My Day With R2-D2

By Dustin Roberts

The weekend of September 21st I was able to visit the Skywalker Ranch in California, and stay at Steve Sansweet’s house for the weekend with my fellow Rebelscum. The highlight however for me was on Saturday when Don Bies showed up with an original 1975 R2-D2 unit he was using to take some stills for an upcoming project he couldn’t talk to us about. We now know that this project was the web documentary “R2-D2 : Beneath The Dome” that you can view over at We all were pretty stoked just to be able to be a witness to this all and to be able to talk to Don about his droid wrangling duties. Then he asked one of us to jump in the shot with R2-D2 and Dave beat me to the punch only to give in cause he knew what a fan I was. ( Thanks Dave! ) while I was the only one who got pictures taken by Don Bies, everyone did get their turn for photo ops with R2-D2! Unfortunately none of the pictures taken with me in them were used. My agent really screwed me on this one!

Here are a few things we learned from Don about R2-D2 later that day.

  • This particular unit had been in every movie except Return of the Jedi if I recall correctly. It had even been used in Episode II : Attack of the Clones
  • When ever you see a different colored R2 unit it is just one of the regular R2-D2’s painted for that specific shot!
  • There are 17 R2-D2’s that Don Bies Looks after.
  • To give R2-D2 that dirty look they just spray on a mixture of brown paint and water then brush it around a bit!

Click here for some great photos of the event!