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The force is with Kenny - but no-one told R2-D2 he’s back

Kenny Baker with R2-D2

Kenny Baker with R2-D2

Star Wars actor Kenny Baker admits he is in seventh heaven after learning his R2-D2 robot is to be rolled out again on the big screen.

The Preston performer will be one of six members of the original cast teaming up with some new faces when Disney begin shooting Episode VII of the iconic film in the next two weeks. But in true Star Wars fashion details of the movie are a closely-guarded secret - even from Kenny himself.

“I only found out I was in it when I saw it on the internet,” he admitted at home in Preston. “Obviously I’m very pleased, but I can’t say any more - because I don’t know any more.”

Disney, who bought the Star Wars franchise for $4.3bn in 2012, unveiled the line-up for Episode VII this week along with a photograph of the actors - new and old - attending a script read-through at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

Kenny, 79, was not at the gathering, although his R2-D2 robot suit was pictured in the background - in a packing case.

His five fellow cast members from the first Star Wars film 37 years ago - Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO)and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca)- were all in attendance.

Kenny revealed: “I haven’t spoken to anyone from the studio yet. But I suppose that will happen soon. I’m delighted with the news that I’ll be keeping my record of having been in all seven Star Wars. But to be honest it’s just another film.”

The 3ft 8in former circus performer, who has made 20 movies in a 54-year career, got his big break when legendary director George Lucas cast him as the droid R2-D2 for the original Star Wars in 1977.

He and Anthony Daniels will be the only cast members to appear in all the movies when Episode VII opens worldwide in December 2015.

 

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