Series veteran R2D2 became the first character to be officially confirmed for the new Star Wars movie, Star Wars: Episode VII, back in November.
Disney confirmed that the diminutive droid, who appeared in the very first scenes of 1977's Star Wars and has been seen in five subsequent live-action movies, would be returning for J.J. Abrams' flick. And today, we have the first official look at the 'bot who just can't help but annoy the holy living hell out of me. Check him out, in his shipping crate, as well as our first look at Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker:
Bear in mind, the Abrams movie has been on production hiatus due to Harrison Ford's injury and there's no hard proof that this is anything close to the final look we'll be seeing on the big screen. Still, I'm diggin' the beard...
And here's R2:
One of the things that I like most about this is the timeline on the open door. It reveals the different set locations and different movies that this particular droid was a part of... Bless his little scrap metal socks.
So, Episode VII's R2D2 is looking good. But, do you remember the first time we set eyes on him? Here's a nostalgic reminder for you true Star Wars fans (you know who you are)...
Here's Grant McCune with the little man in 1977.
McCune won an Oscar for giving life to the droid in the first Star Wars movie.
And here's the guy with possibly the best job in the whole of history - set decorator Roger Christian - posing with the mock-up.
One of the most memorable elements of the original Star Wars in 1977 has got to be the set design. Back in the 1970s, you didn't just get stuff made, you used unconventional items to achieve the right look. In Christian and R2D2's case: scrap airplane metal.
And, look! Here's George Lucas, standing beside his (rather eccentric and very annoying) baby:
... And said baby, before the birth:
It's like being a proud mother looking back over a yearbook.
R2D2 has certainly come a long way since the New Hope of 1977. What do you think of his new, polished look?