There's a life-affirming story behind the little pink R2 unit, R2-KT, and its subsequent appearance in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and JJ Abrams' upcoming The Force Awakens.
R2-KT memorialises Albin Johnson's young daughter Katie, diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, who passed away in 2005.
At the time of diagnosis, The 501st Legion (which had been co-founded by Johnson in 1997) rallied to his cause and the R2 Builders Club set about building an R2 unit, to be painted pink at the suggestion of his daughter Allie, for Katie. Sadly, the droid wasn't finished in time, but another astromech builder, Andy Schwartz, sent his along to keep a vigil by Katie's bedside.
The completed astromech, presented to Johnson in 2006, has gone on to do great good in Katie's memory and will next be seen on the big screen.
Mary Franklin of Lucasfilm asked me to pitch the idea to Kathleen Kennedy (Lucasfilm President), and after hearing the story of our pink ambassador of hope Lucasfilm requested we ship her off to London early last year. Quick repairs were made and off she went for six months,” Johnson says in his email. While he could not disclose just when we could expect to see the pink droid, he was assured that she will definitely appear.
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