BB-8 won’t be the only new astromech droid to grace screens around the world when Star Wars: The Force Awakens premieres on December 18. The beloved pink R2 unit, R2-KT, will also be making its live-action debut in the film. Eagle-eyed fans will remember that the colorful droid has appeared in the galaxy far, far away before, popping up in both the Clone Wars animated show, as well at the LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles.
Some may wonder why the inclusion of a pink R2 unit is all that notable for the film. As it turns out, it is because of the story of R2-KT’s creation and the hope the little droid has brought to many. We have covered stories in the past pertaining to the 501st Legion, the Star Wars costuming group that dedicates a lot of time and effort toward charity work. What some may not know is the story of Katie Johnson, the young daughter of 501st founder Albin Johnson.
[Image: Albin Johnson via r2kt.com]
In 2004, Johnson and his family discovered that Katie had an inoperable brain tumor. Through the love of Star Wars he shared with his daughter, Albin decided to commission Katie’s own R2 unit to watch over her as she slept. Albin reached out to fellow Star Wars fan group, the R2-D2 Builders Club, to commission the custom droid, but it was Katie’s older sister that recommended the name R2-KT and the pink color scheme.
Sadly, Katie passed away in August of 2005, but R2-KT has kept her spirit alive ever since, joining the 501st at many charity events to spread joy to other children just like it did for Katie. A couple of years later, R2-KT was an exclusive Star Wars toy released at San Diego Comic-Con, and it was eventually introduced into the Star Wars canon through their animated TV shows. Now, the adorable little droid is making the Kessel Run to live-action when it makes its big screen debut in The Force Awakens. You know, just in case you needed another reason to be excited for this movie.
Featured Image: Lucasfilm
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