When “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” hits theatres this December, the forces of the dark side will have a new ally.
Meet BB-9E — a droid that looks to be the evil opposite of BB-8, the breakout hit character of 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The existence of BB-9E was leaked earlier this year, but today marks the official unveiling.
We’re getting our first official look BB-9E from Sphero, which makes the smash-hit app-controlled BB-8 toy. This holiday season, Sphero will be selling a similar BB-9E droid for $US149 a pop.
BB-9E looks like BB-8, too, with the most major difference being the shape of the head. The new droid also sports light-up eyes, visible in the picture. Like its forebear, you’ll be able to pilot BB-9E with a smartphone, or make it do one of a number of pre-set routines. It’s pretty neat.
As for BB-9E’s larger role in the “Star Wars” saga, well, Sphero is understandably staying mum.
In the meanwhile, Sphero will also be selling a new, app-controlled R2-D2 droid for $US179.
In a hands-on demo, I got to watch R2-D2 roll around: Much like the droid from the movies, this Artoo unit has a stabilizing leg that extends from its body to help it zip around faster. And you can make it do little routines, like shaking and falling over like a Jawa just zapped it.
The unveiling of BB-9E and R2-D2 is part of “Force Friday II,” the grand kickoff to the “Last Jedi” marketing blitz, so stay tuned for more “Star Wars” news.