The droid BB-8 (or as I call him, “soccer ball”) that rolled around in the teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, seemed almost certainly CGI…we’ve never seen anything real like it.
But it turns out, as part of J.J. Abrams return to practical effects and models, this little ball was real – at least in the sense that it was a physical model that actually DID roll around.
According to this article, Mark Hamill saw in it action, and even got to play with it. “And when they were demonstrating how they did this thing, live on set — because it’s not CGI, that’s a live prop — I was just amazed,” he said. “They let me play around with it. I was running it all around at the creature shop up in Pinewood. I’m telling you, it’s an absolute delight.”
And now I will be seriously disappointed if I can’t buy this thing for Christmas next year.