Jimmy Vee has been cast as R2-D2 for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The 57-year-old actor will replace the late Kenny Baker – who died in August last year aged 81 – as the iconic astromech droid for the upcoming installment of the Star Wars franchise, set to be released this December.
Jimmy is no stranger to the sci-fi film franchise, having actually appeared as the droid in ‘Star Wards: The Force Awakens’ in 2015, although he remained uncredited as Kenny was named as the actor behind the costume.
Speaking about his new role, Jimmy said in a statement: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to have worked alongside the legendary Kenny Baker. Kenny was a fantastic actor and taught me all the tricks on how he brought R2-D2 to life, which I will continue to portray in his honor. I’m so excited to be a part of the ‘Star Wars’ universe and can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve been working so hard on for the last year.”
And it isn’t Jimmy’s first foray into the world of sci-fi and fantasy either, as the actor previously appeared in various episodes of UK television show Doctor Who – where he played a number of characters including Moxx of Balhoon and Bannakaffalatta – and was uncredited in a role as an unnamed goblin in 2001’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. He was also cast as Lofty in 2015’s Pan.
Jimmy – who, like Kenny, stands at 3ft 6in tall – will portray the famous droid when he’s walking on two feet, whilst all other shots are achieved using a special radio-controlled unit.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will hit theaters on December 15, 2017.