One of the highlights of this morning's Star Wars Celebration kick-off panel was the live appearance of new Star Wars: The Force Awakens droid BB-8. When this little rolling ball droid was first introduced last year in the teaser trailer, many believed that he was a CGI effect. That is not the case, however impossible it may seem. And here he is, siding up next to the iconic R2-D2.
Both of the droids that appeared on stage for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel were the actual ones used in the movie. BB-8 himself is a technical marvel, a practical effect that was on set with the actors as they shot. Director J.J. Abrams offers some of the background on this incredibly cool new robot. And we also get to meet the man who made it possible in this first video from the panel that has been officially released.
Neal Scanlan is the mastermind behind BB-8's floating head. He also did effects for Prometheus, and has an animatronics resume that includes effects for Babe: Pig in the City, The Little Shop of Horrors, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. In the video, we also get to hear more from BB-8 himself, and learn a little bit about this personality. The droid truly stole the show today, and if it weren't for that trailer, he may have been the best thing about it! Take a look: