Still from the short film "Artoo in Love." Still from the short film "Artoo in Love." Still from the short film "Artoo in Love." (Photo: YouTube)

'Artoo in Love' finds R2D2 looking for love

This short film may tug at your heartstrings.

From the "this video deserves to go viral" department comes the short film "Artoo in Love," which follows R2-D2, the beloved droid of "Star Wars" fame, as he and a mailbox fall in love, or so he thinks. Comedy and hijinks ensue as Artoo goes about trying to woo the inanimate object before learning that you don't always find love when or where you expect.

The short film was produced by engineer Evan Atherton and recently premiered at the Sonoma Film Festival. Atherton told Mashable that the response to the film has been deeply visceral.

"People have definitely been having real emotional reactions to it," he said. "I think that stems from what always made Artoo special: He was more than just a machine. So seeing that play out, and seeing Artoo really sad, tugs on some childhood heartstrings."

Atherton's short film should assuage fans of the space opera franchise until at least December, when the first film of the third trilogy, directed and produced by J.J. Abrams, hits theaters. That will be followed by second and third installments in 2017 and 2019, respectively. American Rian Johnson will direct those two films in collaboration with his longtime Israeli producer Ram Bergman, whose enthusiasm about the director of "Brick" and "Looper" (and a few episodes of the hit TV series "Breaking Bad") should excite fans.

"Rian is the ultimate," Bergman said. "If I don't have to make a movie with anyone for the rest of my life and just make movies with Rian, I'll be a happy man — a very, very happy man."

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'Artoo in Love' finds R2D2 looking for love
This short film may tug at your heartstrings.