JJ's production company Bad Robot tweeted this picture off JJ, Kathleen Kennedy, two dudes I don't know and of course one of the bravest little robots you'll ever meet R2D2.
This picture would appear to be the first thing we've actually seen in terms of production of the new film, it's great to kick off with the droid - does this mean he's in it? You'd imagine so as there's no Star Wars without the little astromech that could!
We hope this tweet is a sign of things to come. Fans like you and me are hanging our for any detail about the film so if JJ has taken a leaf out of Sir Peter Jackon's book of keeping the fans in the loop, all credit to him.Update: That's apparently a fan made R2D2 by Oliver Steeples who is pictured.
Update 2. While the above update was correct, Steeples and his pictured colleague Lee Towersey actually have turned their hobby into a gig with the Star Wars production - so this is a genuine R2D2 in the sense these two men are now official robot makers. Says Steeples on the official Star Wars blog:
“It all started when Kathleen Kennedy toured the R2-D2 Builders area at Celebration Europe this past summer in Germany,” says Steeples, who finished his first R2-D2 in 2007, after 10 years of collecting parts and researching. “She posed for pictures with us, looked at all the droids we’d built and was very complimentary. I mentioned that the R2-D2 Builders in the UK were available if required, as a semi-joke. When I was contacted to work on the film by [executive producer] Jason McGatlin, it was on her recommendation.”
“It’s fascinating to see the whole process of filmmaking as Star Wars: Episode VII grows around us,” says Towersey. “I feel very privileged to be in the working environment I’m in at the moment. It’s something I will never take for granted.”
“It’s a dream come true,” adds Steeples, “and I hope I can live up to the expectations of the thousands of R2-D2 Builders around the world, let alone the millions of Star Wars fans.”