The R2 Builders Club ...
desire to make a positive impact in the world. And so it was
devastating to all who know Alvin and his family when they
learned that his six-year-old daughter Katie had a brain tumor.
A bright and shining star to all who knew her, Katie’s
friends and family were deeply saddened by this news.
While attending a church service with his family shortly
after his daughter’s diagnosis, Albin had a lightbulb moment.
According to the R2-KT website ( www.r2kt.com/): “Albin
noticed something funny about the sanctuary’s windows.
Call it a sign, call it Al not paying attention in church, but
the window looked eerily like an R2 unit and it gave him an
idea: Why not build an R2 to watch over Katie as she slept
(just like R2-D2 watched over Padme in Episode II)? Katie’s
older sister Allie went one step further: Why not paint it
pink and name it after Katie: R2-KT? An idea was born ...”
In April of 2005, Albin discovered the R2 Builders Club.
Upon hearing of Albin’s intentions to build his courageous
and wonderful daughter a pink R2-D2, the group was eager
to help him realize this goal. Given that an R2 Builder’s first
droid can take years to complete, it was clear to the group
that something unprecedented would need to occur in
order for R2-KT to take shape.
Greene suggested that the R2 Builders Club build an all-aluminum R2-KT and donate it to the Johnson family. Greene
offered to orchestrate this group build and assemble the
droid himself. Albin graciously and humbly gave the club
permission to proceed. Shortly thereafter, Jerry began
creating sketches of R2-KT and posting requests to the
group to donate the parts he would need to build this
one-of-a-kind, pink astromech droid. The response was
overwhelming. While the group set about building an
all-aluminum R2-KT, R2BC member Andy Schwartz did
something quite extraordinary, as well. He disassembled
his own R2-D2, painted all of the blue sections pink, put it
back together again, and arranged for this original R2-KT to
be delivered to the Johnsons’ home. This act of generosity
allowed Katie to have her very own pink astromech droid
to keep her company and lift her spirits.
After a brave fight, Katie Johnson passed away on
August 9, 2005. Her family, her friends, and the Star Wars
community mourned her loss.
The R2 Builders Club decided to continue building
R2-KT as a memorial to this wonderful girl. It was an
emotional process for everyone involved. Eager to express
their compassion for this family, dozens of R2 Builders from
around the globe donated astromech parts to the R2-KT
project. Over the next year, box after box of donated parts
arrived at Greene’s Rhode Island home, where he worked
tirelessly in his basement studio to assemble this unique
droid. (Visit JAG’s “Project R2-KT” website at www.r2-
r9.com/Project%20R2-KT.html to read a chronology of the
build and see images of all this robot’s parts.)
By July 2006, R2-KT was
complete. Greene and the R2
Builders Club constructed this
adorable, circus pink and white
astromech droid in record time,
taking little more than one year
from start to finish. Once the robot
was complete, Greene and his
g“irlfriend, Lisa, loaded R2-KT in their
minivan and took it on its first
adventure. Jerry and Lisa drove
The R2 Builders
Club decided to
R2-KT as a
memorial to this
More R2BC droids on
display at Celebration IV.
46 SERVO 05.2008