As a shoutout to a very special Star Wars fan, a special pink R2 unit will be making a background appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens this holiday season, according to Geeks Speak.
The droid, named R2-KT, was created by Albin Johnson whose daughter Katie was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2004, and eventually passed away the next year. Katie was a huge Star Wars fan, just like her father, and loved the color pink. So Johnson, a founding member of the fan group 501st Legion, commissioned the R2 builders club to create a special droid to keep her company while she was sick.
Katie loved the unit, and so did the R2 builders club — who were eventually tapped to help in the creation of droids for the forthcoming J.J. Abrams film.
After Katie’s death, the pink droid went on to appear at hospitals, Star Wars events, and fundraisers across the United States. Just like its blue sibling, R2-KT was a massive hit.
The droid was embraced so wholeheartedly by the Star Wars community that Lucasfilm eventually used an animated version in its TV series The Clone Wars, under the name QT-KT. And when an executive higher up at Lucasfilm heard about the pink R2, she had an idea.
“Mary Franklin of Lucasfilm asked me to pitch the idea to Kathleen Kennedy (Lucasfilm President),” said Johnson in a recent interview, “after hearing the story of our pink ambassador of hope, Lucasfilm requested we ship her off to London early last year. Quick repairs were made and off she went for six months.”
Though he couldn’t talk about when or where R2-KT would appear the new film, Johnson assured the interviewer that the droid made it into the editing room, and will show up on screen during The Force Awakens.
So keep your eyes peeled for a special pink droid in the background of this year’s Star Wars film, a beautiful homage to a young fan who lost her life too soon.