The release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just two days away, folks. The first reviews are online and, inevitably, the first spoilers will begin dripping out momentarily. But since we at Collider aren’t interested in ruining the moviegoing experience for you, how about some interesting trivia about the film instead?
One could argue that The Force Awakens had breakout characters before the film even hit theaters, and unmistakably BB-8 was one of them. Seriously, just look at the merchandise sales for the little guy—people went nuts over this new droid based on only a few frames of footage. But we’ll see him/her in full in just a matter of days, and when we do, there may be something familiar about his voice.
At the premiere of The Force Awakens, Drew McWeeny over at HitFix noticed a curious credit at the end of the film: BB-8 Vocal Consultant: Bill Hader. Indeed, it appeared the SNL alum had something to do with the creation of BB-8, so McWeeny reached out to the actor to ask what “vocal consultant” consisted of, and he responded with the following comment:
“[It was] J.J. fucking around with this sound effects app on his iPad that was attached to a talk box operated by me. It looked ridiculous but it made BB-8’s voice. At first I tried doing a voice, but we all agreed it sounded too human.”
Well that’s neat. The credits also reveal that Parks and Recreation alum Ben Schwartz was a consultant on the BB-8 voice as well, but the extent of Jean Ralphio’s involvement is unclear.
This isn’t the first time Hader has done some covert voice work for Abrams—he provided the voice of the computer on the U.S.S. Vengeance in Star Trek Into Darkness—and the guy is undeniably incredible at impressions, so it’s no wonder Abrams reached out to his friend when attempting to craft a new droid on par with R2-D2. And by all accounts, it appears they succeeded beautifully.