R2-KT, a pink version of R2-D2, will appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens!
In November of 2004, Albin Johnson, the founder of the 501st Legion (a Star Wars fan club that does charity work in-costume), was informed by doctors that his daughter Katie had an inoperable brain tumor. While being treated the family frequently attended church and on one occasion Albin took it as a sign that one of the church's windows was shaped like an R2 unit. That is when the idea formed to have an R2 droid built to watch over Katie while she slept, like R2-D2 did with Padme in Attack of the Clones. Katie's older sister suggested painting it pink and naming it after Katie. And that was the birth of R2-KT.
In April of 2005, Albin reached out to the R2 Builders Group and told them about his goal of having a droid built for his dying daughter. The Star Wars fan club, led by Jerry Greene, leaped into action and began pulling all their resources to make Albin's dream a reality. Since the process takes time and Katie's condition was worsening, "one of the members of the group named Andy Schwartz generously shipped his R2 unit down to Katie's home, complete with a pink makeover." Katie greeted her new friend with a bright smile and with a bear hug.
In August of 2005, Katie succumbed to the cancer and passed away in her sleep. Nearly a year later, R2-KT was completed. Since then, Albin has kept his daughter's memory alive by using the pretty pink droid as a beacon of hope. He has brought R2-KT to countless charity events, to visit children in hospitals and to Star Wars events all across the country.
Katie and Albin's story had such a profound impact on the Star Wars community that in 2007 Hasbro created an R2-KT action figure that they debuted at Comic-Con and the droid even made a cameo in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film.
Now Albin has announced that R2-KT will make its live-action debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. "Mary Franklin of Lucasfilm asked me to pitch the idea to Kathleen Kennedy (Lucasfilm President), and after hearing the story of our pink ambassador of hope Lucasfilm requested we ship her off to London early last year,” Johnson wrote (via mygeeksnews). Quick repairs were made and off she went for six months."
Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in U.S. theaters on December 18.