Kenny Baker. The man behind Star Wars' R2-D2, actor Kenny Baker, has died aged 83. Baker, who was 3ft 8in tall, first played the robot character in the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, in 1977. The actor also starred Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, together with three Star Wars prequels, from 1999 to 2005. The actor also appeared in other smash hit films, including The Goonies, Time Bandits and Flash Gordon.