There are Star War fans and then there’s Micke Askernäs. He spent over 2,000 hours building a real-size replica of R2-D2, the robot who is a major character in the Star Wars universe.
Askernäs’ robot looks, moves and sounds like R2-D2. “I built it because it was a technical challenge,” says Askernäs, who is part of a global R2-D2 builders’ club.
Askernäs keeps the robot in his living room, but he also brings him along to Star Wars conventions and to children’s hospitals.
“It’s an amazing thing…. For a brief moment the kids forget that they’re sick…. To them, it’s not a prop, it’s a character. It’s a movie star.”
R2-D2 is due to return in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which premiers on Wednesday in Sweden. It’s the first installment of the upcoming sequel trilogy, and R2-D2 is just one of two characters, along with C-3PO, to appear in all seven Star Wars movies.