It seems like only yesterday that the adorable (yet formidable) BB-8 came rolling into our lives. Ever since the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this little ball of joy (with a selenium drive, thermal hyperscan vindicator, and internal self-correcting gyroscopic propulsion system) has had fans talking. The fiercely loyal droid went on to steal even more scenes in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, go animated in Star Wars Resistance, and will of course appear in Star Wars: Episode IX. Today, BB-8 wrapped production on that film ... but hopefully he won't be rolling out of our lives for good.
BB-8 was brought to life in a number of different ways — there was a real, remote-controlled unit (seen at conventions and red carpets) that was used for filming, but puppeteers were often in the mix as well, moving the little guy along with green-screened poles and so forth. One of the main puppeteers on "Team BB-8" was Brian Herring (along with Dave Chapman), and today Herring tweeted that BB-8 has officially finished up work for Episode IX.
"Today was a wrap on BB-8," he tweeted. "The last 5 years have been an amazing ride. Thanks to [J.J. Abrams], Kathleen, Neal, Team BB-8 especially Dave, and the entire cast & crew for the time of my life. Few people get to live the dream. Thank you."
Appearing with the tweet were a few photos of the droid (and his team) over the years, as well as a Fathier and a couple of Porgs. Rian Johnson, director and writer of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, responded to Herring's tweet with a message of his own, writing, "Congrats, Brian!"
Is Episode IX the last we'll see of BB-8? We highly doubt it. Not only does he figure in the ongoing show Star Wars Resistance as well as Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, he also routinely appears in comics set during the sequel era. The Skywalker saga may be ending with the next Star Wars film, but we'll venture to say that if any of the new characters from the sequel trilogy make it into another one of the many films Lucasfilm has planned, it will be Poe Dameron's little buddy here.
The same could very likely be true for Brian Herring. Whether he's back for more in terms of team BB-8 or not, a good puppeteer is not a thing to waste in the galaxy far, far away. BB-8 didn't appear in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but Herring did work on the film as an uncredited character.
In the meantime, we salute BB-8 and the incredible team of artists who make him so easy to love. He can be seen in animated form right now in Star Wars Resistance, and will of course be seen in the live-action in Star Wars: Episode IX: We Still Don't Know The Title.