Happy May the 4th to everyone, of course, but to three people in particular. First, Taika Waititi and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, two dynamite filmmakers who now get to make a Star Wars movie. May neither of you get fired for being too interesting. Second, to Babu Frik, the wonderful baked potato droidsmith from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker who deserves nothing but the best not only on this day, but all days. An icon. A legend. And now, thanks to a Vanity Fair interview with the voice behind the puppet, Shirley Henderson, a truly tragic figure.
Henderson broke down her journey from meeting director J.J. Abrams to working with dialect coach Jill McCullough to find the voice of Babu. But the most valuable nugget comes when Henderson reveals that Babu, who is already a three-foot-tall alien who somehow ingrained himself in an intergalactic drug-running operation, also has a long-lost love in his past. You can practically hear the mournful “heyheyyyy” floating on the frigid Kijimi breeze.
“Beyond the film, Babu has lived a life. Somewhere out there is a lost love. He thinks about her sometimes when he sits down in his workshop and lets his thoughts drift away. That’s what I think, anyway.”
Filling in Babu Frik’s origin story is, quite literally, the sole reason Disney+ exists. Honestly, cancel the Rogue One prequel and divert all funds to a Breaking Bad-esque show about Babu Frik juggling his love life with the allure of the local spice running scene. Definitely bring back Shirley Henderson, too, because of delightful stories like her description of meeting Abrams for the first time.
“Then the day arrived. I was taken into J.J.’s office and we said hello. Still, there were no real clues—so I just hunched down on the ground and made myself as small as I could and started talking as I thought the character might.”
Incredible. For more on Babu Frik, here is our full ode to the best part of The Rise of Skywalker.