Star Wars theme music played and Storm Troopers held guard as the hangar doors began to open. Within moments, a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” painted with likeness of R2-D2 emerged to a cheering crowd at Boeing’s wide-body assembly line facility in Everett, Wash.
The airplane featuring images of the loyal droid from the Star Wars franchise belongs to Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) and will begin flying paying passengers Oct. 18. The jet’s first revenue flight is scheduled for a run between Tokyo‘s Haneda Airport to Vancouver, Canada.
Saturday’s unveiling had been eagerly anticipated by both aviation and Star Warsenthusiasts since plans for the R2-D2-themed Dreamliner were first announced in April. The jet will boast one of the world’s most interesting airline paint schemes when it begins flying next month. But it will soon get company, becoming one of three ANA aircraft to be painted in a Stars Wars theme.
One of the other two designs will feature BB-8, a new character to be introduced in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. BB-8’s likeness will grace one of ANA’s Boeing 777-300ER widebody planes. The other new design – on a Boeing 767-300 – will feature both BB-8 and R2-D2. They’re expected to begin flying in 2016.