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:
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