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Disturbance in the force: ANA drops one of its Star Wars-themed planes

April 03, 2022
4 min read
photo of ANA Star Wars plane
Disturbance in the force: ANA drops one of its Star Wars-themed planes
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If Star Wars AvGeeks felt a disturbance in the force this week, we can explain. One of just a few of the world’s few known airliners decked out in Star Wars décor is losing its movie-themed livery.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced that one of its three planes resembling a Star Wars droid had its last flight on Thursday. The Boeing 777-300 will no longer bear the design inspired by the Star Wars character BB-8, a droid in the franchise’s most recent trilogy.

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The Tokyo-based carrier shared on Twitter Friday, the three Star Wars-themed aircraft “reunited together for a final farewell” before what was scheduled to be BB-8 jet’s final flight from Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND) to Naha Airport in Okinawa.

An ANA spokesperson told TPG Friday the 777-300 actually ended up missing its final flight with the Star Wars livery due to mechanical issues, and the final flight with the BB-8 design ended up being its journey from New Chitose Airport in Japan (CTS) to Haneda (HND).

Related: Everything to know about ANA Mileage Club

The end of the run for the BB-8 aircraft prompted salutes from around the world, including here in the U.S. Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) tweeted a farewell Friday. “The Force will be with you always,” the Dulles twitter account said, posting a “throwback” to the BB-8 jet’s debut at the airport in 2016.

The airline told TPG that the jet itself is not going out of service – it’s just losing the Star Wars design. ANA was also quick to point out that it still has two other Star Wars-themed jets. The airline has a Boeing 787 resembling the droid R2-D2, which has numerous flights scheduled to the U.S. in the coming months, including to Dulles (IAD) Houston-Intercontinental (IAH).

(Screenshot courtesy of ANA)

There’s also a C-3PO design on a Boeing 777-200.

(Screenshot courtesy of ANA)

ANA is not the only airline that has sported jets decked out in Star Wars livery. For several years, United Airlines has operated a Boeing 737-800 decorated in honor of the franchise’s new trilogy, although TPG is investigating after reports, including from AeroXplorer, said this plane recently got a more traditional makeover as well.

(Photo courtesy of United Airlines)

The Star Wars-themed planes have served as a cross-promotional tool between airlines and the newest Star Wars movies released in recent years, and have also been a unique experience for movie fans and AvGeeks alike.

(Photo courtesy of United Airlines)

In fact, multiple TPG staff members had the chance to ride on the United Star Wars plane during its years in service. The jet not only had a Star Wars design on the outside, but movie-themed touches as part of the interior.

As for ANA, its Star Wars program, which has been around since 2015, continues with two remaining aircraft in the fleet.

Featured image by Courtesy of Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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