The Dark Side of BB-8 has just emerged from a galaxy far, far away.
Sphero just gave us a glimpse of the new Star Wars droid BB-9E, which looks like BB-8 gone Vader. The remote-controlled app toy version of the breakout droid has replaced the orange and white of his beep-booping twin with black and gray that accessorize better with the Dark Side than the rebel forces. Good droid or bad droid? No intel on that yet.
"We saw some imagery and [learned] how it sounds and behaves in the movie," Sphero CEO Paul Berberian told CNN.
BB-9E is 4.4 inches of droid that has a magnetically attached head and gets around on its evilly cute round body without wheels. Blue and red lights flash to life when you put its head on.
"This is clever engineering," said Berberian. "The lights are powered through induction when the head is connected to the body."
Sphero worked closely with Disney on replicating the new droid, which has the same draw-and-drive function that lets you program it to obey whatever pattern you decide to control it with in the app. It also makes 40 spacey sounds and follows nine commands already programmed into the app, such as “look around,” “patrol,” and “run away.” Which side he’s running away from is the question.
Put BB-9E on a base and you can get an augmented-reality experience on your smartphone by virtually jumping from ship to ship and planet to planet.
You don’t have to travel millions of light-years to get this droid, which will roll into stores at midnight tonight for Force Friday II along with a new mini remote-controlled R2-D2. You’ll want this R2 even if you have every one that’s ever been produced since 1977, because it’s as eerily close to the movie version as you can get.
If the million BB-8s that beeped and booped their way off shelves in 2015 are any indication, you’ll want to get your hands, claws, pincers, or whatever human or alien appendages you have on BB-9E before it vanishes.