Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Andy Serkis' Star Wars: The Force Awakens Character Revealed
Meet Supreme Leader Snoke. Well, sort of...
Henry Cavill Exits Stratton
Simon West's action-thriller needs a new lead
Will Forte Signs Up For Keanu
Joining forces with Key & Peele and Method Man
Joe Wright May Jump Into The Lifeboat
He's in talks to direct Anne Hathaway in a novel adaptation
New Ant-Man Poster Dodges Bullets Online
Heroes don't get any bigger
Exclusive Point Break Featurette
Meet the daredevils behind the movie's scenes
Vin Diesel Teases New York As Fast & Furious 8's Main Locale
Big trouble in the Big Apple?
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
TODAY
Andy Serkis' Star Wars: The Force Awakens Character Revealed
Meet Supreme Leader Snoke. Well, sort of...
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
A Guide To Rick Baker: Monster Maker
Bidding farewell to a visual effects legend

Podcast #162: Hugh Laurie
Is there a doctor in the house?

Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 44%

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  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)