The Force Awakens: RE-Introducing the “Beach Ball Droid”

Soccer Ball Droid

Wait! What? Did he just say “re-introduce?” Why, yes, I did. The first The Force Awakens teaser trailer broke the internets and shifted global consciousness on “Black Friday” which, in reality, was a glorious “White Friday,” as in Light Side Friday for us rabid Star Wars fans. Read more to discover why we’re seeing an old friend.


No doubt you were especially taken by the “beach ball” or, for our global friends and family, the apropos-termed “soccer/football” droid frantically rolling over the sand which has caused some, you guessed it, controversy. From comments I’ve read or heard, about half of the fans like it and think its cute and the other half hate it and think its cute. I, for one am in the “love camp” because the droid does two things: First, it expands the imagination and scope of what droids can be. And second, it resurrects more original Ralph McQuarrie concepts that unfortunately had to be scrapped for various reasons to include a lack of budget to bring them to life or lack of the technology to do so.


If you’re like me you probably thought this droid was a brand new concept. It isn’t. It’s one of McQuarrie’s original ideas for Artoo Detoo as evidenced by an excerpt from issue #135 “Star Wars: Insider” from 2012:


Artoo Concept

There has been a decidedly conscious, careful, effort to incorporate a lot of McQuarrie’s beloved concept art into the new era of Star Wars as we’ve seen in the new animated show Rebels with Zeb and Chopper. Also notice the original design for C-3PO in the background?


MCU Rebels


So this new “beach ball” droid-slash-homage to Ralph McQuarrie brings up a good question since it’s head dome resembles Artoo Detoo. Is it an R-series? Or is it a customized one-off that, perhaps, Daisy Ridley’s character built or had built for her? To answer this question we direct you to the best analysis of this droid you’ll read on the web by a site called Jalopnik:

“Of course, R2 is by far the best known, since R2-D2 is one. The next most well-known is probably the R5 series, since one of those was prominently featured in the original Star Warsmovie when it had a bad motivator and blew up part of its head. R1s are huge and only seen in the background, R3s have a clear dome, and R4s have a more conical head.


The remaining four are mostly known to more hard-core fans: R6s have an R2 face on an R5-shaped head, R7s have a triangular eye, R8s have a little dish for a main eye, and R9s have a dome-shaped head with a little inset at the bottom.


Of course, there’s more details about how they differ, but we’re here to speculate on this new droid type. It’s clearly related to the R-series, but there’s one key difference: where all R-series droids have a cylindrical body, this one seems to be rocking a sphere.”


Check out their full article for this brilliant in-depth look at one of the newest droids to join the Star Wars universe!


+ posts

124 thoughts on “The Force Awakens: RE-Introducing the “Beach Ball Droid”

  • November 30, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    The hypocrites will like the Ball Droid now…. it’s a Ralph McQuarrie concept!

    • November 30, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      Nope. It still sux,

      • December 1, 2014 at 1:38 am

        ^No, I’m sure the OT fanatics will change their tune VERY quickly now.

        In a way, I’m glad we’re seeing all this hatred towards the little beachball droid. It shows that OT fans will never accept ANY new Star Wars unless it caters directly towards the limited scope of IV, V, and VI. (And yes, I liked those movies too.)

        Ever notice how nobody criticized the X Wing scene in the teaser trailer? Yet, that was the scene I disliked because a machine traveling that fast that low to water would create major tidal waves. But did anybody bring up this impracticality? Nope.

        • December 1, 2014 at 1:52 am

          The “tidal waves” would be BEHIND the ships…you wouldn’t see them in this scene.

          As an OT lover – and absolute HATER of the prequel nonsense except for a few bits I’ve mentioned in the forums – I have to say I love the new droid. A cool riff on a classic theme.

          • December 1, 2014 at 2:03 am

            ^exactly, i’ts now got the McQuarrie stamp of approval.

          • December 1, 2014 at 2:13 am

            why are those xwings even flying so close to the water, except to show that disney can pull a harry potter-riding-a-hippogriff moment just like warner brothers?

            Personally, I want to see some spaceships in SPACE.

          • December 1, 2014 at 4:44 pm

            They are flying low to evade detection.

        • December 1, 2014 at 4:10 am

          Nah some people just have a balanced outlook. I hate the prequels without a doubt but I’m not actually a fan of a lot of Ralph’s original work.

          I like how it ended up… I loved the ball droid from day one. He had more of a charm to him like Wall-E. I was assuming his head is really the droid and the ball was just a ball. If he rolls everywhere it could be a little annoying.

          That said you’re completely wrong about the wake of the fighters. Pretty much exactly how it was portrayed is how it would have looked. Have you not see jet fighters over the ocean?

          Also as to why they’d be flying that low… there’s dozens of reasons. You can claim to understand avionics and the physics of how water parts… and then not know the value of flying low.

          I think you’re just angry at people who don’t like the PT and are taking it to far. My 2 cents 😛

          • December 1, 2014 at 4:45 pm

            They are flying low to evade detection.

        • December 1, 2014 at 6:07 am

          Why are you characterizing all “OT fanatics” as haters of the new teaser? I hate the prequels and I loved the trailer. Stop thinking in terms of black and white.

      • December 1, 2014 at 7:00 am

        I like it, somethings grow on you, give it a chance.

