New Star Wars: Galactic Builders Episode Breaks Down How BB-8 Really Works

In an all-new episode of Star Wars: Galactic Builders, BB-8 creator and operator Matt Denton takes FIRST students on a tour of Lucasfilm and breaks down how BB-8 functions in the real world. The franchise is no stranger to bringing all sorts of impressive automatons to life, with BB-8's debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattering all expectations of what the films could accomplish. Making the droid even more fascinating was the reveal that a majority of its on-screen presence was accomplished through practical effects, thanks to the ambitious minds at Lucasfilm. Check out the new episode of Galactic Builders above.

BB-8 creator, engineer, and robotics expert Matt Denton takes FIRST students Katie, Nathan, Avanti, and Samyukta behind-the-scenes at Lucasfilm headquarters to learn what it takes to build and operate a droid. See the complex robots these FIRST students built and how they compare to Matt’s other creations, like his Guinness-World-Record-breaking hexapod.

"I came out of the cinema when I was eight or nine years old and had just watched The Empire Strikes Back, and I couldn’t get over the scene on Hoth,” Denton previously shared with StarWars.com. “It flicked something in my head that spurred my interest in walking machines, per se, and robotics. And I was a huge fan of LEGO Technic when I was younger; I was always building things out of LEGO [bricks]. When I got home from the cinema I tried to build a LEGO AT-AT.”

Through robotics, FIRST empowers young people to learn, grow, and positively affect the world around them, which is why Disney and Lucasfilm are teaming up with FIRST as part of the Star Wars: Force for Change philanthropic initiative.

“Lucasfilm and FIRST are a great match,” Lucasfilm general manager Lynwen Brennan detailed to the website. “Our hope is that the Star Wars movies will help inspire the next generation of innovators, to work with their teammates and have fun exploring robotics and pushing technology. We hope it will be a first step in their journey into engineering and computer science careers and maybe even lead them to being part of the Lucasfilm team someday.”

You can learn more about FIRST at firstinspires.org/firstrise and stay tuned to StarWarsKids.com for new episodes.

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Fans will next see BB-8 in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which hits theaters on December 20th.

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