens, but didn’t receive a credit for the character.
In a statement, Vee said it had been an “absolute pleasure” to have worked with the “legendary” 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,” he said. “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.” – Verge –