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Kenny Baker Death: ‘Star Wars’ Co-Star Mark Hamill, Friends Mourn

Kenny Baker Death: ‘Star Wars’ Co-Star Mark Hamill, Friends Mourn
It’s a sad day for “Star Wars” fans and those who have worked on the franchise. Today, news broke that Kenny Baker, the actor who portrayed the beloved character R2-D2 in six films, had passed away after a long illness. The British actor rose to fame after taking on the role of the droid in 1977, and has since been a key factor in the “Star Wars” universe.

Upon heading the news of his passing, Mark Hamill tweeted a special message in remembrance of his dear co-star. “A lifelong loyal friend. I loved his optimism and determination. He Was the droid I was looking for!” he wrote, quoting “Star Wars.”

Goodbye #KennyBaker A lifelong loyal friend-i loved his optimism & determination He Was the droid I was looking for! pic.twitter.com/rd94OEYaHi

Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 13, 2016

Read More: Kenny Baker, ‘Star Wars’ R2-D2 Actor, Dies at 81

Ewan McGregor, who
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R2-D2 Actor Remembered as Star Wars Stars Pay Tribute to Kenny Baker

R2-D2 Actor Remembered as Star Wars Stars Pay Tribute to Kenny Baker
Earlier today it was reported that one of the original Star Wars actors has passed away. Kenny Baker, who was best known as the man inside R2-D2, succumbed to a lengthy illness at the age of 83. Since news of his death was announced by his niece Abigail Shield, many stars and filmmakers from the Star Wars universe have come forward to remember the man under the dome.

Mark Hamill was the first from the Star Wars camp to respond. The actor appeared in three movies with Kenny Baker, including the original 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope, 1980's Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi. Hamill and Baker spent a lot of time together on set, especially during the Empire production. It was Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 who traveled alone to the planet of Dagobah to meet Master Jedi Yoda. And throughout the original trilogy, R2 was often seen as Luke's loyal companion.
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Newswire: R.I.P. Star Wars’ Kenny Baker

Kenny Baker, the man who gave physical presence to R2-D2, one of the most beloved robots in all of science-fiction, has died. According to Variety, Baker was 81, and had been suffering from chronic illnesses for some time.

Born in England, Baker worked for several years as a performer in circus acts, comedy troupes, and ice shows. During that period, he often collaborated with actor and performer Jack Purvis—who, like Baker, was of short stature—with the two eventually going on to work together on a number of projects, including Time Bandits, Willow, and the original Star Wars trilogy.

In 1976, Baker was hired by Star Wars director George Lucas, who needed someone to portray R2-D2 from within the film’s robot suit (constructed by toy designer Tony Dyson, who died earlier this year.) Although the production did have remote control versions of the character, they were prone to ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Rip 'Star Wars' actor Kenny Baker, the man who made R2-D2 real

  • Hitfix
Rip 'Star Wars' actor Kenny Baker, the man who made R2-D2 real
I'm saddened to report today that Star Wars actor Kenny Baker, best known for playing R2-D2, has passed away. The Guardian reported the actor "has died at the age of 81 after a long illness." [Update: The Guardian previously stated he was 83] Baker, who also played Paploo the Ewok in the Star Wars franchise, also had roles in Labyrinth, Time Bandits, and Flash Gordon. His niece Abigail Shield told the Guardian, “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.” Baker's wife Eileen passed away in 1993, they had two children. R2-D2 was created by George Lucas, designed by Ralph McQuarrie, co-developed by John Stears, built by Tony Dyson, and had vocal effects from Ben Burtt. Baker was
See full article at Hitfix »

12 Things We Learned From Terry Gilliam's Wild Memoir

12 Things We Learned From Terry Gilliam's Wild Memoir
Over the past half-century, Terry Gilliam has lived several lifetimes — first as the mastermind behind the surrealistically satirical animations on Monty Python's Flying Circus and then as a filmmaker with an unparalleled, singular imagination. His oeuvre contains everything from literary flights of fancy (Jabberwocky) and kid-friendly fantasies (Time Bandits) to dystopian epics (Brazil and Twelve Monkeys), kaleidoscopic romps (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and the occasional slightly warped drama (The Fisher King, Tideland).

Now 74, Gilliam looks back on his life achievements, as well as
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Up Pompeii: 5 History Lessons From TV And Cinema

We all know history is written by the film producers. After all, the past is big bucks for Hollywood, what with all its ready-made stories and epic happenings. And luckily for us Vesuvius erupted in 79 Ad, spewing out lava, pyroclastic flows and poisonous gasses. Some in nearby Herculaneum died instantly, others in Pompeii had a more drawn out affair and even the dog got it (noooo, not the dog!). Whatever – it’s good cinema right?

So to celebrate the release of new historical disaster movie Pompeii, let Thn take you on a magical history tour into the past. Yes, it’s time to pull the annals of antiquity down from the shelf, dust them off and explore ye olden times with five historical renditions from cinema and television.


It’s hard being on the side-lines isn’t it? Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Milos Forman’s biopic of l’enfant terrible of Classical,
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‘Time Bandits’ Blu-ray Review

Stars: Sean Connery, John Cleese, Shelley Duvall, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, Ralph Richardson, Peter Vaughan, David Warner, David Rappaport, Kenny Baker, Malcolm Dixon, Mike Edmonds, Jack Purvis, Tiny Ross | Written by Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin | Directed by Terry Gilliam

Time Bandits was first released in 1981. A family adventure film that sported a fantastic and massive cast of names, with the likes of Sean Connery, John Cleese, Shelley Duvall, Ian Holm and Michael Palin, among others. It was like a fantastical family film with the cast of Monty Python.

Director and another former Python, Terry Gilliam, who went on to direct such incredible cinematic events as Brazil, Twelve Monkeys and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas was behind the camera here, much like he was in the Monty Python movies and it feels very similar to his previous work in many ways. Surreal and at times incredibly weird, Time Bandits just feels like a Gilliam film.
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Throwback Thursday: ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen’

I have found few fantasy films that appeal both the children and adults as intelligently and successfully, with such creativity and flair as ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen’. It is true, I am a devout follower of the cinematic God known as Terry Gilliam, but there’s a reason for that… he’s freaking brilliant. I have my own personal pantheon of filmmakers that I admire to the point of being borderline obsessive… Coen Brothers, Darren Aronofsky, Zhang Yimou and (of course) Terry Gilliam, to name a few.

But I digress. On with the show, a marvelous array of whimsical theatrics known as ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen’. The film opens with an immediate dose of Gilliam’s own unique style and flair for the ironic and absurd. As the score by Eric idle and Michael Kamen throws us directly into the time and place of the film, white titles
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

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