'Star Wars: Episode VII' to feature R2-D2 (Photo)
The new "Star Wars" film will feature a familiar droid.
On Nov. 14, Bad Robot Productions, the production company of "Star Wars: Episode VII" director J.J. Abrams, tweeted out a photo of Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy with an R2-D2 model.
The photo was taken at Pinewood Studios in the U.K., where "Star Wars: Episode VII" will film in spring 2014, and was tweeted with the caption, "Hi from the workshop!"
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, it was officially confirmed that R2-D2 will be featured in the upcoming film, which is set for release on Dec. 18, 2015.
In a blog post on the official "Star Wars" website, it was explained that the other two men in the photo are Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, "Star Wars" fans who are also part of the worldwide R2-D2 Builders Club. The two men are now officially part of the creature effects team for the new film.
"They didn't apply for their jobs, but still had what is probably the best reference one could hope for," the post said of Towersey and Steeples.
Steeples then explained that the two met Kennedy when she toured the R2-D2 Builders area at Celebration Europe in Germany this past summer.
"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," he explained to the website. "When I was contacted to work on the film by [executive producer] Jason McGatlin, it was on her recommendation."
Both Steeples and Towersey have worked on "Star Wars"-themed commercials in the U.K. Towersey built the R2-D2 droid seen in the Twitter photo.
"It's fascinating to see the whole process of filmmaking as 'Star Wars: Episode VII' grows around us," Towersey told StarWars.com. "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."
R2-D2 might not be the only character from the original trilogy to make an appearance in the new film. George Lucas also confirmed in March 2013 that talks have been held with original "Star Wars" trilogy stars Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill about having them reprise their "Star Wars" roles in "Star Wars: Episode VII."