Baker passed away in August (16) at the age of 81 following a long illness. The diminutive British actor played the famous droid in the first six Star Wars movies and served as a consultant on the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Vee, 57, reportedly appeared as the droid in that instalment but he wasn't credited and will first officially portray RD-D2 in the next movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which is set for release in December (17).

"It's been an absolute pleasure to have worked alongside the legendary Kenny Baker," Jimmy said in a statement. "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 honour.

"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."

Jimmy, who is three foot six inches (1.12 metres) tall, has previously appeared in sci-fi series Doctor Who as minor characters such as Moxx of Balhoon and Bannakaffalatta, as well as a goblin in 2001's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

R2-D2 had a very brief role in The Force Awakens and was largely controlled remotely, according to reports. However, the character is set to have a bigger part in The Last Jedi, with the re-emergence of his companion Luke Skywalker, and it is thought R2 will be controlled by an actor inside, like Kenny did in previous movies.

The Last Jedi will also feature the final appearance of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia following her death in December (16).