Date: 2nd September 2000
STAR WARS director GEORGE LUCAS has hit back at accusations that he has dumped the British actor who plays the lovable droid R2D2 in favour of a robot.
KENNY BAKER, 66, who was R2D2 in the previous four STAR WARS movies, had criticised Lucas for virtually dropping him from the latest production, EPISODE II. But Lucas insists he has not dumped Birmingham-born Baker, while admitting that he has been using a mechanical R2D2. But the 3ft 8in (1.18 metre) actor will be used at Elstree,London for scenes in Episode II.
Lucas added, "There's an element of humanity to Artoo that comes from having Kenny Baker playing the part."