Over the last few months, Adam Savage’s Tested has paid tribute to the host’s late colleague, engineer, and roboticist Grant Imahara. First, Savage took viewers on a tour of Imahara’s workshop and has since shown off several of his stunning creations. Including, of course, the Grogu replica Imahara built to take on tour to children’s hospitals. Most recently, Savage and Fon Davis, Imahara’s pal who has accompanied Savage on his trips to the workshop, took a look at Grant Imahara’s BB-8 replica.
Naturally, the droid recreation is “flawless.”
Savage notes that the fully-functional replica could easily pitch fill in if Lucasfilm ever needs to film with another BB-8. Davis shared that Imahara wanted to build a replica after seeing it at Star Wars Celebration ahead of The Force Awakens. Savage and Davis reminisced over thinking BB-8 was CGI after watching the trailers and then feeling shocked when J.J. Abrams welcomed the little droid out onto the stage. And that’s when Imahara decided he too was going to build the practical little robot. Due to his love of a good challenge and Star Wars.
As anyone who followed Imahara’s career knows, he was very passionate about Star Wars. This feels unsurprising considering he spent much of his early career working at Lucasfilm and George Lucas’s VFX company Industrial Light & Magic. (He even operated R2-D2 in the prequels.)
After spending a lot of time admiring the droid, Davis and Savage get to work. They take the 3D-printed project apart and dive into its intricate mechanics. Savage also chats with Lauren Markland, who worked on the BB-8 droid with Imahara. The pair finished working on the project in 2017. Markland and Imahara collaborated on the Grogu recreation as well. Much of the work is 3D-printed, which is an incredible feat given how hard it is to get spherical forms and details right with this method.
This video is an incredible testament to Imahara and Markland’s creative prowess. And their technical skills, of course.