All Nippon Airways, or ANA, Japan’s largest airline, just revealed the Boeing 787 made to look like Star Wars character R2-D2, the first of 3 Star Wars-themed jets to be introduced. The staff livery of the jet will even be themed, and the plane will serve passengers flying between Tokyo and Vancouver, Canada.
The jet was revealed on Sunday at a Boeing hangar in Everett, Washington. It will seat 215 passengers and its first flight is planned for October 18th of this year. Not surprisingly, passengers will be able to watch all six Star Wars movies on the plane, as the airline has partnered with Disney to produce the planes.
After it makes its Tokyo-to-Vancouver flight, the plane will fly different routes around the U.S., Europe, Australia, China, and Indonesia.
The next unveiling of a Star Wars plane is set for November and is supposedly inspired by a new character to the series, BB-8, a round yellow-and-orange droid vaguely reminiscent of Wall-E. The last plane in the series will be unveiled in March of 2016, which will be another R2-D2-themed jet. Those jets are set to meet the skies in 2016.
The reveal of the new jets comes as part of a marketing project to promote the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, which will be in theaters on December 18th. Analysts are projecting that the film will be one of the highest-grossing films of all time—probably accurate, given the buzz the movie has already generated, as well as the general cult following the original 1970s series has enjoyed for a long time now.
“Morgan Stanley’s Benjamin Swinburne expects the upcoming flick to bring in $650 million in the U.S. alone, and a total of $2 billion globally,” reports Fortune. Considerable marketing is already in place to promote the movie. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior analyst for box office research firm Rentrak, thinks there’s a very real chance the new movie could make more than $100 million in its opening weekend—a feat never met by any movie ever, so far.
Certainly a new Star Wars movie is exciting news and probably worth the price of a movie ticket, but we do wonder why droid C3P0 did not get his own themed jet.