Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Leonardo DiCaprio Moves To The Crowded Room
He'll produce and may star in the true-life tale
James Franco In Talks For Why Him?
Could he be the boyfriend from hell?
Kristen Stewart On For Kelly Reichardt's New Drama
She'll play a lawyer
Adventure Time Heads To Cinemas
Finn and Jake go big (screen)
Meet Lady Penelope And Brains In New Thunderbirds Are Go! Images
Parker, fetch the Rolls...
Focus Is Sharp At The Top Of The US Box Office
The Lazarus Effect arises in fifth
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
19 February 2015
Thomas Edison Movie Powers Up
The light goes on at J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
18 December 2015
More Future Films

R2-D2 Confirmed For Star Wars: Episode VII
And the people responsible for bringing him back to the screen speak

20 November 2013  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Star Wars.com

submit to reddit

Cast your mind back to last week, when the first image from behind the scenes of Star Wars: Episode VII hit via the Bad Robot Twitter feed. That picture, above, featured writer / director / producer J.J. Abrams, producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, noted Astromech droid R2-D2 and two gentlemen who were not immediately identifiable. Now, thanks to the official Star Wars site, we’ve learned that Artoo will definitely be back in the new film and how he has those two men – Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples – to thank for it.

Towersey and Steeples are members of the R2-D2 Builders Club, a worldwide organisation of people who love to… well, that should be obvious. A chance meeting with Kennedy at this year’s Celebration Europe event in Germany led to a job working as part of the Creature Effects team for Episode VII.

They’ll be responsible for building and maintaining the physical Artoo units seen on film, and are aware of the challenge. "We know the pressures of filming, prepping, and being able to assure reliability throughout the shoot,” says Towersey, who built the droid seen in the tweet. “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.”

Their biggest challenge? Building a better version of the beloved 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.”

It’s all seemingly in keeping with Abrams’ drive to have a good portion of the film created through practical effects… And as we now know, Star Wars: Episode VII will arrive on December 18, 2015.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

David Ayer's Fury Has A Composer
Gravity's Steven Price will write the score
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

Your Comments

You Don't Say...
A character George Lucas has said for years is one of only two (Threepio the other) to feature in all eventual Star Wars movies is in Star Wars: Episode VII. How is this news? More

Posted by Litshttam at 13:42 on 24 November 2013 | Report This Post


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's New Spectre Issue Covers
First look at Bond 24 in Empire's April issue

Vote For The Jameson Empire Awards 2015!
Your mission is clear...

The Oscars: Who Won What?
The winners, the losers, the dresses, the suits...

The Empire Podcast Oscars 2015 Special
The team's take on the 87th Academy Awards

Sleeping Beauties: The Story Behind 12 Of Cinema's Unlikeliest Hits
They came, they saw, they surprisingly conquered

Writer / Director Dan Gilroy Reveals 8 Nightcrawler Secrets
On Jake Gyllenhaal's hand-slicing mirror smash and more...

Robert Downey Jr. On Age Of Ultron
Tomorrow: Mark Ruffalo talks Bruce Banner...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)