The R2-D2 In Star Wars Episode VII Is Fan-Made
Remember that Star Wars production image that I freaked out about last week? Remember those two people you didn't recognize? Well, LucasFilm have now shed some light on those two mystery men and it's really quite cool. Standing proudly behind R2-D2 were Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, but why so proud you ask? Well, Towersey and Steeples are justified in their pride, because they actually built that R2-D2 and it is so good that LucasFilm are putting it in their movie.
Towersey and Steeples are both members of the R2-D2 Builders Club, a group of Star Wars fans with enough technical ability to create fully functional astromech droids. The pair's creation was discovered during their visit to Star Wars Celebration Europe, where President of LucasFilm, Kathleen Kennedy was in attendance.
"I mentioned that the R2-D2 builders in the UK were available if required, as a semi-joke," said Steeples. "When I was contacted to work on the film by [Executive Producer] Jason McGatlin, it was on her recommendation.
Towersey and Steeples will now be working full-time to operate and maintain their labor of love throughout production at Pinewood Studios, something that they are thoroughly prepared for having helped create Star Wars commercials in the UK.
This a real fairytale story that sees two true fans of the Star Wars story working on its next installment. But there are wider implications of this news that will make Star Wars fans very happy. This approach to one of the story's most iconic characters shows that J.J Abrams and LucasFilm are ready to get back to basics with the Star Wars saga. After the CGI-heavy prequel trilogy and countless CGI additions to the originals, fans everywhere were crying out for more physical effects. The fact that Kathleen Kennedy has looked to the R2-D2 Builders Club for this important role gives us a good indication that these cries have been heard.
Star Wars: Episode VII will hit theaters in December 2015.