RIP Kenny Baker: 1934-2016


Sad news today for Star Wars fans around the world and across the galaxy – our old friend Kenny Baker has passed away.


Baker, who had been in ill health for the past couple of years, reportedly died earlier today. His niece, Abigail Shield, announced his passing in a brief statement to The Guardian:

“It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless. He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”

Kenny Baker with R2 costumes


All of us here at Star Wars News Net echo Ms. Shield’s sentiments wholeheartedly, and our sincerest condolences go out to Kenny Baker’s family and friends. As the heart and soul of R2-D2, he’s been part of our lives for longer than many of us can clearly remember. Although he certainly had other prominent film roles (I always really enjoyed his Fidget character in Terry Gilliam’s “Time Bandits”) it was Artoo for which Baker will always be fondly remembered by the world at large. Speaking for myself, I suspect that no matter who is cast in the role, to me it will always be Mr. Baker in that suit whenever I see Artoo in action.


And what a truly wonderful reason for him to be immortalized!


Clear skies to you, Kenny… and thanks.


+ posts

30 thoughts on “RIP Kenny Baker: 1934-2016

  • August 13, 2016 at 10:25 pm


  • August 13, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    RIP Kenny, thanks for the happy memories, both as Artoo and meeting you in person. You will be missed.

  • August 13, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    The force will be with him…….always

  • August 13, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    2016…Why this year?

  • August 13, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    What’s to say other than kindness? The guy helped shape millions of childhoods and brought to life such an iconic and awesome little droid.

    Not gone, merely marching far away…

    • August 14, 2016 at 11:12 am

      well said.

  • August 13, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    very sad news. 🙁

    R.I.P. Kenny. He really brought R2-D2 to life; one of most iconic droids of Sci-fi and fantasy.

  • August 13, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    RIP and R2 was my very first figure at age 7 🙁 in 1977.

    • August 14, 2016 at 1:18 am

      7 in ’77 too. RIP Kenny.

  • August 13, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    ? What can I say.
    Been a part of my life since I was 4, now I’m 42………Family as far as I’m concerned.
    RIP Kenny, you brought wonder and magic to my life, you will live forever.

  • August 14, 2016 at 12:24 am

    I met Kenny at Celebration 2 in Indianapolis. He was friendly and personable. A sad passing, but he’s not one with the Force.

  • August 14, 2016 at 1:05 am

    My first vintage figures were the old Kenner 12″ R2 and 3PO. I learned about Kenny Baker watching the making of Star Wars in first grade. We got to watch it because of a fund raiser we had. If you sold a certain amount of candy you got to see a “movie”.

    “I lost R2!” -Luke Skywalker

  • August 14, 2016 at 2:06 am

    Sad sad news.
    Lucky to meet him in the late 90’s in Barcelona. He was part of my childhood, he will always be part of my life.
    And the world says the same: a really big human being.

    Thanks Mr. Baker!

  • August 14, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Thanks for all the Head Turns Kenny !!

  • August 14, 2016 at 3:01 am

    I think Kenny’s achievement cannot be understated, he gave the heart and soul to the character that was designed to be mute and virtually inexpressive. Together with Ben Burtt, Kenny helped elevate R2 to the icon that had penetrated our culture to the extent we don’t fully realize yet. Hundred years from now people will reflect on ANH as a milestone in the history of cinema and Kenny will be very much a part of that, remaining one of the most powerful symbols of SW alongside Anthony Daniels as C3P0 and Darth Vader. I hope he got to sit inside of that astromech even for one scene in VIII bringing his iconic role to a full closure.
    thank you for everything Kenny, your legacy will live on

  • August 14, 2016 at 3:29 am

    May you rest in peace Mr. Baker. Thank you for the decades of great memories.
    I never doubted you for a second! Wonderful!

  • August 14, 2016 at 5:06 am

    My favorite character.

  • August 14, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Earlier today, I was looking through some of my photos and I saw one of an R2 replica someone brought to the theater the night The Force Awakens came out and I smiled.

  • August 14, 2016 at 7:41 am

    He made that droid a bit more human. He was, in the best way, the ghost in the machine.

  • August 14, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Kenny Baker as R2-D2 was THE reason the term ‘droid’ became part of our vernacular nearly 40 years ago. I’ve been wondering for some time now if we will see a cameo of R2 and C-3PO in RO. Whether we do or not, I hope the powers that be recognize the legacy Mr. Baker has left us and honour him with a dedication in the end credits.


  • August 14, 2016 at 11:08 am

    A very sad day… R.I.P Mr Baker. = (

  • August 14, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    He will definitely be missed.

  • August 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    We love you, Kenny. Thank you.

  • August 15, 2016 at 2:25 am

    Thank you Kenny Baker. Be with the maker

  • August 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Sad news…He truly made the most of his life. Was very successful and loved by fans all over the world. Thank you for your service, Kenny Baker. You were part of a group that brought a lot of happiness to many people all over the world. Something to be very proud of. You will be remembered…

  • August 15, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    A one minute silence before the Rogue One premiere to honor Kenny would be a great gesture.

    • August 16, 2016 at 12:02 am

      I agree with this. All of the original SW actors will forever be immortalized as the heart of the SW universe…a moment of silence for the loss of a great man and the end of an era.

  • August 15, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Pat, you’ve said it all…good pen.

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