Boeing’s assembly facility in Everett, Washington temporarily turned into a Star Wars base station last Saturday, September 12, as the company rolled out a 787-9 aircraft painted to resemble R2-D2 – the lovable droid from the Star Wars films. The plane belongs to All Nippon Airways (ANA), which partnered with Disney on a five-year marketing campaign for the upcoming films, beginning with The Force Awakens. R2-D2, along with BFF C-3PO, was in attendance, of course. Two additional planes – one with a livery featuring a new droid, BB-8 – will follow, in 2016. (Read our original story here.)
The R2-D2 Dreamliner (as the 787 is called) will fly to various destinations starting on October 18, when it will fly between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Vancouver. According to USA Today, the Star Wars theme will carry through the interior, where passengers will find headrest covers, napkins, and cups plastered with related graphics, similar to what ANA has done with the Pokemon franchise. The in-flight entertainment system will also show all six original films on international routes; binge watching all six movies will probably take up the entire flight between Japan and North America.
ANA is putting on events to commemorate the launch of the plane. On October 17, prior to regular service, ANA will fly 89 passengers on a two-to-three-hour “fan appreciation” flight to nowhere (Haneda to Haneda). To participate, fans will have to follow instructions on how to win tickets, but all winners are required to be dressed in Star Wars costumes during the flight, a.k.a. cosplay.
And if you’re traveling through Tokyo’s Narita airport, the airline has installed a first-person arcade game, Star Wars Battle Pod, in its lounge. Developed by Lucasfilm and Bandai Namco, the game puts players in severable battle scenes from Episodes 4-6. Unfortunately, you have to have access into the lounge in order to play it. If you happen to be near anywhere the airline operates, be sure to ask for any swag they might have on hand for sale or free.