Chewbacca Actor Pays Tribute to R2-D2's Kenny Baker - Rolling Stone
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Chewbacca’s Peter Mayhew Pays Tribute to R2-D2 Actor Kenny Baker

“We understood each other on a level few others can,” Mayhew writes of co-star

Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in Star Wars, penned a note of appreciation for his co-star Kenny Baker — the man behind the droid R2-D2 — after Baker passed away on Saturday at age 81

“My sadness is profound,” Mayhew wrote, “and no words seemed adequate to convey what we collectively and I personally have lost.”

According to Mayhew, the two men were close, brought together by their anomalous statures: Mayhew is listed as more than seven feet tall, while Baker was just under four feet. “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,” Mayhew explained. “We understood each other on a level few others can.”

“I am so very glad I got to spend time with him in London earlier this month,” Mayhew continued. “His talent and his wicked sense of humor never diminished … For all the joy he brought this world on screen and off I give my thanks, and a final farewell to my little friend with the giant heart who’s gone to soon.”

Baker played R2-D2 in the first six Star Wars movies, from A New Hope (1977) to Revenge of the Sith (2005). After his death, director George Lucas said: “Kenny Baker was a real gentleman as well as an incredible trooper who always worked hard under difficult circumstances … 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.”

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