SlashGear: Sphero R2-D2 hands-on
Say hello to what’s already the hot tip for the must-have toy of 2017, Sphero’s new R2-D2 droid. Packing the iconic style and, vitally, the personality of the lovable Star Wars character into a seven inch remote-control toy, its the follow-up to Sphero’s popular BB-8.
All of the classic animations and sounds have been included too, also triggered remotely from the app. If you have Sphero’s Force Band, you can control R2 by hand gesture instead.
Sphero is a spherical robot toy designed by Sphero, previously Orbotix. It is a white orb wrapped in polycarbonate plastic, capable of rolling around, and controlled by a smartphone or tablet. There are two versions of the Sphero (1.0 and 2.0). The company also makes the BB-8 toy robot based on the droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as a cylindrical toy called the Ollie, and SPRK, an essential for academics for its transparent design.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (also known as Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) is a 2015 American epic space opera film co-written, co-produced and directed by J. J. Abrams. The direct sequel to 1983’s Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens is the first installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow. Produced by Lucasfilm Ltd. and Abrams’ production company Bad Robot Productions and distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, The Force Awakens marks a break in creative control from the original series as the first Star Wars film not produced by franchise creator George Lucas. Set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, it follows Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron‘s search for Luke Skywalker and their fight alongside the Resistance, led by veterans of the Rebel Alliance, against Kylo Ren and the First Order, a successor organization to the Galactic Empire.
The Force Awakens was announced after The Walt Disney Company‘s acquisition of Lucasfilm in October 2012. It was produced by Abrams, his longtime collaborator Bryan Burk, and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, co-writer of the original trilogy films The Empire Strikes Back(1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), rewrote an initial script by Michael Arndt. John Williams, composer for the previous six films, returned to compose the film’s score. Lucas served as creative consultant during the film’s early production. Filming began in April 2014 in Abu Dhabi and Iceland, with principal photography also taking place in Ireland and Pinewood Studios in United Kingdom, and concluded in November 2014. It is the first live-action film in the franchise since Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, released ten years prior in 2005.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was widely anticipated, and Disney backed the film with extensive marketing campaigns. It premiered in Los Angeles on December 14, 2015, four days before its wide release. The film received positive reviews, with its ensemble cast, direction, musical score, visual effects, and action sequences receiving particular praise, though it received some criticism for being derivative of the original trilogy. The film broke various box office records and became, unadjusted for inflation, the highest-grossing installment in the franchise, the highest-grossing film in North America, and the third-highest-grossing film of all time, with a worldwide gross of over $2 billion and a net profit of over $780 million. It received five Academy Award nominations and four British Academy Film Award nominations, where it won Best Special Visual Effects. Two sequels, The Last Jedi and Episode IX, are scheduled for release in 2017 and 2019, respectively.