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“R2-D2” jet arrives in Vancouver to promote “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

R2-D2 jet

R2-D2 jetThe hyperdrive, we presume, was deactivated.

In the lead up to the upcoming sure-to-be-blockbuster “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Japan’s largest airline, ANA, unveiled a series of Star Wars-themed jets last month. One of them, the “R2-D2” jet landed in Vancouver Sunday.

Okay, so it’s really just a regular plane wrapped with some Star Wars graphics, but it’s still pretty cool.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner began to service flights between Vancouver and Tokyo yesterday. The plane has the distinctive “Star Wars” logo in ten-foot letters towards the mid-section of one side. Inside, headrests are decorated to resemble the famous droid, as are napkins and cups. Passengers can watch all six Star Wars films on demand.

“We’re thrilled to unveil the designs of our new Star Wars themed planes, and I’m sure fans across the world will love the look,” said ANA CEO Osamu Shinobe in a press release unveiling the plane.

R2-D2 has appeared in every Star Wars film alongside his companion C-3PO, who is charged with interpreting his various whistles, chirps and whirrs. Star Wars creator George Lucas said his creation was inspired by characters in Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film “The Hidden Fortress” as well as robots from Douglas Trumbull’s 1972 film “Silent Running”. His name came about during the filming of Lucas’s American Graffiti, when a sound editor asked for “Reel 2, Dialog Track 2”, by abbreviating it to “R-2-D-2”.


Another jet, inspired by a new character named “BB-8” will be unveiled in November and will service domestic flights in Japan.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, will be released on December 18, and is widely expected to be one of the biggest earning films of all time. It is the first of a multi-part reboot that is directed by J.J. Abrams. It will be followed, on Dec. 16, 2017, with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and then on May 26, 2017, with “Star Wars: Episode VIII”, and followed by a Han Solo anthology film on May 25, 2018.

If the whole thing has a Disney-like vibe to it, there’s a reason. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was the first film announced after The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in October 2012, though the film is produced by Lucasfilm and Abrams’s Bad Robot Productions.

Abrams co-wrote the film’s script with Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote the original trilogy films “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is set approximately 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and reprises roles for Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia).

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will play on every North American IMAX screen this Christmas. The movie’s pre-Christmas run will be booked into between 375 and 400 North American IMAX screens as well as approximately 400 screens worldwide, playing mostly in chains with IMAX screens such as Regal, AMC and Cinemark, as well as the screens already installed in museums and science centres.

The last time IMAX screens were booked for a monopoly engagement? That was four years ago, when Disney blocked out an exclusive run for “The Hobbit”.

Below: The First Flight R2-D2 ANA Jet arrived in Vancouver Airport Canada (YVR)

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