J.J.-Abrams-and-R2-D2-from-the-Star-Wars-Episode-VII-WorkshopEarlier in the month, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Star Wars Episode VII is officially heading into cinemas towards the end of December 2015.

With a release date finally confirmed, you can expect more official news to be surfacing in the coming months, and with a global search underway for the new cast, it’s pretty likely that casting announcements won’t be too far off.

But whilst the human announcements aren’t yet here, J.J. Abrams has given us a reason to speculate about a certain robot’s return for the upcoming sequel.

The image below comes courtesy of Bad Robot, who tweeted it out with the following:

Hi from the workshop! #StarWarsVII pic.twitter.com/9R7JGSfxlC

Naturally it doesn’t necessarily confirm that R2-D2 will be making an appearance once more in Star Wars Episode VII. But it certainly throws a nice little log on the fire to fuel any expectations of the little robot’s reprisal. And either way, it’s nice to see Abrams alongside such a classic figure from the Star Wars universe, with Abrams coming on board the franchise for the first time with Episode VII.

Michael Arndt was originally the writer behind the project, but the studios recently announced that Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan would be taking over screenwriting duties, confirming that the script wasn’t yet finished.

Principal photography is set to begin early in 2014 here in the UK at Pinewood, and it looks like pre-production is already coming along nicely.

Star Wars Episode VII is set to hit cinemas on December 18th, 2015, just in time for the holiday season. Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on the possible return of R2-D2.