It’s official, although there was probably never any doubt: R2-D2 is back for "Star Wars: Episode VII".

The news was announced on, along with some explanation for the photo of J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy posing with Artoo circulated last week. Also pictured are Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, members of the R2-D2 Builders Club who “create fully functioning, film-accurate astromech droids like the R2-D2 seen in the photo.” Towersey and Steeples are part of the creature effects team for "Episode VII".

“It’s a dream come true,” Steeples says, “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.” 

'Star Wars: Episode VII' will feature a fan-made R2-D2

Directed by J.J. Abrams, "Star Wars: Episode VII" hits theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

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