Belfast Telegraph

R2-D2 to appear in Episode VII

R2-D2 will definitely be in the new Star Wars movie, it has been confirmed.

Earlier this month director JJ Abrams sparked rumours that the astromech droid would be in Episode VII when the f ilmmaker's company Bad Robot tweeted a behind-the-scenes photo which featured the robot, JJ and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

And it has now been confirmed that the much-loved droid - who has appeared in all six previous Star Wars movies since 1977 with his pal C-3PO - will definitely be back, according to the official Star Wars site.

The picture also included two men who have now been identified as Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, Star Wars fans and members of the worldwide R2-D2 Builders Club.

They revealed that a c hance meeting with Kennedy at this year's Celebration Europe event in Germany led to them working as part of the team for Episode VII.

Steeples said it was a "dream come true", explaining: "She posed for pictures with us, looked at all the droids we'd built and was very complimentary. I mentioned that the R2-D2 Builders in the UK were available if required, as a semi-joke. When I was contacted to work on the film by [executive producer] Jason McGatlin, it was on her recommendation."

The pair are now working on creating a better R2-D2 for the upcoming film.

Towersey said: " It's fascinating to see the whole process of filmmaking as Star Wars: Episode VII grows around us. I feel very privileged to be in the working environment I'm in at the moment. It's something I will never take for granted."

So far little is known about JJ's film but it is thought that original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will be back. Film bosses have been holding open auditions to fill two roles.

Star Wars: Episode VII is due to be released in 2015.

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