Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Confirmed: Fan Built R2-D2 To Appear In Episode VII

By: Benjamin Hart

We finally have our first casting confirmation for Star Wars Episode VII! The StarWars.com blog has confirmed that everyone's favorite blue Astromech Droid, R2-D2, will indeed have a role Episode VII, as if there was any previous doubt. This news comes as a follow up to a photo(above) that was tweeted from the Bad Robot twitter account last week. The Star Wars blog also confirms the identities of of the two men standing with J.J Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy:

"Meet Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, Star Wars fans and members of the worldwide R2-D2 Builders Club. They create fully functioning, film-accurate astromech droids like the R2-D2 seen in the photo, and they’re officially part of the Creature Effects team for Star Wars: Episode VII. They didn’t apply for their jobs, but still had what is probably the best reference one could hope for.

“It all started when Kathleen Kennedy toured the R2-D2 Builders area at Celebration Europe this past summer in Germany,” says Steeples, who finished his first R2-D2 in 2007, after 10 years of collecting parts and researching. “She posed for pictures with us, looked at all the droids we’d built and was very complimentary. I mentioned that the R2-D2 Builders in the UK were available if required, as a semi-joke. When I was contacted to work on the film by [executive producer] Jason McGatlin, it was on her recommendation.”"

This falls in line with comments that Kathleen Kennedy made at Celebration Europe:

"...we're probably gonna end up using every single tool in the tool box to create the look of these movies, that's what we're really excited about... It's using model makers, it's using real Droids, it's taking advantage of the artwork that gets done that you can actually touch and feel. We want to do that in combination with CG effects...."

It is fantastic to not only know that Artoo will be back on the big screen in 2015 but also to know that Lucasfilm & Disney are hand picking talented individuals from the Star Wars fan community. Passionate fans behind the scenes is just another reason to be excited about Episode VII!

Be sure to head over to the Star Wars Blog to read the full article and learn about Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples' past, present & future work.


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