June 14, 2024

Peter Mayhew’s Tribute to Kenny Baker

Peter Mayhew, known best as portraying Chewbacca for the last forty years, wrote a eulogy on Chewbacca.com for his longtime friend, Kenny Baker, known to most as R2-D2, who passed away last week.

“…my sadness is profound and no words seemed adequate to convey what we collectively and I personally have lost with the passing of my dear friend Kenny Baker. Kenny and I became fast friends the first time we met and formed a lifelong bond after realizing that we had so much in common. Although people liked to contrast the difference in our heights, we found we shared many of the same struggles, from finding clothes, driving cars, and fitting in airplane seats to health issues and the ever constant stares of strangers; we understood each other on a level that few others can. I am so very glad I got to spend time with him in London earlier this month. His talent and his wicked sense of humor never diminished even as his health did.”

Baker, who was 81, starred in all seven of the Star Wars films (though R2’s role was considerably smaller in The Force Awakens),  as well as Time Bandits, The Elephant Man, Labyrinth, and Willow.  In November 2015 it was confirmed that Jimmy Vee was cast as R2-D2 in Star Wars: Episode VIII, replacing Baker, though Baker did serve as a consultant for the film.

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