    • December 1, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      I disliked JJ for what he did to Startrek. Then I was quite positive about the major descisions for EP7 and now I see that trailer, which is just horrid. The lightsword? That dideotic childrensdroid. Star wars has its on consistent (but obisouly fictitious) physics and WALL-E like Disney droids dont fit at all. It’s like they intent to make a movie for toddlers, which we cant show to toddlers because people are being sawn in two by light sabers still.

      I respect and slute the great work of the actors, (some) of designer and all off the technical staff, but I knew one could count on that silly JJ Abrams to ruin it in the end.

      • December 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        You must be a joy to be around at parties.

        • December 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm

          for your birthday. Its not actually that I don’t want to like that trailer. I really would like to like it and possibly if I was placed in the middle of a great bunch of SW fans crowd psychology would get the better of me, but just looking at it, I find the lightsaber pathetic, the droid anoyingly Disneyish and Daisy Ridley not significantly more sympathetic than Kira Nightley (which is one of the greatest insults on the plannet). OBVIOUSLY this is an opinion of possibly the only person on the planet that thinks that way and hence of absolutely no consequence (financial or otherwise) to JJ, Disney or the rest of the lot.

          • December 2, 2014 at 12:23 am

            why all the saber hate?? it looks like its gonna end up supposed to be a “rough” version of the lightsaber we’re more familiar with. i think its gonna lend itself well to whatever character is wielding it. maybe it was hastily constructed out of sparse parts. maybe its hundreds of years old. the hate towards the couple seconds of seeing the new saber just baffles me. so it has a crossguard, or some sort of emission. im sure therell be plenty of typical lightsabers in ep7. i think its killer that saber, its rough and raw and probably just that particular characters only means to have one. and the whole net going nuts over a split second shot of the ball droid. sigh..holy overreaction to every little detail. lets SEEEE what this stuff is like in the movie, in proper context…

          • December 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

            No, you’re not alone in this. The teaser did absolutely nothing for me, and this is coming from a Star Wars fan. Not an OT fan who hates the PT or the EU with a passion or something like that, but someone who loves the GFFA in general.

            That said, it’s hard to judge the film over a few seconds worth of footage. But knowing Abrams’ talent (or lack thereof) and based on this tiny sample of Ep. VII, I prefer to go into the theater with very low expectations, and not be hugely disappointed in the end like all those PT haters were a decade ago (and will be this time around, too, I’m sure).

    • December 2, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      It’s funny how on all this coverage about the trailer, people talk about the rolly-D2 (love him…or whine about him and still love him) the lightsaber, the narrator, but no one has talked about how oscar isaacs is a rebel pilot. I feel like most people have obviously noted “oh a rebel pilot” but no one has really talked about who it is. That is without a doubt in my head oscar Isaacs. If you took his IMB profile picture, photo shop a rebel pilots helmet on it, and that’s exactly what “rebel pilot” guy in the teaser would look like. Just sayin…..

  • November 30, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    maybe he’s an R10?

  • November 30, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I love the ball droid because it made my 2 year old daughter smile and giggle…and I’m down with anything that puts a smile on the beauty’s face. 🙂

    • November 30, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      That’s so cute! That comment left a smile on my face 🙂

    • December 2, 2014 at 1:52 am

      Really though. I read through these comments reading all the hatred toward this new trailer and the ball droid. What you “comic book guy” adult-infants need to realize is that we’re not the target audience anymore. The audacity that it must take to hoard Star Wars to the point that you’re going to go on to a news blog and hate on a concept that is designed to spark the imagination OF CHILDREN!

  • November 30, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I love the Ralph McQuarrie designs but still dislike this ball of crap immensely. It’s probably only been resurrected to sell toys to small kids and will have no bearing on the story whatsoever. We’ll wait and see in 2015.

    • November 30, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      “will have no bearing on the story whatsoever”

      YES! Because thank GOODNESS R2 was a blue and white trashcan on wheels and what would the state of the story have been if C3PO WASN’T a golden man in suit! I can’t even begin to think of what the story would have turned out if Chewbacca wasn’t a big dog either! .. Give it up.

      • November 30, 2014 at 11:29 pm

        You’re a bit of an up yourself dick aren’t you? Just because you don’t agree with the previous poster’s comment, there’s no need to be such an arsehole about it!!! Why don’t YOU give it up and go take your sarcastic witterings elsewhere.

        • November 30, 2014 at 11:47 pm

          No, honestly the whiney children complaining about a soccer ball droid ruining some part of the story about wizards in space with glowing swords are the ones that seem up themselves.

        • December 4, 2014 at 1:00 am

          “Up themselves”…

          I have to say I have never heard that expression used before.

    • December 1, 2014 at 8:36 am

      I’ll give you a +1. It looks ridiculous and doesn’t appear to have any purpose at all other than to look unbearingly adorable.

      It certainly doesn’t look functional at all. R2 might have been ‘just a trashcan’ but he had arms and parts that popped out to do what needed to be done.

      It reminds me of Scotty’s alien pal from JJ Trek. $10 says they tell it to ‘Get Down!” off of something.

