R2-D2 Builders at WonderCon

StarWars.com Team | April 19, 2010

Everyone wants R2-D2 as a co-pilot but very few fans have the time and commitment to build one from scratch. It takes a very special breed of fan to not only put in the time, but the money, blood, sweat and tears it takes to make a bunch of parts into an astromech worth showing off.


At this year’s WonderCon in San Francisco the R2 Builders Club gathered for their annual panel to discuss not only what it takes to build an astromech, but also the tricks of the trade for would-be Anakins and Jawas in the audience.

Bay Area R2 Builders begin the presentation.

In addition to showing the audience basic steps in creating an R2-D2 from scratch, and giving demos of what their astromechs can do, the group offered a few pointers.

Here are some highlights from the panel:

* Think of your astromech as a vintage muscle car you’re fixing up. It won’t happen quickly; you’ll spend a lot of money on it; and it will break down constantly. But it’s worth it.

* No, they don’t put rockets on their astromechs to make them fly.

* R2 Builders are always thinking of new ways to soup up their astromechs. Some are experimenting Think Geek’s Personal Soundtrack Shirt for audio clips!

* The builders don’t use Roomba vacuum technology because it’s too risky to have a 200-pound astromech running around the house on its own, bumping into things and people.

R2-D2 low-fi hologram.

Princess Leia stops by for a few pointers.

The next generation of R2 Builders get some tips.

Bay Area R2 Builders line up for a group shot.

For more info on R2 Builders:

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