Scottish Actor Takes On The Iconic Role Of The Star Wars Astro Droid
Jimmy Vee Is R2-D2
Last month it was made official that Scottish actor Jimmy Vee had taken over the role of R2-D2 from the late Kenny Baker, who sadly died last summer. Vee no stranger of course to Hollywood, having already appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in Pan opposite Hugh Jackman, along with Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures for television. Jimmy also appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Artoo Detoo but remained uncredited with Kenny taking the credit, this was a respectful passing of the torch from the late actor as he coached his replacement in the iconic role. He will next be seen back as the cheeky Astro Droid, in the eagerly awaited Star Wars: The Last Jedi, due for release in December. In his official statement to the press Vee said;
“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 honour.
“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.”
The Right Man For The Beeps
I was delighted to hear the news that Jimmy had landed the role of R2-D2, as I have met and even worked with him on a couple of occasions and had a great time with him. Back in 2014 I hosted the Q & A’s at the first Preston Comic Con which included a Star Wars Panel, Doctor Who and Comic Books, little did I know that the Who panel would contain two future Star Wars actors; Jimmy and Spencer Wilding (one of the two men playing Darth Vader in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). Jimmy’s good humour, humility and character shone through that day, and as a great guy I couldn’t think of anyone better for the role of R2-D2. He has that in common with the late great Kenny Baker, who I also met on several occasions, he was friendly, self deprecating and loved his fans. My Dad told me great stories about Kenny too, as he worked with him often back in his cabaret days with The Mini Tones (his duo with the late Jack Purvis), along with my father’s time with BBC’s Northern Dance Orchestra on radio.
As I mentioned in my first blog regarding the Finding Ford interview with Shane Rimmer (read it here) last year I took the family to Stoke Con Trent and ran into Jimmy again. I got to introduce him to my daughter Luna and he very kindly made her a gift of one of his special mugs, which sits on the shelf in her bedroom, she loved him. So I’d like to say Congratulations on your new role Jimmy, it’s well deserved, and May The Force Be With You, Always… P
P.S If you would like to meet Jimmy Vee pop along to Cardiff Film & Comic Con this weekend, he’s there Saturday and Sunday!