Watch the Latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens Video, Featuring BB-8 and R2-D2

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Droids have always played a big part in the Star Wars saga. The original 1977 movie begins with R2-D2 and C3-PO escaping from the Empire, and the pair have appeared in every film to date. Joining them in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the diminutive BB-8, and now a short teaser has been released that focuses on the latest robotic Star Wars star. Check it out here:

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last month, Force Awakens director JJ Abrams spoke about BB-8's origins. "We knew that this droid, this character was going to be an important character in the movie," he said. "Ralph McQuarrie, who's the original designer for Star Wars, did an extraordinary job. We just went back in the archives at Lucasfilm and just looked at every Ralph McQuarrie image and painting. They have things that I had never seen. It was an amazing thing to see what he did and how inventive he was.

"When I was thinking about what the droid would look like, I had this idea that was almost a snowman kind of shape, and I drew a picture of BB-8, with little antenna and stuff and I gave it to Neal Scanlan, who's our creature guy, and I didn't know what we would see and what we would get."

In keeping with Abrams' desire to use as many practical effects on the film as possible, BB-8 is a fully functioning robot, that is remotely controlled by crew members off-camera.

"We talked originally about how to best have BB-8 in the film, and there were a lot of discussions about how having a CG BB-8 would be so much easier for shooting," Abrams said during a Q&A session at the Star Wars Celebration fan convention earlier this year. "But we also knew it would better for the film, for the actors, for the sets, for the look of it if it were performed, and Neal and his unbelievable team built and puppeteered it for the movie."

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18, 2015. It stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill.

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