We're just mere days away from the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, but it appears we have at least one more casting confirmation to talk about. While this new cast member may not be Human, her inclusion in The Force Awakens is very significant on several different levels. Albin Johnson, founder of 501st Legion, recently confirmed that the R2-KT, an Astromech Droid created and named in honor of his late daughter Katie, will indeed be appearing in the upcoming film.
The Droid came to be over 10 years ago when Katie Johnson was diagnosed with a brain Tumor and Albin and fellow family members came up with the idea to have a R2-KT watch over the girl as she slept. Unfortunately Katie passed away before the Droid could be fully realized. But that didn't stop R2-KT from making a difference as she went on to participate in various 501st fundraising events and visit other hospitalized children. In 2008 R2-KT was immortalized in CGI animation and made her big screen debut in the theatrical Star Wars: The Clone Wars film alongside another infamous Astromech Droid; R2-D2. She also appeared in a handful of episode of the subsequent animated series of the same name, as well as the Clone Wars Adventures video game and two Lego Star Wars productions.
Last week Albin Johnson released a statement announcing that R2-KT will have a cameo in The Force Awakens, and noted that she appeared briefly in the behind the scenes reel shown at San Diego Comic Con(above) earlier this year. Johnson also spoke with our friends at Geeks Speak and explained how KT landed the role:
“Mary Franklin of Lucasfilm asked me to pitch the idea to Kathleen Kennedy (Lucasfilm President), and after hearing the story of our pink ambassador of hope Lucasfilm requested we ship her off to London early last year. Quick repairs were made and off she went for six months.”
In a statement on Facebook, Johnson also added:
"We've been sitting on the news for over a year, and it was hard work getting her to London. But the excitement over JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy believing in the story behind KT is a huge endorsement to how much the new guard believes in the fans and the true magic behind Star Wars."
It is indeed awesome that the filmmakers behind The Force Awakens were willing to allow R2-KT to live on in live action form. Her cameo will be among the things we will be looking forward to when the film premieres on December 18th!
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