R2-D2: Character Explained

credit: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

The Star Wars franchise was a hit science fiction series featuring elements and events that could not be seen or achieved (yet) given the current scientific limitations of mankind. With it being purely fictional, the viewers were immersed in machines of impossible and impassible wonder from both sides. Great examples would be the Millennium Falcon by Han Solo and Chewbacca, the Death Star (or Stars) whose construction/s was foreseen by Darth Vader himself. In terms of weaponry, they had some out-of-this-world (literally) items as well, such as the lightsaber and laser guns that shoot actual lasers.

Today, we will meet one of the most recognized robots in the Star Wars universe. There were many robots in the entire franchise, but our subject for today, R2-D2, was known by a lot of viewers.

He had a very fun, playful, and comforting vibe around him, causing him to be loved by many – the characters and the viewers alike. He appeared in pretty much all of the episodes, starting from The Phantom Menace (Episode I) up to The Rise of Skywalker (Episode IX). Thanks to his frequent appearances in the films, he had often played very important roles in the camps of the Jedi, most notably in The Force Awakens, where he completed the map towards the location of Luke Skywalker, who beforehand had isolated himself.

Below, we will retell the story of R2-D2 as the series progressed.

credit: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Construction and Early Life

R2-D2, which stands for Second Generation Robotic Droid Series-2, was created by the company Industrial Automaton 33 years before the events of Episode IV.

He appeared as a short pill-shaped droid with some appendages (his legs) attached to his sides. He was a three-legged robot actually, the third one was on the bottom of his body, and was retractable. His body was colored silver, his head was shaped like a dome, and was colored with a blue band near its base. He had a sensor as an “eye,” which could often be seen as emitting red light, like a camera sensor.

In his early life, R2-D2 was in possession of Queen Padmé Amidala’s Starship. His main purpose was to maintain her Starship. The Ship had two more droids in the ship, but R2-D2 was the most superior one. It was thought that he was created in Naboo, Padmé’s home planet.

In the events of Episode I, the Queen’s Starship went under intense fire by the Galactic Federation, causing its shield to be damaged. R2-D2 was the one who managed to completely restore the ship’s protective force. Because of this, R2-D2 was not made to undergo the same disposal processes for the old droids, but instead, he was allowed to live on his own, until his systems would exhaust.

credit: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Life among the Jedi

R2-D2 played several roles in the films to come. In A New Hope, Leia used him to store the Death Star plans that she had stolen and also to ask for help because she was imprisoned (and scheduled for execution). He found his way to Skywalker’s household after being traded, and the young Anakin accidentally played Leia’s message. This made Anakin realize that the “Old Ben” he knew was once a Jedi knight.

As the events unrolled in Episode IV, in the final battle scene, Anakin was told to hide in a spacecraft, which he accidentally triggered the autopilot, launching him into deep space. R2-D2 helped the young Anakin steer the ship back to safety.

After this, R2-D2 was owned by Anakin now. However, when Anakin turned to become Darth Vader, he felt dejected and was given the custody of Luke Skywalker, along with Anakin’s original droid, C3-PO.

However, Luke would then disappear before Episode VII, and R2-D2 went low power mode to conserve his stored energy. Who knows how long Luke will be gone after The Force Awakens? Being lastly owned by Luke, he knew the location of his old master, and he revealed a complete map leading to the water planet where Luke was in.

In Return of the Jedi, R2-D2 played an important role in freezing the trapped Jedi in Jabba the Hutt’s palace. The reason why Luke, Leia, and Han were trapped there in the first place was a failed negotiation attempt to take the frozen Han Solo out of the palace of the crime lord.

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