LEGO Star Wars unveils new R2-D2 coming just in time for Star Wars Day

LEGO has officially unveiled its newest take on Star Wars’ most iconic astromech droid, R2-D2. I say newest because some will recall LEGO’s original version of the model in 2012, coming in at 2,127 pieces with a fairly accurate appearance of its own.

However, as they often do, LEGO wanted to up the ante with this year’s model. And to celebrate Lucasfilm’s 50th anniversary, they did just that. Standing 12.5 inches tall, 7.5 inches wide and 6 deep, this collector’s R2 model includes 2,314 pieces and a few nifty features that make it more than just a display model. And hey, it looks pretty stunning as that too.

First speaking about the appearance, the immediate distinguishing factor of this model is the dramatic improvement in curvature in both the head and body. R2’s shape looks spot on now, and LEGO took things up another notch in the features.

R2 is decked out with gadgets, as a majority of the compartments can be opened up to reveal a variety of arms and other tools. Brought over from the previous model is the retractable third leg and rotating head, but the other key comes in the periscope that can pop out of his head as if he were in the swamps of Dagobah.

Alongside that, another nifty inclusion comes in Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber, which many will remember was launched out of R2 on Jabba’s Sail Barge in Return of the Jedi. Some of that magic can be recreated with this model and the dedicated spot for it.

Rounding out the details are an R2-D2 minifigure and a display stand decked out with the special 50th-anniversary moniker.

LEGO shared a bit more about the model with StarWars.com, specifically on the challenge of creating a visually accurate model — their main objective — while also providing enough room for the features within it.

Lucasfilm director of product design, Chris Gollaher, ended by explaining why R2-D2 was the perfect choice for this time, despite the other droids LEGO is yet to create:

We were looking for a character that not only made a great building experience, but could best represent all aspects of Lucasfilm’s incredible history of storytelling — and really, R2-D2 was the obvious choice.

I can’t argue with him there, and LEGO certainly did the model justice. Fans looking to pick this set up can do so on May 1, though pre-orders are available now with the retail price at $200.

As LEGO looks to stay down the collector’s path, which astromech droid would you want to see them recreate next? Let us know in the comments!