Well it looks like we got our first confirmation as to what classic character will be returning for Episode VII, and it’s none other than everyone’s favorite astromech droid, R2-D2! It was confirmed today that R2 will be in the movie over at the official Star Wars Blog, where they shed some light on the image that was revealed last week showing J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy with an R2 unit, along with two other men in the photo, who have now been revealed as Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, fans and members of the worldwide R2-D2 Builders Club, and who will now be working on Episode VII. How cool is that?! Below is a portion of the article from the official Star Wars Blog:
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.”
I find it really cool that Kathleen Kennedy brought on two people who made R2 units as fans to work on the movie, and shows that the passion you have for Star Wars can lead to some very cool things. Be sure to check out the full article about this story over at the official Star Wars Blog.