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Photo courtesy of Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum and AAA Colorado

We Can’t Believe This Isn’t the Real R2D2

Find out how Star Wars superfan Jim Shima built this amazing replica of the beloved droid.

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If a robot bleeps, chirps, and twists its dome like R2-D2, is it R2-D2? Only if Lucasfilm, the production company responsible for the Star Wars franchise, says so. And this Colorado-based R2-D2 has earned the Lucasfilm seal of approval to stand in for the legendary droid at events such as premieres and comic-cons. Built by Jim Shima—an electrical engineer who lives in Superior—the handmade, motorized R2 is fashioned from wood, fiberglass, and aluminum and exactly mimics the original’s dimensions and sound effects. (He’s made a stunning BB-8, too.) Shima’s R2 has even been methodically weathered with paint and clay to look like it’s fresh from Tatooine. That attention to detail caught the eye of Lucasfilm, which recruited Shima to start making publicity appearances in 2016, nearly a decade after he completed the droid. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait that long to get your next R2 fix. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 20.

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