Video – California Museum R2D2

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Posted by Chris on January 31st, 2010 in Events | No Comments

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California Museum : R2D2

A couple of weeks ago Matt Mccormick and I headed up to The California Museum in Sacramento to check out a Lucasfilm R2-D2 on display.

At first we thought that it was part of the “Out of this World” / Paul Allen touring collection, but it turned out that it’s part of a separate exhibit to commemorating George Lucas’ entry into The California Hall of Fame at the end of last year.

Until Matt brought it to my attention I had no clue that there was currently an Artoo on display so close to home, so a trip was definitely on the cards. At first, while discussing it with Matt we had thought it maybe a replica because some had reported that it had some strange “features” and was part of the Paul Allen collection, but a quick search of some pictures on the RPF showed that it was almost certainly from the Lucasfilm archive and had some LFL lineage to it.

Matt and I were all over the droid taking as many photos as we could – alas no flashes were allowed making the job hard, and the glass didn’t help 🙁

After seeing it in person, I can confirm that it’s the same Artoo from the Magic of Myth (MoM) exhibit which was first shown in San Francisco back in the 90’s, and before that at the Lucasfilm/ILM Model Shop Exhibits at the Marin County Fair which started back in 1988. After seeing some photos of the same droid in the Madrid SW Exhibit last summer, I’d confirmed with Don Bies that this droid has an original aluminum Kenny Baker body with a fiberglass dome, and was assembled originally for the Marin County Fair Exhibit and has been on tour ever since.

In addition to the Artoo, there’s a 3PO on display as well as some Indiana Jones props, original Lucas scripts and some token Clone Wars concept art.

I must have looked at the photos from the MoM a thousand times but never noticed some of it’s oddities until I saw it in person.

  • He’s shorter in stature than normal due to shortened legs that have been pushed into the ankles.
  • Because of the shortened legs, the body is sitting on the battery boxes (which helps with stability on display.)
  • Dome appears to be aluminum, but is painted fiberglass.
  • Paint is very good, especially the white, so parts were probably repainted at some point.
  • Leg to body hubs thinner than normal, which pulls the legs tight to the body.
  • Shoulder Horseshoes seem a bit too thin as well.
  • Shoulder Buttons stick out a lot more than I remember, but this maybe due to the thin horseshoes.
  • Round inside edge of the horseshoes have no detail/ridges.
  • There’s a silver plate on top of the lower half circle where the hoses enter the battery boxes.
  • Dome doesn’t look like it will rotate as it’s flat on the body.
  • Utility Arms are thin sheet metal.

Here’s samples of my photos, the rest can be found in the gallery here, and Matt’s write up can be found here and his photos are here.

I also shot some video and will try and post it in the next couple of days.

Posted by Chris on January 20th, 2010 in Events, General | 3 Comments

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Force Unleashed Launch Party

The Force Unleashed Launch Party was last night in San Francisco, and we were there to help along with the festivities.

LFL definitely know how to throw a bash, It was at the local Best Buy, strange I know but it really worked. The place was packed, and I was told that almost 1,000 people showed up during the course of the evening. I met people from all over the country and some people had even flown in from Europe to be there – crazy I know.

They’d built a stage high above the showroom floor and were doing give-a-ways ever 30 minutes or so,  they also had the various SW movies playing on all the big screens, and console where people could play the new game ahead of the midnight release.

All the major voice and character actors from the game were in attendance signing autographs and taking photos with the fans, and they had big backdrops from the game throughout the store for photo ops.

The Rebel Legion and 501st were also there in force.

It was Gerard and I with the Artoo’s, and Steve providing support. The store was so big we had plenty of room to roam around and not bump into one an other (most of the time.)

George arrived at 8:30 and spoke to the crowd briefly (see the video), followed by the character actors and developers talking about they’re expericence working on the project.

It was a long night, sadly I did not get to take as many photos as I’d hoped, but here’s some highlights, and there’s more coverage and photos in the links at the bottom of this post

Most of the networks were out covering the event and we recorded a few spots, including one for the 11 o’clock news, and Steve, our resident droid wrangler and spokesman, also did a few interviews, including this one with CNET.

And to prove he’s a real jedi, here he is practicing his force lightning

Sam Witwer (the Secret Apprentice) messing with the troops

Around 10pm the party was moved outside while the store was reset for the midnight opening. Sony had brought in special buses where people could play the game and one of the local radio stations provided a DJ.

Photo by Pablo Hidalgo.

By 11:30 we were all beat, cold, hungry and ready to call it a night, but were asked to go out one more time for the people waiting in line for the game. The 501st decided to form into a squad and did a circuit of the parking lot.

By midnight we were all exhausted, I think Boba Fett below sums up how we all felt, most of the troopers suited down and we swapped out our batteries for one last tour of the store before heading out with a copy of the game 🙂

Big thanks to Lucasfilm, especially Mark Franklin, for inviting us to this event and being super host.

Additional Photos and Videos:

Posted by Chris on September 16th, 2008 in Events | 1 Comment

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