D2 had been holding out for the same star perks as returning cast members Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, but now that negotiations have concluded, director Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy have welcomed back the veteran Astromech droid with open arms.
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R2-D2 has been featured in every “Star Wars” movie since the original 1977 classic and won’t even need a facelift to be camera-ready for the latest sequel, which Disney will release on Dec. 18, 2015.
Kenny Baker played R2-D2 in “Star Wars,” and the lovable character was “voiced” by Ben Burtt, the sound designer also responsible for the lightsaber hum, Darth Vader’s heavy breathing — not to mention Pixar’s Wall-E.
R2-D2, who most recently appeared as debris in Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness,” has been represented by the Robot Hall of Fame since 2003.