      • December 2, 2014 at 2:13 am

        I love that you can judge its functionality based on a 2 second clip of the trailer. And God forbid they market Star Wars towards children. You hacks that are already nitpicking this film need to take a giant step back and be thankful that we’re going to be able to visit this universe again. Please realize that whatever Star Wars started as, it is now marketed towards children. When you guys hate on this droid, its no different then a 55 year old man criticizing 50 shades of grey casting decisions. It’s not for you. Get over it.

  • November 30, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    I’ve warmed up to the teaser and while I’m still not happy about the ball droid or the lightsaber, I’m a little more accepting.

    My only concern is that this new droid would replace R2/3P0 – which would be a horrible idea.

    • November 30, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      I highly doubt this droid will overshadow them in 7. However, in 8 or 9 maybe

    • December 1, 2014 at 2:17 am

      agree. If you go back a few months to the news story on this site about Darth Reven and the funny-shaped lightsaber, you will see a comment I posted that went something like this:
      “That lightsaber design looks like dumb fan art, so I bet this is what will be in the final film.”
      I guess my prophecy came true. Rats.

      • December 2, 2014 at 2:15 am

        Nice to see cynicism is paying off for you.

  • November 30, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    My only real problem with the soccer ball droid is the toy won’t come with gyroscopes so either it will never stand-up right or it will be attached to a base and unmoveable. So as a toy it’s not the best merchandise unlike R2-D2 who is much more posible and easier to play with. Star Wars is after all first and foremost a merchandising franchise. If I had to list another problem it’s that the head only seems attached by gravity to the ball below, so I keep expecting the head to bounce off the moment it hits a big enough bumble in the floor xD.

    Maybe he has retractable legs or something or they’ll flatten the lower part of the ball just enough to have it stand upright … otherwise the best toy one could buy of it is a plush.

    Am I weird that that was my first reaction to seeing the Droid in the trailer?

    • November 30, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Not really. The ball toy could have a piece of iron in his lower inside (one semisferica part), so that the toy would remain standing and could also balance.

    • December 1, 2014 at 1:56 am

      As someone who received a Kenner Artoo for Xmas ’78 (along with Luke in Tatooine garb, Chewbacca, a Stormtrooper, and an X-Wing) – I have to say who cares? They’ll make it work somehow and it’s a bloody action figure so who gives a good goddamn anyway??!?! It’s a TOY. The kids who play with toys (vs. the collector tossers) will be thrilled to have R10-J2 or whoever this little guy or gal is.

      • December 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm

        I believe his numerical designation has been determined to be F1-FA.

  • November 30, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    It’s funny that people can get so upset over the smallest cutesy thing while they overlook all the cutesy things in the original trilogy.

    A good story and character development will more than overshadow any of these trivial worries and complaints.

    • December 1, 2014 at 1:57 am


    • December 1, 2014 at 2:20 am

      No! No! NO! I disagree. I’m a raving crazy Original Trilogy fan! There was NOTHING childish or stupid about the first three films! *

      *(there was no one-eyed monster living in a trash compactor, no aliens playing tubas in a cantina, no blue elephants playing the keyboard, and definately NO fighting teddy bears.)

      • December 1, 2014 at 4:11 am

        well once born in 80s and watch the first episodes only hope except obi wan kenobi
        is that Disney respects some things..

    • December 1, 2014 at 3:10 am

      Though the soccer-droid is cute, it will be as significant to the story as the mouse droids on the 1st Death Star in SW IV. As long as the characters are likeable and the plot/script is good who cares. I was 7, 10, and 13 during the OT. Prequels didn’t have characters I cared about, the plot was trash, and the CGI was overblown. The trailer was great. PS: I hope I heard a Probe Droid in the beginning.

  • November 30, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    It might be a cute droid people will either love or hate……but at least it’s not a f***ing Ewok!!!

    • December 1, 2014 at 1:17 am

      Or Jar Jar. There were many things bad about the PT, but Jar Jar was by far the worst. He’s also responsible for giving the “Emperor” additional power.

      • December 1, 2014 at 2:22 am

        ^your comment was so recycled and rehashed from everything stated in the past 15 years, I’m not going to comment and just move on.

        • December 1, 2014 at 6:59 am


  • November 30, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Just leaked….his name is – F1FA

    • December 1, 2014 at 2:19 am

      You win.

    • December 1, 2014 at 8:38 am

      The sad part is people think you are joking. They can’t put the Nokia ring tone in, but they can make R2 into a soccer ball.

  • November 30, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Well they need elements in the movies to target the younger audience members. If that little ball of adorableness is all there is, I’m perfectly down with that.

    Down with Jar Jar, long live F1FA.

  • November 30, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Jar Jar vs F1FA who wins in annoying battle competition?

  • November 30, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    leczcie się ludzie

  • December 1, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Look at the picture with R2D2 and Chopper they merged them with color and etc to get F1FA. So they can bring elements with rebels and the movies together? what you guys think?

  • December 1, 2014 at 12:15 am

    This droid never struck me as anything significant. It probably won’t be in the movie for more than a scene or two like 95% of all the other droids in Star Wars.

  • December 1, 2014 at 12:44 am

    F1FA = FIFA, get it? Soccer droid

    • December 1, 2014 at 1:18 am

      I was starting to wonder if anyone was actually going to get that…lol.

