As the global Force Friday II celebration kicks off around the world, fans in Australia were the first to officially unveil a new dark side character from the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi film, named BB-9E. Stores across Australia opened their doors at midnight to welcome fans seeking new Star Wars: The Last Jedi products, and attendees got to meet BB-9E in both AR and toy form to share with other fans via social media. Disney and LucasFilm have released the first images of BB-9E, along with a new Resistance BB unit, while Sphero, the company behind BB-8 and BB-9E, released a video showing both their new BB-9E and R2-D2 droids in action.
This new droid, part of the astromech unit of the First Order that keep their starships and machinery operational, is featured across the Star Wars: The Last Jedi product lines, and can also be viewed in life-size AR form at participating retail locations hosting the Find the Force pop-up AR treasure hunt. Using the Find the Force feature in the Star Wars App, fans will be able to unlock an AR version of BB-9E on day one of the three-day initiative (Sept. 1-3), while getting a first look at the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi toys, collectibles, books, comics, apparel, home décor and more. Here's what Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, had to say in a statement about the Force Friday products.
"Since Star Wars became a cultural phenomenon 40 years ago, consumer products have been a critical part of the fan experience, helping to introduce new audiences to the franchise's rich stories and characters. Technology-powered storytelling is at the core of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi product line, and will immerse fans in the Star Wars universe like never before."
Both the R2-D2 and BB-9E App-Enabled Droids by Sphero can be controlled with a smart device, allowing fans to drive these droids, watch Star Wars films together, explore holographic simulations and more. The R2-D2 unit will be priced at $179.99 while the BB-9E will go for $149.99. More information, participating retailers and instructional materials are available at StarWars.com/FindTheForce, with more products slated to be unveiled throughout the weekend.
New Star Wars products as well as the Find the Force AR experience can be found around the world at mass and specialty retailers, such as Amazon.com, Kohl's, Target, Toys "R" Us and Walmart, as well as Disney Store. Star Wars fans have already begun posting photos and videos of their Force Friday II experiences, including revealing the new BB-9E droid. Fans in select global markets who use the hashtags #FindtheForce and #Sweepstakes when they post photos or videos featuring Find the Force AR characters on Twitter or Instagram through the Force Friday II weekend can participate in a sweepstakes for the chance to win the ultimate fan experience: tickets to the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere in December. Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in U.S. theaters on December 15, 2017. Take a look at the new photos of BB-9E, along with the ad from Sphreo and another video that shows BB-9E in action.