Kenny Baker, the man who brought Star Wars’ R2-D2 to life, dies at 83

Kenny-Baker-1One of the iconic stars of the Star Wars galaxy — one whose face you never saw on screen — has died.

Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2, was 83.

“He had a very long and fulfilled life,” said his niece, Abigail Shield, to The Guardian. “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-2Baker helped bring the lovable droid to life inside the costume in the first six films — his 3-foot-8 frame fitting inside the cylinder and helping move the droid’s head pre-CGI.

He was a regular signer for Star Wars fans for years and his signature can be found on nearly 60 different certified autograph cards. His first autos were in the 2001 Star Wars Evolution set where he signed 1,000 cards, while his most-recent autographs were in this year’s second series of The Force Awakens cards from Topps.

Baker is also slated to arrive on autograph cards in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens Chrome set arriving on Friday.

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