9:00 pm EST, November 19, 2013

R2-D2 officially confirmed as first ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ character

By Louie Schuth | Edited by Karen Rought

Official Star Wars: Episode VII news has been sparse, but the first character has now been revealed.

R2-D2, one of the few characters to appear in all six Star Wars movies, will be returning for Episode VII. LucasFilm officially announced the news on their StarWars.com blog.

This was expected after Bad Robot (writer/director J.J. Abrams’ production team) tweeted this image last week with R2-D2:

The fact that R2-D2 will be returning for Star Wars: Episode VII shouldn’t really be a surprise. It can be argued that the franchise is told from the perspective of R2-D2 and his cohort C-3PO (who we would guess will be announced for Episode VII fairly soon), so it would be weird if the new films didn’t include them.

The really interesting and unexpected part of this story is that of the building of R2-D2. In the picture above, you’ll likely recognize both J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy, but not the other two. Meet Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, who are members of the R2-D2 Builders Club. They built the R2-D2 pictured, as they are now members of the Star Wars: Episode VII Creature Effects team. Talk about getting your dream job.

“It all started when Kathleen Kennedy toured the R2-D2 Builders area at Celebration Europe this past summer in Germany,” Steeples told the StarWars.com blog. “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.”

While this is only the first official announcement of who will be in Episode VII, it certainly does whet our appetite for more.

Would it have been ‘Star Wars’ without R2-D2?

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