R2-D2 Confirmed For New ‘Star Wars’ Film, Model Built By Fans


The long loved astro-droid from previous Star Wars incarnations will make a return in the new film, Episode VII. I mean, let’s be honest, it wouldn’t really be a Star Wars film if it didn’t have R2-D2.

While this was probably assumed by most already, it is nice to have some actual confirmation of something related to the film. Aside from the actuality of the confirmation, what is more interesting, is that the model being used in the film was built by two fans. LucasFilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, had eyed the fans’ model back at Celebration Europe over the past summer, but Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples were quite surprised when they were contacted to join the creature effects team on the film.

While noting the massive and wonderful opportunity presented to them, the two builders wasted no time in stepping up to the challenge. “What we do need to do is improve on the mechanics,” says Towersey. “We’re currently in a research and design phase where we’re looking at drive options for reliability on all possible terrains, whether it be a one-motor-does-all, or a system which is easily adjusted depending on terrain. We have a few mocked up ideas which we hope to road test very soon.”

It seems that R2 is safe in these hands for the film, all while the two builders get to enjoy the experience of getting their work solidified on the big screen.

May the force be with you.

Drew Caruso

Drew Caruso is a Bostonian who, when not writing about music and film, spends his time getting lost in New England, reading books, talking about science whether people want to listen or not, and more. To see the thoughts of a scientist by day and a writer by night, follow him on Twitter.
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