The history of R2-KT
November 13, 2004. Just an ordinary day, but not for Albin Johnson, founder of the 501st Legion. The brigade is an imaginary division of the Star Wars Empire's armies, whose mission is to raise funds through charitable work.
On that particular day, his youngest daughter Katie is diagnosed with a brain tumor, probably lethal. The little girl has barely had any time to live.
As the disease progresses, word spreads out and more than 4,000 members of the 501st Legion, as well as Star Wars fans, take action around the world so as to dedicate themselves to inject some hope into a lost cause. You cannot win them all.
On another ordinary day, Johnson goes to church and notices that the windows are in the shape of his daughter Katie's favorite R2 unit. Suddenly an idea comes to him: why not build an R2 to watch over Katie while she sleeps, just as R2-D2 watched over Padme in Episode II of the film saga? The idea soon took shape and Allie, Albin's eldest daughter, suggested that the robot's name could be R2-KT, the last two letters being an onomatopoeia that evokes the name of her sick sister, and that its color should change from the classic blue to pink, a shade that was very much to the little girl's liking.
A race against time begins. In April 2005, Albin meets Jerry Greene, president and founder of the R2 Builders Club, a group that, upon hearing the little girl's story, immediately decides to focus on building a fully operational android. Additionally, they start organizing a major campaign to collect the necessary robot parts. In the meantime, they come to realize that Katie's cancer is irreversible and progresses relentlessly. One of the builders modifies parts of his own R2 and turns it pink so that he can give it to the girl while the final one is being completed. She hugs the robot in an image that is now world-wide famous
On August 9, 2005, surrounded by her loved ones and watched over by R2-KT, Katie Johnson closes her sweet eyes forever. Less than a year later, on July 8, 2006, the robot is completed and becomes a symbol of hope for children afflicted by the infamous disease.
There are very few R2-KT units in the world. One of them is in Donostia-San Sebastian. All of them are there to remind us that ...
the battle continues, we have to keep on fighting for the next Katie
The Pink Force Foundation, a growing international movement, has the invaluable Ambassadroid R2-KT, which spreads the pink force across all the hospitals and conventions it visits, bringing with it the magic, hope and fantasy of Star Wars.