What would Star Wars look like if every character was a BB unit? There’s only one answer, adorable. Working with Lucasfilm Story Group, Artist Hideo Itoyanagi has designed a series of shorts called Star Wars Roll Out starring his BB unit creations.

Star Wars Roll Out - porgs with sleeping Chewbacca

Star Wars Roll Out – porgs with sleeping Chewbacca

What’s happening:

  • There’s nothing more adorable than a BB unit, and Japanese artist Hideo Itoyanagi seems to agree.
  • When Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted in 2015, Itoyanagi had the idea to reimagine the characters in the film as the rolling droid units.
  • His artwork caught the eye of Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy who asked Itoyanagi to create a series of shorts for the company.
  • Yesterday, StarWars.com announced the debut of Star Wars Roll Out for StarWarsKids.com and YouTube.com/StarWarsKids.
  • Fans of all ages will be able to enjoy the shorts starting on Friday, August 9
  • The shorts were created by Lucasfilm and Itoyanagi and feature “fan-favorite heroes of a galaxy far, far away in a bright and vibrant style.”

Learn more:

StarWars.com’s Dan Brooks spoke with Lucasfilm’s James Waugh and Itoyanagi about the new shorts series. Here are some of the highlights of their conversation.

Star Wars Roll Out -- BB-8

Star Wars Roll Out — BB-8

  • James Waugh, Lucasfilm’s vice president, franchise content and strategy: “As Star Wars evolves with each passing year, it’s important for us to find new, light-hearted, and kid-friendly expressions of the franchise that still carry the heart, soul, and adventure of its original form. One of the wonderful things about our Star Wars Kids channel is that we can experiment to see how far we can stretch the franchise to a new expression, while still being totally rooted, recognizable, and authentic.”

Star Wars characters from Star Wars Roll Out

Star Wars characters from Star Wars Roll Out

  • Itoyanagi on his unique style: “I wanted to come up with something never [before] seen in Star Wars animation. I wanted to give everything a totally different look. Given that the characters are caricatured, I decided to make the backgrounds simple, with paper-cutout silhouettes put on top of each other like something you might see in a picture book.”
  • Waugh on aesthetic and building backgrounds: “This is all Hideo Itoyanagi. We kept asking ourselves, ‘How could the sets and design impact the storytelling and its stakes, and comedy?’ In a world where everything rolls, the physics are different, the solutions to problems are different, the challenges are, too.”

Star Wars Roll Out - Rey with plant

Star Wars Roll Out – Rey with plant

  • Itoyanagi on story: “Since the look and actions and of the characters are cute, I made sure the stories are heartwarming. While problems do occur, I made sure the characters do not try to solve them with anger or hatred.”
  • Itoyanagi on working with Lucasfilm Story Group: “It was really fun. They responded to my ideas and work with all kinds of feedback and advice. New ideas sprouted from such exchanges. Having people who are willing to think about your project and share with you their candid thoughts is something to be very, very happy about.”
  • Itoyanagi on his work possibly being someone’s introduction to Star Wars: “That would be such an honor. I feel so grateful from the bottom of my heart for been given this opportunity. Star Wars is loved by so many people. I would be so delighted if people get to [know] Star Wars through Roll Out.

Star Wars Roll Out - Rey on her speeder

Star Wars Roll Out – Rey on her speeder

Star Wars Roll Out premieres on StarWarsKids.com and YouTube.com/StarWarsKids on August 9.