r2-d2

R2-D2 Is The First Confirmed Character For 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

Last week, Bad Robot's Twitter feed exploded with the first behind the scenes look at Star Wars: Episode VII. That picture, below, featured J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and a legendary Astromech droid. Does this pique your excitement?

The two gentlemen, Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, are responsible for piecing R2-D2 together. The dynamic duo are members of the R2-D2 Builders Club, a worldwide organization of people who love to build Astromech droids.

After a chance meeting with Kennedy at this year's Celebration Europe event in Germany, the two were given a job as part of the Creature Effects team for Episode VII. Aware of the challenges in maintaining such an easily destructible character within the new-age space opera, the two are aware of what's at stake, saying, "We know the pressures of filming, prepping, and being able to assure reliability throughout the shoot." "We have a good knowledge of Artoo, with a large stock of parts for reference and drawings, plus we know what is involved throughout the whole building process, as well as potential problems we need to avoid," Towersey said.

Have a strong look at Artoo alongside his cinematic cohorts below:

R2D2

Abrams' is driven to give Star Wars fans the best project as possible, so Towersey and Steeples are inspired to build a better version of the beloved space tin can. "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."

Expectations are getting loftier by the millisecond as Star Wars: Episode VII will arrive on December 18, 2015.

Props: Star Wars Blog

From the Web

More on Vibe

Leon Bennett

John Singleton In Coma After Suffering From A Stroke

John Singleton is reportedly in a coma after suffering from a major stroke, TMZ reports.

The Boyz N the Hood filmmaker has reportedly been in the ICU since last weekend. According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Singleton's mother, Sheila Ward, is asking a judge to appoint her temporary conservator of his work because he is "unable to properly provide for his personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter." Singleton was reportedly working on several projects and preparing to sign a lucrative settlement agreement at the time of his stroke, according to Ward.

As previously reported, Singleton suffered a stroke on April 17, after returning from Costa Rica. After experiencing problems with his legs, he reportedly checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he suffered a stroke in his hospital room.

This story is developing.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Goodbye Costa Rica... one of my new favorite places in the world.... so much to see so little time...

A post shared by JOHN SINGLETON (@johnsingleton) on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:07pm PST

Continue Reading
Getty Images

'Empire' Makes History By Airing First Black Gay Wedding On Network TV

Wedding bells have just made their way into the history books. Last night (April 25), FOX's Empire became the first network television show to air a black gay wedding. Jamal and his fiancé Kai (Jussie Smollett and Toby Onwumere, respectively) jump the broom and swap vows in the episode titled "Never Doubt I Love."

As an added treat, Empire even tapped the legendary Chaka Khan to perform at the fictional star-studded wedding (Mario and Wood Harris even showed up) which, as evidenced by the episode BTS video, was a moment for everyone right to the stars of the show themselves. “Today’s wedding is special and controversial,” Khan said of using her voice for this particular cameo. “But my answer to all that is just love is love.”

Cast members Taraji P. Henson and Gabourey Sidibe agree that Jamal and Kai's wedding might have just become the best Empire wedding.

While this doesn't necessarily take away from the controversy still surrounding Smollett's case in Chicago, it was a cause for celebration regarding diversity and representation on television nonetheless. As Ms. Khan said, right here and right now, the most important thing to note is that love is love.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Lizzo Will Appear In 'Hustlers' Alongside Cardi B And Jennifer Lopez

Lizzo continues to make waves as a musician, instrumentalist, body-positivity icon and booty-shaker extraordinaire. The artist– whose major-label debut Cuz I Love You is receiving praise from listeners and critics alike– will have a chance to put her twerking skills to the test.

According to reports, the Minnesota transplant is set to join the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B and Keke Palmer in the already-stacked lineup for the upcoming film, Hustlers. Deadline reports that this is Lizzo’s first live-action film, and her second film overall. She’ll be voicing a character in the upcoming animated musical film, Uglydolls.

Hustlers, which is set to be released by September 2019, is inspired by an article published in New York Magazine in 2016, which “follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.”

Additional actresses set to appear in the film include Fresh Off The Boat’s Constance Wu, Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart, Julia Stiles, Transparent’s Trace Lysette, Mercedes Ruehl, dancer Mette Towley and Orange Is The New Black’s Madeline Brewer.

Continue Reading

Top Stories