Yesterday I saw on Facebook that Kenny Baker, the actor best known for playing Artoo Detoo, had passed away at the age of 82. It was sad news. So many little people often appeared in genre movies and creature features from the late seventies through the eighties, and I was always happy to see Kenny Baker. Outside of Star Wars, he was in some of my favorite movies from the period: Flash Gordon, Amadeus ("I'm a faaaamous hooooooorsemaaaaaan!"), Mona Lisa, Labyrinth, and Willow.
But the first thing I thought of when I saw the news of his death was Time Bandits. An absolute favorite of mine. I was out at my mother-in-law's farm, clearing out some of the last of the items we're going to keep. It was a long, humid day, and me with some kind of stomach virus, so I was pretty miserable and tired when I got home. My wife got in the shower, and I sat down in the living room and turned on the TV. In a wonderful coincidence, Time Bandits was on Turner Classic Movies. Now that's a Saturday afternoon flick. It almost felt like watching Family Classics on WGN when I was a kid. So, as sad as I was about the farm and about my mother-in-law and about Kenny Baker, there he was in my favorite performance of his as Fidgit. God, I love that movie.
Thanks for everything, Kenny. Thanks for playing my favorite Star Wars character.
Here's George Harrison's wonderful end credits song, "Dream Away," from Time Bandits.