Kenny Baker, R2-D2 in Star Wars films, dies at 81

August 13, 2016 6:05 PM

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In the days before precision robotics, the 3-foot-8-inch British actor would slip inside the hollowed out models of Artoo to make him shudder, wobble, and spin his dome in reaction to dialog. Although scenes of the droid rolling were usually done with a motor or cable, fans can easily tell when Baker is inhabiting the astromech by the black exhaust tubes connecting his undercarriage to the robot’s feet, which obscured Baker’s legs.

Baker played Artoo in all three original films and the three prequels but was in a wheelchair by the time The Force Awakens was released. Still, he was credited as a droid consultant on the film and remained a popular presence for years before that on the sci-fi convention circuit.

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