R2-D2, the iconic robot from “Star Wars,” is set to take to the skies once again, but this time aboard an All Nippon Airways Co. (ANA) passenger jet as a painting on its fuselage.
ANA said April 17 that it plans to introduce the science fiction-themed exterior design to its newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from this autumn, though the international routes and flights that use the livery are still undetermined.
It will be the first time that a character from the movie has been painted on a commercial aircraft.
“We’re proud of the innovative R2-D2 design, and we look forward to witnessing the first-ever flight of a passenger aircraft featuring a ‘Star Wars’ character,” said Kayleen Walters, a vice president at Lucasfilm Ltd.
“We’re confident that ‘Star Wars’ fans around the world will absolutely love this design.”
The Tokyo-based airline is introducing the theme as part of its five-year “ANA Star Wars Project,” which began this month and run until March 2020.
The project resulted from an agreement reached with the Walt Disney Co. (Japan) Ltd., the Japanese arm of Walt Disney Co. The parent firm acquired Lucasfilm, the production company that makes the “Star Wars” series, in 2012.
ANA said it sought the project to enhance its image and global recognition.
The timing is perfect because the first “Star Wars” movie in 10 years is scheduled for release this year, the airline said.