|This is as close as I am comfortable getting...for now.|
Lukas sat transfixed in the front row of the large auditorium at the Boeing Museum of Flight as Master Model Builder Bob Jacobsen explained how he spent 6 years designing and building this version of the ever popular and lovable Star Wars droid.
And a fantastic job Jacobsen, who you can read more about at the blog Bob's R2 Droid Adventures, did too. Both with the robot and with his presentation he held the audience rapt. With a helpful colleague working the controls behind the curtain, the Engineer had near perfect 'interaction' with Artoo as the droid beeped and chirped, flashed his lights, spun his head, and rolled across the floor in response to his cues.
Of course, Mrs. LIAYF and I were not sure how real Lukas thought R2 was, but he did understand that he had recently been built by Jacobsen. As you can see from the picture though, Lukas came prepared by wearing his Star Wars shirt and also by bringing along his R2D2 stuffy (which he actually was hiding behind his back here so the real R2 wouldn't see it.)
His mother took the time to do so with him right then and there, before we had to gather up our belongings and head out to a friend's 4th birthday party.
But, on the way out we were once again greeted by R2D2 who was now flanked by a couple of fully outfitted Jedi. Again Lukas' excitement rose, and this time he decided to show the droid his mini R2 stuffy as he said his goodbye to the veteran co-pilot of countless X-Wing Fighter battles.
And, unlike his previous photo-op, this time R2 and Lukas struck up quite a conversation.
With Lukas excitedly talking about Star Wars, and R2D2 moving around beeping & chirping his responses, I glanced over at Mr. Jacobsen sitting inconspicuously a few feet away with the remote control in hand and a smile painted on his face. I then thought about how scenarios just such as this must have been played out a thousand times in his mind during the 6 long years it took him to complete this model. He had indeed created something magical.
"Thank you!" I mouthed to him. And then we were off with memories that won't soon be forgotten.