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A Big-Screen Star Who's More Of A Sphere: Meet BB-8

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A Big-Screen Star Who's More Of A Sphere: Meet BB-8

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A Big-Screen Star Who's More Of A Sphere: Meet BB-8

A Big-Screen Star Who's More Of A Sphere: Meet BB-8

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/459593502/459593503" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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In preparation for the new Star Wars film, NPR's Michel Martin speaks with franchise fan and podcaster Mike Pilot about a new name you might hear next week — BB-8, a droid in the new film.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to end the show today with Words You'll Hear. That's where we try to understand stories we'll be hearing more about in the coming days by parsing some of the words associated with those stories. And a very big story this week is...

(SOUNDBITE OF "STAR WARS" THEME SONG)

MARTIN: It's been 10 years since the last "Star Wars" installment hit the big screen. It was "Revenge Of The Sith." That's all about to change this Friday, when the newest "Star Wars" film "The Force Awakens" makes its highly-anticipated debut - and that's putting it mildly. Director J.J. Abrams has kept the script and just about every other detail about the film under wraps, but we do know a few things. Some of characters we've loved so much are the droids - C-3PO with his shiny gold armor and R2-D2. We know that we will be introduced to another droid, and its name is BB-8. So our word of the week is BB-8. Here tp tell us more about BB-8 and any other scoop we can pry out of him is Mike Pilot. He's co-creator, host and producer of the podcast Full of Sith. Hi, Mike.

MIKE PILOT: Hi, Michel. Thanks for having me on. I'm really excited.

MARTIN: Well, me too. So as I mentioned, some of the characters that we love the most are the droids.

(SOUNDBITE OF DROID)

MARTIN: (Laughter). Now with "The Force Awakens," we understand that we're going to be introduced to another character, BB-8. Can you tell us about him? What do we know about him?

PILOT: Yeah, well, BB-8, he's an astromech droid, kind of like R2. But where R2 has legs with wheels on it, BB-8 is actually a ball that rolls. He's orange and white and silver and his head stays on top of that rolling ball. And from what we can tell from, you know, the speculation, people talking and trailers is that BB-8 hooks up with Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the film.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS")

DAISY RIDLEY: (As Rey) Where do you come from?

(SOUNDBITE OF BB-8 DROID)

RIDLEY: (As Rey) I know all about waiting...

(SOUNDBITE OF BB-8 DROID)

RIDLEY: (As Rey) ...For my family.

PILOT: And they get on some adventures. And much like the other droids in the movies, he's going to be a big part of it. And I think we're going to see some heroics from BB-8 in this movie.

MARTIN: What about some of the other big characters? There's got to be a villain. And the villain in this movie is who?

PILOT: It's Kylo Ren. And again, watching trailers, listening to everybody talk and getting the inside skinny from different sources, we see that Kylo Ren, he is a force-sensitive individual. I've been jokingly calling him a Vader fan boy. So you see in the trailers, he's holding Darth Vader's melted helmet. And he says things to him like nothing will stand in our way. I'm going to show them the Dark Side. I will fulfill our destiny.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS")

ADAM DRIVER: (As Kylo Ren) I'll show them the power of the darkness. No one will stand in our way.

PILOT: Kylo Ren, to me, from what we're seeing, he looks like he's a little bit farther than Vader. It looks like Kylo Ren is a really brutal guy.

MARTIN: People have waited for this for so long and people love the franchise so much. Is there any chance that all this anticipation actually will - in the end, there's no way they can live up to it? I mean, is there a possibility that you might be disappointed?

PILOT: You know what, I'm going to say I don't think so. Looking at these trailers, they're some of the best trailers I've ever seen. I think with J.J. Abrams and crew and everyone that's working on these films, I firmly believe from the bottom of my heart that we're not going to get the second-best "Star Wars" movie on Thursday and Friday. We might actually get the best "Star Wars" movie.

MARTIN: That's Mike Pilot, co-creator, host and producer of the podcast Full Of Sith. Mike, thank you.

PILOT: Oh, thank you. This is a real pleasure.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE IMPERIAL MARCH")

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