Nearly 40 years ago, Star Wars fans fell in love with an intrepid little droid known for his fearlessness and sense of adventure: R2-D2, the blue beeping robot and sarcastic sidekick of C-3PO. But now, it looks like the beloved Artoo has a rival: the rolling robot named BB-8. Onset of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the soccer-ball-esque droid captured the hearts of cast and crew alike, and by the end of filming, they were treating him like a cast member.
The animatronics experts behind the development of BB-8, Matt Denton and Joshua Lee, recently spoke to CNN about how quickly the little droid has been accepted and adored by so many fans. But they also shared an anecdote from on set that showed just how deep BB-8 love went among the filmmakers and actors.
While filming on the deserts of Abu Dhabi, Lee was operating the droid during a high-speed run when the little droid flipped over. Unfortunately, Lee didn’t notice and kept operating the droid, and the little robot was badly damaged, unmoving.
“There was shocked silence on the set,” Lee said. “BB-8’s head was totally smashed up…It was as if someone had been hurt. The crew didn’t know where to look.”
Lee and Denton also shared the response BB-8 had among his human colleagues when the film wrapped:
“This is the first project we’ve done where the character’s been appreciated this deeply and at this level by the cast and crew.
“When we did our last shot on the last day, BB-8 was wrapped like an actor. [He] got a round of applause. It was amazing.”
This video makes it easy to see why BB-8 is so irresistibly lovable! Watch BB-8 interact with the veteran Artoo onstage at the Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. Is there some rivalry between the classic funny droid and its new little friend?
I’m sure there’s room for both of them in our Star Wars hearts.