R2-D2 serves as guest of honor at Fireball’s recent Wheels and Waves show…

Photo: Scott Martin @carshowaholic – Johnny Martinez hangs with R2.

I think it’s safe to say that Santa Claus has visited many car shows across the USA.

He was spotted around Christmas perusing the cool cars everywhere, handing out toys and giving good cheer. But I also think it’s safe to say that no one has ever seen Star Wars’ R2-D2 at a car show … until recently.

December’s Wheels and Waves show in Malibu was visited by none other than the tiny superstar protocol droid, as I recently was informed that he loves cars. Well, he loves spaceships, Princess Leia and cars.

But when I found out that he was cruising above the ’Bu in his personal X-Wing, I flagged him down to be my guest for Wheels and Waves at The Malibu Country Mart.

He spent nearly the whole show getting photos, selfies and admiring the muscle cars, hot rods and even chatting it up with Santa. We had a great time, and it reminded me that good cheer shouldn’t be reserved just for the holidays.

I mentioned to R2-D2 that I wanted him to pick the best of show, which he did. And after much deliberation, R2 whizzed up to Johnny Martinez’s 1929 Ford Model-A truck with its amazing Black Cherry paint. Martinez has been to Wheels and Waves many times, but never with droids.

So when R2 spun to see his creation, he twizzed and weetled around it like a child.

Johnny has been working on this truck for a long time and it was a real treat to get a shot with R2 at the show, as he’s a pretty big A-lister here in town (as well as the galaxy).

“Not too many Ford Model As on other planets,” he chirped.

“The only thing I wish is that 3PO were here to see these cool cars,” R2-D2 added. “But our movie just came out and he’s promoting on a different planet.”

Yeah, I can see how that would be tough.

We had a lot of celebrities at Wheels and Waves in 2017, including Tony Dow, Paul Moyer, Jonathan Banks and Dick Van Dyke. But I have to say that having R2-D2 and Santa together was quite a treat.

“I’m a big fan of that little guy,” expressed the great snowy one. “If only the Sith Lords could come to a car show like R2, they’d be less of a bummer all the time.

Cool cars just make you smile and if Darth had gotten behind the wheel of a ’69 Camaro, I’m sure you’d see his frown turn upside down!”

No better words have ever been spoken. Thanks, St. Nick.

It’s going to be hard to top having R2 at my shows in 2018, but the door is open to all you celebrities out there reading this right now. Wanna play in our sandbox of cool cars? Don’t take life so seriously and get your butt over here like R2-D2. I’ve got piping hot, free coffee and a Hot Wheels with your name on it.

The next Wheels and Waves show is scheduled for Jan. 21.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

2017 Christmas Wheels and Waves shots by Scott Martin @carshowaholic…

Big thanks to Scotty Martin @carshowaholic for these great shots from over the weekend here in the Bu. Check out Scotty’s stuff Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


STAR WARS R2-D2 HITS MALIBU WHEELS AND WAVES – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 721 – Fireball’s Christmas Edition of Wheels and Waves welcomes amazing Cars, Celebs, Santa and STAR WARS R2-D2!

R2-D2 is a fictional robot character in the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas, who appears in the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, the sequel trilogy, and Rogue One.

A small astromech droid, R2-D2 is a major character and appears in all Star Wars films to date.

Throughout the course of the films, he is a friend to Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi in various points in the saga.

English actor Kenny Baker played R2-D2 in all three original Star Wars films, and received billing credit for the character in the prequel trilogy, where Baker’s role was reduced, as R2-D2 was portrayed mainly by radio controlled props and CGI models.

In the sequel trilogy, Baker was credited as consultant for The Force Awakens; however, Jimmy Vee also co-performed the character in some scenes.

Vee later took over the role beginning in The Last Jedi.

R2-D2’s sounds and vocal effects were created by Ben Burtt.

R2-D2 was designed in artwork by Ralph McQuarrie, co-developed by John Stears and built by Tony Dyson.

George Lucas’s creation of R2-D2 was influenced by Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 feature film The Hidden Fortress (USA release 1962), particularly Tahei and Matashichi, the two comic relief characters that serve as sidekicks to General Makabe. Lucas and artist Ralph McQuarrie also drew inspiration from the robots Huey, Dewey, and Louie from Douglas Trumbull’s 1972 film Silent Running.

The name derives from when Lucas was making one of his earlier films, American Graffiti. Sound editor Walter Murch states that he is responsible for the utterance which sparked the name for the droid.

Murch asked for Reel 2, Dialog Track 2, in the abbreviated form “R-2-D-2”. Lucas, who was in the room and had dozed off while working on the script for Star Wars, momentarily woke when he heard the request and, after asking for clarification, stated that it was a “great name” before going back to writing his script.

R2-D2 stands for Second Generation Robotic Droid Series-2, according to a Star Wars encyclopedia published after the release of the film Star Wars.

Tony Dyson, owner of the special effects studio The White Horse Toy Company, was commissioned to fabricate the design, making four units operated by remote control.

Two were used by Baker, and two were stunt double models made for the scene where the droid was shot from the swamp onto the shore on Dagobah.

Celebrity Guest for Fireball’s December Wheels and Waves is R2-D2!!!

That’s right! Our Celebrity Guest for Christmas Wheels and Waves is none other than the little droid we all love, R2-D2 from STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI!!!

Come get your photo take with R2 and Santa at the same time, get FREE COFFEE and HOT WHEELS!!