Baker in 2005 voor het laatst de rol van R2-D2 voor Revenge of the Sith en hij ontmoette laatst nog zijn oude vriend George Lucas in Manchester. Wat veel mensen niet wisten was dat Baker ook Paploo speelde, een ewok in Return of the Jedi. Volgens zijn familie was zijn overlijden niet onverwacht.
Zijn nicht Abigail Shield zei het volgende:
“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.”
“When he was a child, he was told that he probably wouldn’t survive through puberty, being a little person in those times, they didn’t have a very good life expectancy. He did extremely well in his life. He was very ill for the last few years so we had been expecting it. He had been looked after by one of his nephews, who found him on Saturday morning.”
“He had problems with his lungs and was often in a wheelchair. He was very poorly for a long time. He was asked to go out to LA for the new Star Wars premiere but he was told he was too ill to travel. Luckily he did manage to meet George Lucas again when he came to Manchester.”
George Lucas wilde zelf reageren op het verlies van deze held: “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.”
Ook Kathleen Kennedy reageerde: “We’re all saddened to learn of Kenny’s passing. There is no Star Wars without R2-D2, and Kenny defined who R2-D2 was and is. He will be greatly missed.”
Maar ook zijn collega's Mark Hamill, Ewan McGregor en 20th Century Fox namen in een Tweet afscheid van Baker.
Mark Hamill: Goodby #KennyBaker a lifelong loyal friend-I loved his optimism & determination He WAS the droid I was looking for!
Ewan McGregor: So sorry to hear about this. It was lovely working with Kenny. Kenny Baker, Star Wars R2-D2 actor, dies aged 81
20th Century Fox: Rest in peace, Kenny Baker, the heart and soul of R2-D2.
Om zelf af te sluiten willen wij ook namens ons hele team Kenny Baker bedanken voor de ongelovelijke momenten die hij ons heeft bezorgd en voor het zijn van een held voor velen. Hij zal voor altijd doorleven als een legende in onze herinneringen. Zoals Mark Hamill al zei, he was the droid we were looking for. The force will be with him, always!