“Kenny Baker was a real gentleman as well as an incredible trooper who always worked hard under difficult circumstances,” Lucas said in a statement posted at StarWars.com. “A talented vaudevillian who could always make everybody laugh, Kenny was truly the heart and soul of R2-D2 and will be missed by all his fans and everyone who knew him.”
Daniels, whose relationship with Baker was famously strained, tweeted, "Sad to hear of Kenny’s passing.1 of the truly original cast, so famed for his iconic role as R2. He'll always be remembered by so many fans."
Baker originated the role of R2-D2 in 1977's "Star Wars," and returned to play the beloved droid in "The Empire Strikes Back," "Return of the Jedi" and three prequels, not to mention "The Star Wars Holiday Special," an episode of "The Muppet Show" and even an Underoos commercial. As StarWars.com notes, he also portrayed Paploo, the Ewok who steals a speeder bike, in "Return of the Jedi."