On the way home I had a nice little chat with Seth Green. He and I flew back to California. On the way back we talked about the droids, robot building in general and I thanked him for the strong support he has shown R2 builders in the past. He said he wished he had more time that he could spend to admire all that we have done with the droids but with his schedule he was lucky with what he could do which he admits was very limited. It was a nice way to end such a spectacular week.
This was an excellent park event at Disney. It started for us at 8pm and didn’t end until 2:30 am. We hit every ride (some more than 2 or 3 times). The best one was the Indiana Jones and Jedi blending of episodes. It was great. I took as many shots as I could get away with. In the showing before I could attend, George Lucas and Seth Green were there. In the one I was at Anthony Daniels and Mark Hamill were there. It was excellent. After the event we slipped away to the Mega explosion for the formal ending for the last tour to Endor where there was a huge explosion (120′ mushroom cloud explosion) where they blew up the ride and ended the tour officially. It was awesome!!
OK, Day 4 of Celebration 5 is here. This is the day… The finals for the droid races. Doug Dixon ran the droid races and did an awesome job! They were divided up into 3 major groups. NPC 2212 motors, Scooters and custom drive motors. I competed in the NPC drive class. The NPC are for the heavier droids. The final outcome was Daren Murrer won first (by a slim margin) then I won 2nd place. It was an awesome race . Both of us didn’t like being on track 1 which is what (I believe) kept me from winning 1st place. Anyway, We won very nice trophies made by Dana Powers and we also won gift certificates from NPC Robotics for $200-300 which will go to my next robot build. After the droid races I got interviewed by G4 and then by AT&T U-Verse for various ads and for clone wars ads and various sci-fi spots. AT&T also did a spot on what makes a real droid where they filmed the inside of my droid, its capabilities, etc. While R2 was rolling around, the Utilikilts store fitted R2 for a kilt. Whenever there are droids, accidents will occur. Case in point…Cole’s Face-plant of his droid. While Dave was driving Cole’s droid by the laser tag area it crashed. The interesting thing is that the external parts like the aluminum skins, vents, arms etc were not damaged. Just the A&A frame was totaled as the Optima battery was propelled threw the frame. Dave’s face says it all. Oh, the pain!! Dave was going to drive my R5 Droid. He said “aren’t you glade Jerry that I didnt drive yours?” I said you wouldn’t of hurt it, it was all aluminum! lol Cole had the frame temporarily glued up quickly and put back together in no time.
Alright, Day 3 – Oh my aching …what???….Uncle George is here!!!!The maker is here!!! George Lucas came by our droid room and was very impressed with our accomplishments. Too bad he couldn’t spend more time with us but it was nice that he came by and said Hi. He was clearly impressed by all that we had accomplished and was inspired to make another movie seeing all of the functional droids in the room. Wouldn’t it be cool if he actually used our droids???!!!! It is very clear that the skill level, ability; heck, the raw talent of the members of the R2builders is staggering given that the native occupations of its members is NOT in the entertainment/special effects industry. I was lucky to get Ben Burtt to pose next to my R5. For those that don’t know, Ben was the sound designer for the Star Wars films and many other Lucas-Film movies. He was also the voice of WallE. The Droid Races were outstanding. This day was the preliminary races. Guy Vardaman was the Emcee and did an awesome job. He was really funny when I came up against several people, making up statements like “grudge matches” and other phrases that the crowd really seemed to eat up. They were funny and it was really fun and intense at times. I raced both R2 and R5. At one time both my R2 and R5 were racing against each other so Wayne Orr officiated for that race and Guy drove my R2.
And then there was there was the Star Wars Wedding. My R2 was getting married to Bonnie. A promotional campaign put on by Lucas-Films. It was a very special Day. R2 was all spruced up. He had a bow tie (Thanks Victor)! He has a brand new Restraining bolt (that’s the wedding ring for those out there not getting the parallel). It was a beautiful ceremony. Steve Sansweet cried. R2-Kt was there (always a brides Maid…never a bride…..)Who said the Dark side cant throw a party!!!! And, of course, what fantasy wedding wouldn’t be complete without Trooper Elvis!! Ah-ha Thankyouverymuch!