      • December 1, 2014 at 4:50 pm

        I got it immediately and genuinely laughed out loud. If they haven’t named it already they should go with F1FA. Brilliant.

  • December 1, 2014 at 12:49 am

    your all crazy

    • December 1, 2014 at 4:11 am

      Absolutely! Thank you.

  • December 1, 2014 at 12:51 am

    This article is hilarious. The ‘fan boys’ despite the fact that this is an original Star Wars design, are not going to allow something like logic to get in the way of their ridiculous arguments. First, this was simply created by JJ as a way to sell toys… Now, it’s be resurrected as a way to sell toys. Morons.

  • December 1, 2014 at 1:15 am

    I feel the hate reaction is an automatic response predominantly from males to social pressure. Early on, we’re taught by society that men should be strong and not have “girly feelings” a.k.a. emotions with inherent vulnerability. Boys are taught they should suppress those kinds of feelings, which can result in reflexive emotions like anger towards that thing making them feel vulnerable. They may also seek a more rational explanation for their irrational emotions such as “I don’t like it because it’s made to sell toys.” This is the case with Ewoks and this new droid, which seem to serve a real purpose in the story, but people, mostly teenagers and men, irrationally hate them. The only way to assuage their spite is to have an older role model or idol affirm that is it okay to like this one thing because it was part of their plan or vision.

    However, this is not the case with Jar Jar, who is just plain annoying for everyone over the age of 5.

    • December 1, 2014 at 2:24 am

      new flash, Freud, Jar Jar was supposed to be annoying. He annoyed other characters in the movie.

      • December 1, 2014 at 2:33 am

        I didn’t say he wasn’t supposed to be annoying, did I? I recently rewatched Phantom Menace and even laughed at certain moments with Jar Jar. What I meant by that comment was trying to equate Ewoks and that droid to Jar Jar doesn’t make sense as they are two different things, yet people often do it. I’m not hating on Jar Jar, if that’s what you’re caught up on. However, I can understand why people hate his character (he is annoying), but I don’t identify with the hate for cute things in a movie for all ages.

    • December 1, 2014 at 2:44 am

      Wow!!!! Male hate much?

      • December 1, 2014 at 6:58 am

        Lol, I am a male. I’m not trying to paint a portrait that haters of Ewoks and cute droids are exclusively male, merely I was addressing what I felt was the largest demographic of “haters of cuteness” in Star Wars. It’s just my opinion, which I don’t claim to be anything other than that. It’s certainly not generalized to male hate either. I want Star Wars to be inclusive to my young nephews and nieces, not pander to action war movie crowd exclusively. Jawas, droids, banthas, Ewoks, and even Chewbacca were all things that could be considered “cute” and drew me into the original films as a kid. It’s funny to me that one tiny thing, like this droid, sets people off into harsh criticism especially when the rest of the teaser is clearly high-octane gritty stuff. Star Wars is not Game of Thrones, although I know some wish it were.

    • December 1, 2014 at 8:56 am


      I’m having an emotional response, its pissing me off! I’m not ashamed to show how much I love Star Wars. Its been my lifelong companion. Its something I care deeply about. Vulnerable? You bet your ass that someone messing with Star Wars makes me feel vulnerable.

      This is STAR WARS we’re talking about. A classic IP that has lasted decades. I was born with Star Wars, molded by it. And now I see someone F* with it, and I won’t be silent about it.

      We disagree, sure. I think the droid is an abomination and signals dire things for the trilogy. I call BS on the whole “but its a Ralph McQuarrie, that makes it legit.” Some ideas aren’t used for a reason. They already pulled the ‘RMQ’ with the new x-wing and no, it is not the same design. It has elements, sure, but then they go and split the wings in the middle for some ludicrous reason.

      There is a big difference in being ‘a hater’ and having a legitimate complaint. the Ewoks were ludicrously cute toybait, but they served a purpose outside of their design. I don’t see any of that in this droid. What is its function other than to look cute. Look at how it moves, the way it pops around suggests vulnerability, like a pet, not a droid.

      I will apologize if it is in fact, a robo-pet. I’ll also expect an apology that it was in fact then also toybait and only implanted in the movie for the sole purpose of being cute.

      • December 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        @Applecrow – man you’ve jumped to so mannnnny conclusions it’s unreal… you have 1.5 seconds of evidence to hang something??!!! and haven’t even looked at it logically. You want a reason?? it’s a fucking ball moving somewhere to tell someone something.. which it’s designed ergonomically for it would seem. there’s your reason/tool
        And to rest going on about OT fanboys pushing out the most hate towards this. based on what?? based on some preconception that if I hate something you like I must be OT because well that just makes sooo much sense. glory hunting band wagon jumpers PT fans… the worst kind of fans; I’m glad we have words to describe PT fans like idiot, imbecile, cretin, dunce etc. it’s plastic fans like you that give us a bad name. Ok who’s next…

  • December 1, 2014 at 1:33 am

    the ball style droid you Se in the trailer makes more since then the old R2D2 model. it clearly uses a gyroscope so its incapable of loosing balance or being knocked over. this little guys haul may be magnetic meaning he can crawl over any star ship and some buildings to find his work easily and quickly. on a desert such as Tatooine the ball can probably move more quickly compared to other droids in the area. if it came to it and you decided to create an obstacle course what type of droid would win? going up and down stairs, speed bumps, jumping through hoops… you get the idea. i think hes practical. and that’s important. as a Sith recruiter i always choose practicality over style.

