Hey, hey! Here’s something you may not know about Babu Frik!
What we all know is that the adorable creature audiences first met in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a master droidsmith who works on Kijimi with spice runners like Zorii Bliss. You probably also know that the character was creatued using old school puppetry. The thing you may not know, unless you read it in the credits or looked it up after the fact, is who did the voice. It’s an actress named Shirley Henderson.
Who is Shirley Henderson? She’s a very familiar actress in the UK who has appeared in films such as Trainspotting, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and 24-Hour Party People. Still doesn’t ring a bell? Well, here’s a picture of her in another role.
Yes. Henderson played Hogwarts’ famous bathroom ghost Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter series. And while that’s fun and potentially surprising on its own, she almost didn’t get the chance to play Babu in Star Wars.
Rise of Skywalker sound designer Matthew Wood told Good Morning America he had planned on replacing the voice of Babu in post-production until he heard the on-set voice provided by Henderson, who was also helping puppeteer the character.
“As I was listening, I was thinking ‘This is amazing. I don’t know how we could even top this,’” Wood said. And so, he didn’t. He left it in. And a Star Wars icon was born, via the halls of Hogwarts.
Here’s the Babu Frik scene from The Rise of Skywalker, because we could all use a little more Babu in our lives.