- New "Star Wars"-themed vessels will join the R2-D2 jet
- They will begin serving the Japanese airline's routes this fall
In the latest corporate tie-in to build buzz for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," ANA, Japan's largest airline, announced Tuesday that two more planes will be decorated with characters from the films.
The new "Star Wars"-themed vessels will join the previously announced R2-D2 ANA jet
, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner bearing the beloved droid's likeness, scheduled to go into service on international routes this fall.
The new "Star Wars" ANA jet will feature R2-D2 on the outside of a Boeing 767-300 with his buddy BB-8, a new droid from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." For now, it is scheduled to start flying domestic Japanese routes in November.
Another vessel, a Boeing 777-300ER featuring the roly-poly BB-8, is scheduled to start serving international routes between Japan and North America in March.
Wait, there's more. The planes also will offer all six "Star Wars" films as part of its in-flight entertainment on international routes -- the first time that any of the "Star Wars" movies have been included as part of an in-flight entertainment system. Characters also will grace headrest covers, paper napkins and cups.
Walt Disney and Lucasfilm have spared no expense in building buzz ahead of the December release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." This weekend brought a slew of news
related to the franchise, from "Rogue One" cast and crew announcements to a takeover
of Disney parks and resorts.
Scoff all you want, but fans are thrilled, and Disney will undoubtedly be laughing all the way to the bank.