    • December 1, 2014 at 2:47 am

      What I’m wondering is if the head can separate from the ball?

  • December 1, 2014 at 1:44 am

    @ Anon 1:15 AM


    So, scrutinizing or disliking this obvious attempt at pandering to the toddler market segment is somehow rooted in males being emotionally insecure for not being in touch with their “soft side”??? GTFOH…but thanks for playing though 😉

    • December 1, 2014 at 2:01 am

      Case in point.

    • December 1, 2014 at 2:25 am

      ^men don’t only disagree with these feelings, they lash out irrationally on star wars forums when people mention it, as you have demonstrated quite nicely.

      • December 1, 2014 at 2:56 am

        Typical feminazi shaming tactic, a mixture of Code Blue and Code Purple: associating airing of legitimate grievances by men with irrationality…! you’ve got skills…

        • December 1, 2014 at 3:40 am

          Indeed, NC, indeed. I guess its perfectly ok for the pro-PC crowd (uber-feminists and sissy-man supporters) to put someone in their place while any opinion or position seemingly outside of that agenda better not dare speak up about anything ^_- . Hypocrisy much?? And usually the first line of (unsolicited) defense is the a-typical sideways ad-hominem…ya know…coz thats all that they usually have to work with.

          • December 1, 2014 at 7:09 am

            Woah, where did you get that from? That was my post, the feminist liberal LGBT communist agenda brainwashing spiel. Did it work, by the way? Are you ashamed of your manliness?

            I’m not putting anyone “in their place.” If you hate the “cuteness” go ahead and keep hating! Don’t I have the right to say I disagree with you and defend myself from trolling? You do too, but I’m not attacking anyone by replying bluntly to equally blunt comment. Sorry, didn’t know it was a one-way street so give me a break. You don’t like the droid, I get it. I still think it’s because you won’t let yourself like cute things, but whatever, it’s your loss.

  • December 1, 2014 at 2:16 am

    When I showed the trailer to my 5yo daughter, as soon as the droid was on screen she was laughing and wanted to see it again and again…so Disney 1 Internet Fanboy 0

    • December 2, 2014 at 2:26 am

      Poor Internet Fanboy.. He didn’t have children cause you have to be able to get laid to have children.

  • December 1, 2014 at 2:35 am

    I decided to love this stupid ball after a few rewatches of the trailer! That droid just rolls.

  • December 1, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Daisy’s outfit looks like old concept art as well

  • December 1, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Why can’t we just enjoy the trailer for what it is instead of picking it apart and complaining. It’s only a movie.

  • December 1, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Really, Jalopnik? They are mostly boasting about how great M5s, Scion FR-S, and GTIs are. Ditch your Camryrollas and Civics.

  • December 1, 2014 at 3:10 am

    at first I thought maybe a bit too cute, but im willing to wait and see what its use is, if it does anthing else etc. remember its only quite small.

  • December 1, 2014 at 4:48 am

    I do LOVE it when sequels pay homage to un-used concept art…but SOME concepts are abandoned for a reason. I don’t really mind the droid too much, but he does look a tad silly. So far I keep hearing about stormtroopers with lightsabers, beachball droids and ships from old concept arts for SW7 and Rebels. I really hope that this new cannon has more to offer than just loosely strung together concepts abandoned by past movies. (I am exaggerating of course, but still, I’m just saying that as much as I ADORE Ralph McQuarrie’s art, it don’t automatically make anything drawn from it good. The droid was cute sure…just don’t overdo it!)

  • December 1, 2014 at 5:12 am

    It’s an R-SOL… New model.

    • December 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Sound it out…

  • December 1, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Just wait until we see what the ball turns into.

  • December 1, 2014 at 6:11 am

    The purpose of this droid is to be cute and useful. You have to admit this is a good design that achieves it’s purpose. IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE.
    Personally I think this droid is a little too childish, but I also like it at the same time.

    It all hinges on how they use this character in the action sequences. (If they have an epic, swooping shot of this dude bobbing around the outside of a spaceship as if the entire battle turned into a scene out of “Happy Feet”, I’M OUT)
    But if they handle him tastefully, it could really work well.
    I never did like the scene in Revenge where R2 is bobbing around bumping into stuff on the spaceship. That scene kinda’ cooped him into Disney-comedic-sidekick territory, and R2 deserved better than that. (the same goes for C3P0 in the Geonosian factory, and Anthony can back me up on that)

    This droid is just on my fence of “Too Kiddie”, but I can live with that (if JJ does it RIGHT!!!)
    R2 is at his best when he’s not a cartoon character.

  • December 1, 2014 at 8:03 am

    For so many to say anything negative about the ball droid forgot their childhood.
    My Grandmother watching StarWars on TV said it was a lot of junk, rubbish.
    Mind you Tatooine scenes were on.
    I loved what I was seeing.
    This movie is not for anyone, it is an attempt for everyone. Like the Wizard of Oz.
    Ball Droid is the new Toto.
    Daisey is our Dorothy.
    We will have witches and all.
    This movie is for families not only 30+ year old men who collect action figures.

