If ANA takes its inspiration from another Epic film franchise-airline partnership, then we might see R2-D2 and C3PO donning life jackets and pointing out exit signs for in-flight safety videos. And Ewoks..everywhere.
In a stellar feat of airline film-franchise cross-branding, ANA announced the launch of a five-year Star Wars project and agreement with The Walt Disney Company’s Japan division.
“We’re proud of the innovative R2-D2 design, and we look forward to witnessing the first-ever flight of a passenger aircraft featuring a Star Wars character,” says Kayleen Walters, Vice President, Marketing for Lucasfilm Ltd. “We’re confident that Star Wars fans around the world will absolutely love this design.”
Of all the lovable characters in the epic world of George Lucas, why did ANA select R2-D2?
“Although it’s a lofty goal, we hope that like Star Wars, ANA will become well known and loved across all borders and generations,” says Takashi Shiki, ANA Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing. “The R2-D2 motif works well with ANA’s blue logo design on the aircraft’s fuselage, and many people associate R2-D2 with competent and reliable service—also hallmarks of ANA’s 5-star service.”
ANA’s Star Wars project will continue through 2020 and the airline promises “a range of novel initiatives” to follow.
“We are particularly delighted to introduce this collaboration now as we prepare to launch our new international service from Tokyo to Houston in June, making it our 10th North American destination,” says Takashi Shiki. “Through the introduction of the new Star Wars livery we hope to welcome more passengers from around the world to experience ANA as the Inspiration of Japan.”
Photo credit: ANA's New 787-9 Dreamliner in R2-D2 Livery All Nippon Airways