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Star Wars: Episode VII announces a new cast member – a fan-made R2-D2!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Disney and LucasFilm have confirmed that everyone’s favorite blue and white astromech droid, R2-D2, will appear in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. Along with this first photo from behind the scenes, Bad Robot and StarWars.com offered fans an exciting bit of insight into the production of the new film!

Hi from the workshop! #StarWarsVII — Bad Robot (@bad_robot)
November 14, 2013

Meet Lee Towersey from Middlesex, England and Oliver Steeples from Berkshire, England. As Star Wars fans and card-carrying members in the UK chapter of the R2-D2 Builders Club, they are experts at creating fully functioning, film-accurate astromech droids. Shortly after Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy spotted their work at the recent Star Wars Celebration Europe convention in Germany, the droid-building duo was officially invited to London’s Pinewood Studios as part of the creature effects team for Star Wars: Episode VII.

“[Kennedy] 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,” says Steeples, who finished his first R2-D2 in 2007, after 10 years of collecting parts and researching. “When I was contacted to work on the film it was on her recommendation.”

“It’s fascinating to see the whole process of filmmaking as Star Wars: Episode VII grows around us,” says Towersey. “I feel very privileged to be in the working environment I’m in at the moment. It’s something I will never take for granted.”

“It’s a dream come true,” adds Steeples, “and I hope I can live up to the expectations of the thousands of R2-D2 Builders around the world, let alone the millions of Star Wars fans.”

With original trilogy stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford also reportedly set to reprise their roles, and composer John Williams to wield his baton for the score, the  J.J. Abrams directed film is set to make the Kessel Run into movie theaters on December 18, 2015!

Which characters are you hoping to see make an appearance in Star Wars: Episode VII?

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