  • December 1, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Some dude on 4chan TV board going by the name of Spoilerman and claims to work for Lucasfilm division is doing a massive spoiler drop tonight. Claims he knows the first and second acts. Contradictions everywhere. Fake as hell.

  • December 1, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I like it!!

  • December 1, 2014 at 11:41 am

    its a fuckin new droid…..who cares????wow are you people that damn petty and ridiculously stupid to get upset of a droid design? there are hundreds of droid designs…who is to even say that this droid will have a key role in the damn movie…? you fuckin people need to get a grip…maybe go outside and get some fresh air? look for some prospects and look into seeing your first real vagina? I am probably a bigger star wars nerd than any of you…but a fuckin droid design is not going to get me all bent out of shape.first things first boys…it IS a kids film… get over it.this is going to be a badass movie, but I am sure you are going to bitch about it when it comes out…even though you will go see it a thousand times
    ….each time u see it you will come back on here and complain more…then the next day shell out 12 more bucks to go see it again….get the fuck over yourselves.

    • December 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      I like you.

    • December 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      The funny thing is that one could write your post as a reply to your post. Computer scientists love that kind of recursions.

      We are not complaining about some thing important to human kind. I am not bitching about global worming or taxes or the wellfare state that could actually help or harm someone. We are complaining about some thing as utterly irrelevant as a Starwars movie. If people enjoy disliking it, who am I to stop them. There is no rule that say one has to like everything. If JJ was actually seriosly interested in anything else than his own ego he would take criticism like a grown up person, but we have seen in Star Trek that this will not happen.

      People criticise my work and I am greatful for the feedback as it means improvement.

  • December 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I personally just don’t get how people can be so ridiculously short sighted and cynical…oh Nevermind, the world masses are addicted to negativity and hatred in all aspects of life it seems. I love Star Wars and anything they put out. Who gives a crap if Disneys intentions are to pay homage to Ralph and try to sucker play a ridiculously cute droid. Star Wars is just as much an entertainment series geared towards kids, as it is to adults and the adults that still get butt hurt over everything like a teenager. These are still movies and stories played to the masses simply to entertain.

    Still convinced most hateful people on sites like these are simply mad they’re adults and can’t manage to let the movies inspire a child like enjoyment. Utter ridiculous negativity. Sad.

  • December 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I think the ball locomotion makes sense on sand. It’s have a better time rolling across it than R2 did.

    My issue with it is from a design perspective. It literally looks like someone balanced R2’s head on a ball. I can’t see any sort of connection point or integration of the 2 parts.

    A slight refinement to that aspect of the design, or perhaps just more time seeing it in action would make me feel better.

    • December 1, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Remember EVE from WALL-E? A floating head on a robot is cool. I’m betting his body isn’t always a sphere, either. I suppose we’ll see.

  • December 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    As a life long fan of the OT, I’m not sure I understand the bitterness toward this new droid design. I haven’t had a problem with it since I saw the trailer air in the theater. Think about it: A droid such as this could move very quickly on rough terrains, which, depending on the droids primary function, could really come in handy.
    The cross-guard saber wasn’t sitting too well with me at first, but as long as it has use in a duel I think it could be pretty cool.
    People should just quit focusing on the negative and try to think about how all of this could fit into the saga. I mean, we still have so much to learn about the movie.

    • December 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      naaaahh, it doesn’t need any practical use. Sith work thru hate and fear (also of the unknown). Look evil and have something others don’t know or understand and fear and confusion are on your side. This saber is totally dark side in a typical star wars space opera way. perfect with me.

  • December 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I like the idea of seeing a new design that is different then what we had before. But I don’t like it as much as the one it was scrapped for (R2-D2). It’s too simple. If it had some more mechanical parts somehow connecting the head to the ball instead of relying on magnetism alone it would be more visually interesting.

    This just goes to show that a large part of what made the original movies so good was the realities of the time that the creators were forced to adapt their ideas to. In this day and age where an idea can go to screen as is right out of the mind, we lose those real world practical aspects that adds to the believability and I see it now in every effects laden movie that smacks the silver screen these days. Imagination vs reality is a balance that takes real world limitation to get right it seems.

  • December 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    “Well they need elements in the movies to target the younger audience members.”

    I’ve heard this same thing over and over since Lucas put that baby-talking, poo-stepping cartoon space duck in TPM. And it’s complete nonsense.

    I was nine years old when the original Star Wars came out in 1977. Up to that point, my only experiences in going to the movies was cutsie-poo kid-friendly movies like Benji and Charlotte’s Web. Not that there was anything particularly wrong with them, but when I saw Star Wars it changed everything for me. I loved it because it wasn’t full of stuffed animals designed to “target the film at me.” It was big, loud and exciting, there were cool contraptions and bizarre creatures, and plenty of violence and mayhem. And it was JUST what I wanted to see at that age.

    The original two SW movies went over with kids in a massive way, and there wasn’t this concerted, deliberate effort to add this, that and the other to target the under-10 demographic or any of that marketing crap. Artoo was short, but he wasn’t deliberately made that way for fear that kids wouldn’t like the movie otherwise.

    Even the mouse robot bit was something that Lucas put in there to crack himself up, and not as a way of targeting a young demographic. That was all nonsense that came up later.

