Meet R2-KT, a Droid commissioned for a very special little girl, Katie Johnson.
But first, a little bit about her role in the Star Wars universe. At the height of the war, R2-KT was assigned to the 501st Legion and served on board a Republic vessel attached to Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Over the course of the war, “Katie” and R2 liked to meet and gossip about the war and the Republic Fleet. During the events of Rotta’s kidnapping, the droid was present at a briefing of clone troopers and their Jedi commanders. The droid was also present at the Battle of Ryloth and the Sky Battle of Quell. R2-KT survived the Clone Wars and subsequently served in the Galactic Empire.
R2-KT started off as a real-world replica of an R2-series astromech droid with pink highlights. Albin Johnson, the founder of the 501st Legion, wanted to build a pink droid for his daughter Katie, who was dying from brain cancer (In fact, the “KT” suffix would appear to be a reference to her name). When it was realized that he did not have enough time, R2-KT was built by Jerry Greene, master droid builder, with the help of the R2 Builders Club.
R2-KT makes appearances at children’s hospitals, Star Wars Celebration and charity events in the southeastern United States.
A Hasbro action figure of this droid was sold at San Diego Comic-Con 2007 and the character had a cameo in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film.
I got the opportunity last year to meet this very special R2 unit and the builders and some of the handlers. This year, I got to meet Katie’s mother and father, Albin and Cathy Johnson. They were incredibly nice and just great people to be around. Albin, for those of you who don’t know, started the 501st legion, the international Star Wars fan group and costuming group. The legion is licensed by Lucasfilms and participate in many of the Lucasfilms promotions and events. I am personal friends with many in the legion and know that they do good work at children’s hospitals, conventions, and many charity benefits. It was an honor becoming friends with Albin and his wife and, it is an honor to share the story of R2-KT and Katie with all of you.