‘Star Wars’ Buzz: New R2-D2 Actor, Rey and Kylo Ren’s Connection, and ‘The Last Jedi’ Trailer Details

We love Star Wars, and Star Wars loves us, given all these updates on the franchise arriving in time for Valentine’s Day. Check out the latest on The Last Jedi specifically below.

Jimmy Vee is the New R2-D2

With the recent passing of Kenny Baker, who played the droid R2-D2 when an actor was needed beginning with the first Star Wars, a new diminutive performer was needed. Jimmy Vee, who actually worked with Baker on The Force Awakens, learning the secrets to portraying the character, has been cast in the role officially for the upcoming sequel The Last Jedi. Here’s what he said in a statement accompanying the announcement, via ComingSoon.net:

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to have worked alongside the legendary Kenny Baker. 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.”

Rey and Kylo Ren’s Mysterious “Connection”

Remember when you were theorizing after The Force Awakens that Rey and Kylo Ren were long lost siblings or had some other relation? Well, as noticed by Heroic Hollywood, Lucasfilm officially acknowledges there is some sort of significant link between the two characters, one of whose parentage is currently unknown and the other who is the son of Leia and Han Solo, in character bios on StarWars.com. Both are quoted below, with Rey’s calling it a “strange connection” and Kylo Ren’s a “mysterious connection.”

“On Takodana, Skywalker’s lightsaber called to Rey, who experienced a Force vision. She rejected this call to destiny, but was captured by the dark side warrior Kylo Ren, with whom she shared a strange connection. Kylo took Rey to Starkiller Base, where he tried to understand her rapidly growing powers. With Finn in peril, she escaped and took up Skywalker’s lightsaber – and the quest to find the Jedi master.”


“Snoke warned Kylo that there had been an awakening in the Force, and his apprentice would face a test when he confronted his father. Kylo swore his loyalties were only to Snoke. But he was intrigued when he captured Rey, a Jakku scavenger whose Force abilities were raw but very powerful. A mysterious connection seemed to link the two.”

The Last Jedi Trailer Details

Can you believe we still haven’t gotten even a teaser for The Last Jedi yet? Hopefully we will at least see something by this year’s Star Wars Celebration event in a few months, but until then we have a little update on what will be in the first trailer. This comes in the form of a response to rumors floating about that Luke Skywalker would not be appearing. That is false, according to Star Wars News Net (via MovieWeb), which tweeted the following note about him and three other characters to expect:

There are rumors that Luke will not be in the first #TheLastJedi teaser. We heard the contrary. Luke, Leia, Finn and Rey will be there…

— SWNN (@StarWarsNewsNet) February 13, 2017

John Williams is Already Recording The Last Jedi Score

Also from Twitter, via filmmaker Robert Meyer Burnett (Requiem for Krypton: Making ‘Superman Returns’) and reported by /Film, we learn that John Williams is already recording his score to The Last Jedi. That may not seem strange, but it is. Movie scores are typically recorded closer to the end of postproduction, but The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson wants to cut the sequel with the actual score rather than a temp. As /Film notes, this could allow for something freer than normal from Williams with Star Wars.

LAST JEDI scoring update. Last Thursday was John Williams’ 85th Birthday. He’s conducting. Rian Johnson wants to use the score for editing.

— Robert Meyer Burnett (@BurnettRM) February 12, 2017