Over the weekend, Star Wars fans were stunned by the passing of Kenny Baker, the actor who portrayed R2-D2 in the first six live-action movies in the franchise. George Lucas, Mark Hamill, and Anthony Daniels have all posted tributes to their co-star, but perhaps the most moving words have come from Peter Mayhew, the actor behind Chewbacca.
On his official site, Mayhew spoke about his close relationship with Baker. “I know I’m a bit late with this, but 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,” wrote Mayhew. “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.”
Mayhew noted that he and Baker faced many of the same struggles, including health problems from their respective heights and “the ever constant stares of strangers.” Mayhew added that “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. Rest in Peace Kenny.”
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) August 15, 2016
Baker and Mayhew first met nearly 40 years ago while filming the original Star Wars, and both actors were frequent guests on the convention circuit. Mayhew also shared a few personal photographs of himself and Baker on his site, which you can see here.
Please feel free to share your own thoughts on Baker and what his work meant to you in the comment section below.