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Was STAR WARS’ New Ball Droid Once The Design of R2-D2?

Was STAR WARS’ New Ball Droid Once The Design of R2-D2?

Thus far, this has been one heck of a Star Wars filled holiday weekend. Ever since the first teaser trailer for The Force Awakens was released this past Friday, all we’ve wanted to do is break down every frame of the new trailer, and dissect every last morsel we could until the next one is released at some point in the hopefully not too distant future. However, there’s one element of the new teaser that has managed to strike a chord, arguably, more than any other: the ball droid.


It doesn’t have a name, it doesn’t have a friend and it doesn’t appear to presently have a mission, but we can all agree that it’s the most adorable droid to ever droid this side of the galaxy far, far away. However, new information is coming to light that, internally, this little baby ball robot has been floating around the Lucasfilm archives for a long time, and is apparently based on original R2-D2 designs once developed by Ralph McQuarrie himself:

Thanks to Nerdist’s resident Star Wars expert, Amy Ratcliffe, who did some due diligence upon seeing the quote, we can tell you this statement comes from the July 2012, #135 issue of Star Wars Insider. However, while published in 2012, the interview was actually conducted by Thomas G. Smith with McQuarrie in 1984 while Smith was researching a book. So, yes, we are indeed to believe this new, currently unnamed droid was the original R2-D2, which is something that certainly puts a spin on this tweet sent out by the ball-droid’s unofficially official twitter account:

Of course, the ball droid hasn’t stopped there as fans have been quick to turn him/her/it into the face of the new teaser with artwork that’s just begging to be framed and hung on all our walls:

So, basically, it’s hard to argue against the fact ball droid won the weekend and all our force filled hearts over the last 72 hours, and to wrap this up, allow us to extend a Jedi high five to one J.J. Abrams and the entire team that made our new must have toy a reality.


What do you think of the new Star Wars ball droid? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. codeslicer says:

    Dude, the cross saber struck the biggest chord…

  2. Amy says:

    Something very similar to that little droid pops out of the THX logo and repairs it in my copy of Finding Nemo. THX is a George Lucas company. That R2 droid isn’t completely new.

  3. John Scoleri says:

    Here’s Ralph’s original design that he was referring to in the interview.

  4. Steve says:


  5. anthony says:

    It blows! I’m.surprised Jar jar isn’t riding it!

  6. Edward Reed says:

    the latest tweet has an image with profanity (Mother F… ) in it so now its not looking so legit. if it was Lucasfilm/Disney associated that meme wouldn’t fly. oh well.

  7. fake says:

    that supposed “quote” from a mcQuarrie interview is fake. its photoshopped to look like newspaper or book text but its crooked. dont buy it

  8. Orionsangel says:

     It doesn’t weigh anything? It’s hallow? It moves like a cheap blown up plastic toy.

    • Ken says:

      It was reported earlier that this guy is quite small. Only a little bit taller than a basketball. The heroes will follow its lead through some caves or tunnels or something. It’s like a good guy  version of the seeker droids Darth Maul used. I don’t think it’s anything to do with the Astromechs though it was probably supposed to have been designed by the same company.

      I am a little disappointed that there are no astromechs on the new style X-Wings though. At least that you can see.  

  9. Bruce Nugent says:

    Well JJ *did* use McQuarries’ original “split engine” x-wing design.

  10. dragonballsy says:

    A few things. This shot isn’t of an anonymous robot in the background. The camera is clearly following it in relation to the background. Now taking into account that Kenny Baker’s getting on in years and the story takes place in the future where droid technology is probably more advanced i suggest that this IS R2, in a more mobile design with more room for the little person inside.

  11. SwanGore says:

    Not about the ball droid but the ship on the left reminds me of something out of Macross.