Behind the Scenes of TIME's Star Wars: The Force Awakens Photo Shoot

Dec 03, 2015

“The moment you meet BB-8, you build up some form of weird human connection,” says Marco Grob, who photographed the new Star Wars character for this week's TIME cover. “It has one eye that has this really cute way of looking at you. It’s just incredible.”

“For me, Star Wars is much more than only a film,” Grob says. “Star Wars is hundreds of people who try to push the envelope. People who take enormous risks in creative and in technical aspects. They try to do things we’ve never seen before in a way nobody would have imagined to ever see before. And for me, it’s incredible.”

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Grob says he didn’t get to see The Force Awakens before his sessions with the new members of the cast. In fact, he didn’t even watch the film’s popular trailers. “Sometimes it’s good not to know too much,” he says. “I wanted to have a feel on its own, to kind of do my own thing [instead of] being influenced by anything I would have seen.”

R2-D2 and BB-8 on the cover of the Dec. 14, 2015 issue of TIME. Marco Grob for TIME 

But when it came to Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, the situation was, of course, different. “I grew up with them,” he says. The same goes for R2-D2. “You get almost star-struck when you meet R2-D2. It’s incredible when you see it getting unwrapped. It was certainly one for the books. Something I’ll never forget.”

After the two-week shoot in four cities across three countries, Grob will see The Force Awakens like the rest of us, when it’s released in theaters in two weeks—but that fine by him. “[I'll be] like some kid with a bag of popcorn," he says, "sitting there and enjoying it."

Meet the Cast of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Daisy Ridley photographed for Time on October 29, 2015 in London
Daisy Ridley photographed for TIME in London, Oct. 29, 2015.Marco Grob for TIME
Daisy Ridley photographed for Time on October 29, 2015 in London
John Boyega photographed for Time on October 26, 2015 in Los Angeles
Harrison Ford photographed for Time on October 16, 2015 in Los Angeles
Carrie Fisher photographed for Time on October 27, 2015 in Los Angeles
R2D2 photographed for Time on October 29, 2015 in London
BB-8 photographed for Time on October 29, 2015 in London
Mark Hamill photographed for Time on October 27, 2015 in Los Angeles
Gwendoline Christie photographed for Time on October 29, 2015 in London
Adam Driver photographed for Time on October 25, 2015 in New York
Lupita Nyong'o photographed for Time on November 10, 2015 in New York
Oscar Isaac photographed for Time on October 31, 2015 in Madrid.
JJ Abrams photographed for Time on October 26, 2015 in Los Angeles
Kathleen Kennedy photographed for Time on October 29, 2015 in London
Daisy Ridley photographed for TIME in London, Oct. 29, 2015.
Marco Grob for TIME
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