Hype for [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158) is here to stay, and with it comes an overabundant affection for the film's new droid. Despite any naysayers, it seems like most of the fans are interested in the little rollerbot, and even more are on the obsessive side.
Fans' adoration of the droid ranges from cute crossover fan art...
... to lifelong tattoos!
With nicknames such as soccerdroid and rollybot, it seems like we already have a wonderful new sidekick to wash away any memories of a certain infamous Gungan from the prequels.
It's No Larger Than A Boot
The droid stands at about 12 to 16 inches tall, supposedly "no larger than a boot", with a body the size of a basketball. The dome-shaped head is "the size of a cantaloupe" according to MSW, which means that this little droid will be easy to run with if any Sith show up. Granted, the droid can obviously speed along on it's own, though it looks like tossing it in a hurry might not be a viable option (and not just because it would probably tase the crud out of you) because of everything it contains.
How It's Built
The domed head, which seems to be modeled after an R-series Astromech droid, is attached to a gyroscope - so no matter how or where the droid rolls, it's head is always level. Inside of the body, a weighted pole keeps the gyroscope in place.
The body itself is divided into slices that can separate, and contain an abundance of things, ranging from supplies, to blasters, to a lightsaber. Remember when R2 ejected Luke's lightsaber during the barge fight in Return of the Jedi? Well, this droid might be doing the same thing soon enough...
More on those Wedges
The droid's split wedges, outside of being storage compartments, serve multiple purposes in the droid's functionality. One wedge has a retractable claw or hand, which gives the droid the ability to grab things, or operate other objects manually.
Another wedge stores a retractable laser cutter, which can also serve as a taser in the right situation - so let's just hope this little droid isn't the cranky type.
This was the Original Design for R2-D2
The legendary Ralph McQuarrie described his original ideas for everyone's favorite astromech back in 2012 (info courtesy of Nerdist's Amy Ratcliffe, who found the interview in the July 2012 issue of Star Wars Insider), and it sounds awfully similar to this droid. In fact, The Force Awakens and all of the surrounding new canon seems to be bringing back a good deal of McQuarrie ideas, including the design for Zeb from [Star Wars Rebels](series:965946), which is based off of the original concept for Chewbacca the Wookiee. If that's not awesome to you, I don't know what is.
With it's endless functionalities and adorable design, it's no wonder that the fandom has taken so well to a droid that we've only seen for a total of two seconds - deadly and adorable is how the internet likes it, after all.