R2/D2 Phone Exclusive Content

 I was responsible for all the ‘Exclusive content’ mentioned in this video


The R2/D2 phone was a limited edition Android phone jointly developed by Verizon, Motorola and Lucas Films to commemorate the 25th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back.

The phone itself was embossed to look like R2/D2. There was an R2 animation at phone boot. Once the phone was up there was ‘exclusive content’. This included such things as fun live wallpaper to navigate an asteroid belt, shake the phone to get R2 out and tilt it to get him home and a Hoth binocular app that was a virtual reality app before its time.

It also had a whole bunch of exclusive Empire Strikes back images in a library

We also developed a few apps to be uploaded simultaneously to the nascent Google App Store for those who didn’t purchase the phone. (To be honest I don’t recall which ones were preloaded and which were in the store)


First, let me say that this was the most fun I’ve ever had doing software development.

In8Mobile contracted with Verizon to do all the exclusive content. I was the product manager/owner at in8Mobile. I conceived most of the app and wallpaper ideas and oversaw the design and development.

We were given access to Lucas Films holy-of-holies asset vault. (I picked a light saber I wanted to use and they chided me for not realizing it only appeared in later films). I recall spending 3 hours replaying one scene endless times to try to catch some of the subtleties to translate it to the app (I believe it was the wallpaper we did where Luke was levitating boulders for Yoda… you had to hold the phone perfectly steady to levitate… any movement and the boulders dropped)

I worked directly with Lucas Films on initial approval of the various concepts and got their final approval once done. I worked with Motorola on pre-loading all the software and content on the phone.

I developed a good relationship with the Lucas Films people. So much so that when I started my own company they had me in to the office in the Presidio to pitch them on an early Augmented Reality idea (animating lobby posters… something they did 10 years later)

I had the most fun with a weather widget. 1/2 of it was the weather at your earth location pulled from the NWS. The other 1/2 was ‘equivalent’ weather on Star Wars planets such as Hoth. Lucas Films has extensive planetary data on these worlds such as speed of rotation, average temperatures in various seasons etc. We did a mapping table that mapped say ‘warm and sunny’ from the NWS to season-based phrases such as ‘Ice Monster bone-chilling’

Other Work