    Kids like Star Wars, and they always did, even before Lucas started in with the teddy bears and the baby-talking battle droids and pratfalling space ducks.

    • December 1, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Or that wise cracking stiff golden droid and the funny bleeping trashcan. Love the old ones, wasn’t excited by the prequels and got goosebumbs by the new trailer. But nevertheless star wars ALLWAYS was about comedy relief… and that wasn’t the prequels biggest problem

    • December 1, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      I read story published near ’77 that was stating that Star Wars was targeted at 16 year olds. That fits. Yes it was always targeted to kids, but they were adolescent kids not first graders.

    • December 2, 2014 at 12:25 am

      See the comment you left, although I respect it, you’re totally wrong. The only reason you don’t see that the original “two” movies didn’t have that type of “geared purposefully towards kids” bits is because you saw it as a kid and just loved it. You were blown away, and didn’t get caught up in the ridiculous adult notion of digressing and quantifying everything you see and experience. You simply just experienced it and loved it. And now that’s engrained in your head subconsciously.

      But to tell me Lucas just simply had no intentions of making cute kiddy things in ANH and ESB is delusional. Almost every single aspect of R2-D2 in both of those movies was geared for just that. From his cute look, his little beeps and whistles (especially when being happy, sad or mad), to the encounter with the Jawas, and even the Jawas themselves. Then there’s chewie! He’s a walking dog that is a pilot and badass. There is a reason every girl I knows favorite characters are always chewie, R2, C-3PO, the Jawas and even yoda. And I’m not talking about the other movies, I’m talking from EP 4 on, they immediately fall in love with those characters based solely on cuteness! You can tell me Lucas didn’t do it on purpose from the get go, until you’re blue in the face. You’re simply lying to yourself. The difference is, you are older now. And adults tend to give in and look at everything in a “I’ve seen too much shit in my life, so now I’m much more negative than I was when I was a carefree kid” mindset. Yes it’s natural, but it’s also quite easy to just enjoy every second of Star Wars you’re lucky enough to watch.

      There’s so much I cringe at in Star Wars and think “oh my god that’s cheesy” but then I think…why the fuck do I care??? This is Star Wars! A fun amazing endless galaxy of entertainment. And I for one don’t care how cheesy or market driven ideas might be, we are lucky they are making new material! Soak it up and stop quantifying every bad bit vs the good. It’s alllll good! It’s entertainment. The second you watch return of the Jedi, the “cheesy” PT, and clone wars show (which is phenomenal) with that kind of mentality…that of bright eyed kid…you’ll realize just how stupid it is to be so negative and picky about this or that part of star wars you “hate”.

  • December 1, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    As for the original concept for Artoo with the rolling sphere, the sphere was in place of his arms, not in place of his entire body.

    Here’s an early sketch (the one on the left, of course):

    Artoo was still a trash can shape, even with the sphere “foot”. The sphere would have been a large ball bearing where his central foot would be, up under his body.

    Unless there’s some early SW concept art that hasn’t been circulated that shows a radically different Artoo design, “Wilson-Too” in TFA does not really seem to be adapted from the original Artoo concept to anywhere near the extent that is being suggested.

  • December 1, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    so the old design was like on of those old roll on deodorant sticks?

  • December 1, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    what a bunch of bitch ass whiners we have around here. The droid is just a cool little thing that got thrown into the trailer. It is not significant to the story, will probably have extremely little screen time and is not the basis of all the really cool elements that will be in the film.

    Chill out and just enjoy we got this incredibly cool teaser. Stop bitching about every detail in the 88 seconds, including this little droid.

    Since when did Star Wars fans turn into the biggest bunch of bitch-assness on the planet? Geez

  • December 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    “From comments I’ve read or heard, about half of the fans like it and think its cute and the other half hate it and think its cute. ”

    Oh come on… the response on this site was overwhelmingly positive in regards to the ball droid… there were maybe like 5 or 10 people complaining about it out of the hundreds of posts made on Friday/Saturday. Even I liked it.

  • December 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    I hate the beach ball droid, I hate Jar Jar, and yes I hate Ewoks. So why did Lucas turn the Sarlacc into Pacman? Kinda hate the shockwave added to the Death Star explosion. I also hate that the Force is bacteria.

    This beach ball droid is pure Disney, kind of like the robots in the Black Hole, pure Disney.

    • December 4, 2014 at 4:35 am

      The Force is bacteria?
      No, it is not.
      Watch the film again and pay attention to the dialog in the scene with Qui Gon and Anakin on the platform in TPM.
      I know some of you kids are a little slow, but if you follow it word for word, it’ll make sense to you.
      Unless you’ve destroyed all your brain cells, smoking and drinking Scotch?

  • December 1, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    To those who are saying the new droid has “no purpose or functionality” it has plenty of functionality from what I have read about it. It has arms and compartments within the ball. I think the ball opens in sections and the center of those red circles look mechanical in a leaked pic. To say it isn’t functional or that it is the new Jar Jar at this point is just nitpicky nonsense. There is also the fact that there are real world ball droid designs. Check out the spy ball.

  • December 1, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Echo-7’s smear tactic doesn’t reflect the numbers of people who “liked” the teaser vs. “dislike” on youtube… (12,000 dislikes vs. 200,000 likes = half & half?). + it doesn’t reflect the OT fan base comments I’ve read today except for as usual… a small handful. These are probably the same people who’ve been bitching about this from the get go… well, I resent them as being labeled the representatives of the entire OT generation.

