Harrison County

This R2D2 likes beer and LSU football

Baton Rouge’s beer-pouring R2D2 meets Chase Allen at Fear Fete on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at the Coast Convention Center.
Baton Rouge’s beer-pouring R2D2 meets Chase Allen at Fear Fete on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016 at the Coast Convention Center. jclark@sunherald.com

R2D2, the most Astromech droid in the “Star Wars” universe, was one of several stars on hand Saturday for the annual Fear Fete, a horror and gaming convention at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center.

And although this actual droid hasn’t been featured in any of the seven “Star Wars” films, it was a life-sized replica who calls Baton Rouge home.

“I built it myself,” said Barton Gilley, the droid’s owner and operator. “It took me about three years to complete because I would work on it when I had time.”

Gilley’s R2D2 has all of the features of its movie counterpart, including the same lighting scheme and motions.

One thing that noticeably sets it apart is the tip jar full of dollar bills connected to its body. Gilley said the tip jar is there for a reason — and not because R2D2 is looking for work.

“It serves beer,” Gilley said. “It holds a keg inside its body and it has a motion-sensor tap on it.”

And the droid’s penchant for beer isn’t its only secret — this R2D2 is also a diehard “Geaux Tigers” fan.

“I take him to the LSU home games at Tiger Stadium,” Gilley said. “People love to see R2D2 at the games serving beer.”

The droid’s appearances at Death Valley have become so popular, Gilley said he built it a companion.

“I built another one that’s an exact replica of R2D2 except that it’s purple and gold instead of blue and silver,” Gilley said. “And yes, it serves beer, too.”

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