Star Wars The Force Awakens: Who is BB-8?


It’s little, it’s round and it makes way cuter noises than R2 ever did. But what the heck is a BB-8 anyway, and why don’t I have one?

BB-8, the next generation of droid, who will sit in the Droid Hall of Fame next to R2-D2 and C-3P0, rolled out for the first time on stage at the Star Wars celebration, and by the time it had rolled off again, it had taken the hearts of everyone in the room with it.The latest version of the astromech droid, of which R2 was also a model, BB-8 was designed to ride co-pilot in an X-wing fighter. Though most of the trailers have shown BB-8 meeting cute with Rey on the planet of Jakku, we have been told the droid originally was owned by Poe Dameron, which is why we also see it riding in back of Poe’s fighter in later trailers.

I call BB-8 an “it,” by the way because there seems to be some debate on gender. But unlike the R2 unit, whose trademark swoops, beeps and whirrs were created by the sound design team in the 1977 movie, BB-8 actually had an actor doing voiceover work, and no, it wasn’t Michael Winslow, the famous “bleeps sweeps and creeps” guy from Spaceballs. It was Bill Hader from SNL, who described the process thusly:

“JJ f**king around with this sound effects app on his iPad that was attached to a talk box operated by me. It looked ridiculous but it made BB-8’s voice. At first I tried doing a voice, but we all agreed it sounded too human.”

Rumors agree that BB-8 may in fact be transporting plans on board its little processor unit. To find out if that’s true though, you’ll have to go see the movie. What we can confirm though is the BB-8 is on sale by Sphero, and that you too can order one for the holiday season, or just if you want an excellent toy for your cats to freak out over.

Next: Star Wars The Force Awakens: Who is Captain Phasma?

Check out the entire Star Wars Force Awakens cast list.