7:44am PT by Ryan Parker
'Star Wars': Jimmy Vee Takes Over as R2-D2
Jimmy Vee will take over as the iconic Star Wars droid R2-D2.
Vee, 57, plays the lovable little guy in The Last Jedi, due out in December.
The actor is stepping in for Kenny Baker, who died last year at the age of 81. Barker played R2-D2 since the franchise's first installment, A New Hope, released in 1977.
Vee did some work in 2015's Force Awakens, but all credit went to Baker.
Vee has appeared in such works as Harry Potter and Doctor Who.
"It's been an absolute pleasure to have worked alongside the legendary Kenny Baker," Vee said in a statement released by Oh So Small production agency. "Kenny was a fantastic actor and taught me all the 'tricks' on how he brought R2-D2 to life which I will continue to portray in his honor. I'm so excited to be a part of the Star Wars universe and can't wait for everyone to see what we've been working so hard on for the last year."
A trailer for the film, the ninth overall in the franchise, has yet to be released.