    & how petty that people have to trash R2D2 & 3PO to make folks out to be unreasonable for critiquing… who are the real Star Wars fans? I for the record still think R2 & 3P0 hold up… tell me one droid in a live action film that’s any cooler… I’d love to hear this. (with the exception of Interstellar… that droid was pretty bad ass).

    For those of you OT folks who don’t like the droid… you saw like 2 seconds of it, wait to see what the droid can do.

    I saw one other comment that mentioned this droid will replace R2D2… no. It’s old news that the original R2 will be in this film. I think this (R3?) unit will mostly be hanging out with Daisy’s character while R2 will either be with Han, Leia, Luke? There is plenty of room for droids in Star Wars… take it easy!

  • December 2, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Wow people still complaining about the droid?
    It’s okay with me.

    And it will probably be just a worker droid for the junkyard.

  • December 2, 2014 at 3:33 am

    I could care less about someone in their 30’s opinion of a kids movie character.. my son loved the droid. this movie will probably change his life. I think people are just complaining, just to complain.wasted is the point? do you think your opinion actually matters? and that maybe Kathleen Kennedy is going to read these posts and say “OH SHIT!! some of the original fans who are in their 30’s and 40’s who still play with their lightsabers aren’t buying this new droid design….we better change it!!!”…. man get real. Get a life or something….wow. you people are not real Star Wars fans…because if you were…u would have no problem with this droid….you hate this droid…but I bet you actually like that fucking stupid ass gonk droid from a new hope….please

  • December 2, 2014 at 6:57 am

    I really don’t see the problem with the droid,I think its a cool design and it’ll definitely make a cool action figure. I also don’t see the problem with the lightsaber. Everyone bashing these two things has just forgotten how to have fun.

  • December 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Just because the majority likes it doesn’t make them right. Everyone has an opinion, very few have informed opinions. Example – Q:”Why should I jump off this bridge?” A:Because we all do…” isn’t an answer. If the majority is wrong it only takes 1 right answer to prove it. Some of us prefer not to be sheep. Saying Star Wars is a kids movie by adding kids elements is wrong. The opening scene in the original Star Wars has Darth Vader crush a neck. Maybe Big Purple Barney should hold up a few kids by their necks and break them. Just sayin.

    To quote Men In Black – “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”

  • December 2, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    ^^^ that is about the dumbest point that could be made… actually there is no point at all and you sound like a juvenile…
    Star Wars is supposed to be cross generational and not only be a “kids” movie but needs to have some “kid” elements to it.

    All I can say is so many are bitching about the “Disney-fication” of Star Wars but the trailer hints at this being a very intense, borderline stressful (in a very good way) movie. Again hard to draw a complete conclusion on that in 88-ish seconds… but all the elements are there for an epic movie… AND that includes this little droid. which may or may not a have a huge roll but it is cool and I bet there is more to this little guy than meets the 1.5 seconds of screen time we have of it.

  • December 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    I am a juvenile, that’s why I like Star Wars. Watching Anakin get his limbs burned off wasn’t exactly for kids so why try to attract kids with cutesy crap. I don’t think enough people give kids credit, they don’t need cutesy nor does it have a place here except for the “Disney-fication” aspect. Dumbing something down and making it beige for a broader appeal is nothing more than a financial decision. Financial decisions are also why we sell violence to children. JJ did the same thing to both Star Trek movies. If it had been up to the movie execs the original Star Wars wouldn’t have happened. Star Trek, Star Wars, Jaws, etc. weren’t expected to do well. Surprise, surprise, an intelligent audience proved them wrong.

  • December 2, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    nothing to beige about the trailer mate… looks pretty intense even with the little footie droid. This will be an excellent film and JJ and team will really deliver. If you don’t think so… wait to see it on DVD, or not at all, while we enjoy a great movie by a great director.

    By the way, I never have enjoyed Star Trek, I finally broke down and watched them since they are JJ films and I wanted to see what it/he was all about… I liked them and makes me think and feel like we will get a most excellent final product. E VII will be a great film, I have NO doubts

  • December 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Your right, the trailer is great and I’m hoping for the best. I’ve just been really antsy about the whole Disney/Star Wars thing. JJ is hands down a Star Wars geek. Nothing wrong with that but I’m a Trekkie. I’m sure as a Star Wars geek JJ will do this movie justice. The latest Star Trek films felt more like Star Wars though. IMHO the hands down best trek movie ever was Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan and JJ didn’t knock his Star Trek Into Darkness out of the park. I just feel it was a missed opportunity. Ricardo Montalban is Khan and was in the original Space Seed TV episode as well. While a great actor especially of his portrayal of Alan Turing in Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch is not Khan.

  • December 3, 2014 at 2:54 am

    As DEKKA 129 and Derth Nadir both pointed out above, the droid in the teaser trailer is NOT how Ralph McQuarrie originally envisioned Artoo, which this article might lead one to believe. There was a ball-bearing element, but it was mostly concealed within the cylindrical body that we’re familiar with:

    • December 4, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Tell that to Paul Bateman

  • December 3, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Please Disney don’t make this movie suck.

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