Date: 31st August 2000

Lucas Says He Needs Dwarf Actor For "Humanity"

George Lucas on Wednesday posted a statement on the official Star Wars Web site, denying a report that spread over the Internet on Tuesday that Kenny Baker, the pint-sized actor who has donned the R2D2 contraption in previous Star Wars episodes, had been "dumped" from Episode II.

Lucas said that advancements in robotics technology had allowed him to use a machine-driven "Artoo" during most of the filming. "Still, there's an element of humanity to Artoo that comes from having Kenny Baker inside," Lucas said.

"We've always had Kenny scheduled for a number of shots during the final week of shooting at Elstree Studios." Lucas did not explain why the final week of shooting will be conducted at Elstree, the production site of the previous Star Wars films.

For Star Wars: Episode II, Lucas relocated to the new Fox studios in Australia.

Source: Studio Briefing