In a special behind-the-scenes look at TIME’s “Star Wars” issue, the magazine unveiled two new droid-themed covers featuring BB-8 and R2-D2.
“The moment you meet BB-8, you build up some form of weird human connection,” explained photographer Marco Grob. “It has one eye that has this really cute way of looking at you. It’s just incredible.”
“You almost get starstruck when you meet R2-D2,” he added.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” stars franchise veterans Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, joined by newcomers John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie and Max von Sydow.
The film will be released wide Dec. 16 in France, Dec. 17 in the United Kingdom and Dec. 18 in North America.
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