The force is strong with Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) which has unveiled its latest aircraft, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner decked out as Star Wars' R2-D2.

It symbolises the beginning of a five-year partnership between ANA and Walt Disney Japan announced in California last week and is the first time a Star Wars character has appeared on the exterior of a commercial aircraft.

The announcement was followed by the release of the second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens - the latest instalment in the Star Wars franchise.

The latest trailer for the latest Star Wars installment - Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released and the force is very strong with this one. Director J.J. Abrams introduced the new teaser trailer at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim this week and it reveals a lot more than the first teaser. Some old faces appear including Han Solo, Chewbacca and R2-D2 along with the destroyed mask of Darth Vader while Mark Hamill, reprising the role of Luke Skywalker does a voiceover.

Disney shelled out $4 billion to buy creator Lucas's Lucasfilm in October 2012 and the trailer for The Force Awakens comes almost 40 years after the franchise premiered.


The R2-D2 Dreamliner is set to make its debut on a yet-to-be-announced international route later this year.

In a statement, ANA said the partnership came as the airline sought to connect travellers around the world.

Lucasfilm vice president Kayleen Walters said they were proud of the R2-D2 design and were excited to be involved in the collaboration.

ANA sales & marketing executive vice president Takashi Shiki said the R2-D2 motif worked well with ANA's blue logo design on the aircraft's fuselage.

"Although it's a lofty goal, we hope that like Star Wars, ANA will become well known and loved across all borders and generations," Shiki said.

ANA's 787-9 Dreamliner decked out in its R2-D2 livery.
ANA's 787-9 Dreamliner decked out in its R2-D2 livery.

ANA was the first airline in the world to fly the innovative carbon-fibre composite Dreamliner.

"Many people associate R2-D2 with competent and reliable service-also hallmarks of ANA's 5-star service," Shiki said.

"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."

ANA's 787-9 Dreamliner decked out in its R2-D2 livery.
ANA's 787-9 Dreamliner decked out in its R2-D2 livery.

ANA also launched a special website to celebrate the Star Wars collaboration.

Watch a video of the R2-D2 Dreamliner below