R2-D2

From Academic Kids

Template:SW Droid R2-D2 (also spelled Artoo-Detoo, called R2 for short), is an astromech droid and colleague of C-3PO in the fictional Star Wars universe. R2-D2 was played by Kenny Baker in all six Star Wars films, with many scenes filmed using mechanical versions of the character. R2 is the only character (despite being a non-living droid) to appear in all six Star Wars films and without changes to appearance (unlike his colleague C-3PO has).

In The Phantom Menace, R2-D2 is a droid belonging to the Naboo, and helps repair Queen Padmé Amidala's starship as it attempts to get past the Trade Federation blockade. Later, R2 becomes part of Qui-Gon Jinn's party in Tatooine and meets C-3PO and Anakin Skywalker. Later, he serves as Anakin's personal astromech droid on the attack on the Trade Federation Droid Control Ship.

Ten years later, in Attack of the Clones R2 is still in Senator Padmé Amidala's possession, and he accompanies Anakin and Padmé to Naboo when her life is threatened and then to Tatooine when Anakin tries to rescue his mother. Here, he is reunited with C-3PO, and the two get into various misadventures on Geonosis. This includes a bizzare accident where C-3PO's head is knocked off his body. The head is placed on the body of a battle droid, and a battle droid head is placed on C-3PO's body. R2 later takes C-3PO's head and restores it to his body during the Battle of Geonosis. He and C-3PO are later witnesses to Anakin and Padmé's secret wedding.

In Revenge of the Sith, R2 helps Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker in their mission to rescue Chancellor Palpatine from Count Dooku's capital ship. He is attacked by Super battle droids, but manages to escape. R2 accompanies Anakin throughout the rest of the movie, but does not play a large part in events. Later, C-3PO's memory is wiped clean to keep the knowledge of the locations of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa a secret, but for unexplained reasons R2-D2's memory is not wiped. Both droids end up in the possession of Captain Raymus Antilles onboard the blockade runner Tantive IV.

In A New Hope both R2-D2 and C-3PO are on board the Tantive IV along with Princess Leia of Alderaan when they come under attack by the Star Destroyer Devastator. Leia slips R2-D2 a disc containing a distress message and the plans for the Death Star battle station.

Once on the planet Tatooine, R2 and 3PO are stolen by Jawas and bought by Owen Lars, uncle of Luke Skywalker. Luke discovers a part of the hidden message but does not act on it, and R2 escapes on his own to seek out Obi-Wan Kenobi. Soon Luke is forced to leave Tatooine with Obi-Wan, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, and they attempt to deliver R2-D2 to the Rebel Alliance. Along the way, they are captured by the Death Star, but eventually rescue Leia and escape. R2-D2 delivers the plans to the Alliance, and becomes Luke's astromech droid during the attack on the station. R2 is severely damaged during the battle, but is restored before the awards ceremony at the end of the film.

In The Empire Strikes Back R2 accompanies Luke to Dagobah and later to Cloud City, where he again helps to rescue and repair a heavily damaged C-3PO. He also manages to fix the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive, resulting in a last-minute escape from the Empire.

In Return Of The Jedi R2-D2 participates in the rescue of Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, and later joins the Rebel strike team on Endor. He helps to bring down the deflector shield so the fleet can destroy the new Death Star.

Contents

Analysis

The two droids establish the comic relief of the series. However, R2 is decisive and courageous in comparison to C-3PO who tends to panic and dither in the face of danger. For instance, in A New Hope when they realized that their human companions were in jeopardy in a crushing trash compactor, C-3PO was in a panic while R2-D2 quietly and quickly set to work to stop the machine and was successful.

A notable possible plot hole between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope is that, during Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, R2-D2 has rocket boosters that allow him to fly, but from A New Hope onward these boosters are not used, leading some to conclude that they are not present. This discrepancy was not explained in Revenge of the Sith, and the question of what happened to R2-D2's rockets is left to the audience's imagination. It's possible that R2 simply didn't encounter a situation in which he had to use the boosters, or perhaps he had run out of fuel. It is also possible that the Tantive IV's mechanics removed the rocket boosters, perhaps to comply with safety regulations or because they simply saw no need for them.

R2 is present at the weddings of two generations of Skywalkers: Anakin and Padmé in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Luke and Mara Jade two decades after Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

R2-D2 in popular culture

Inspiration

  • Lucas has stated that Akira Kurosawa's 1958 film The Hidden Fortress (USA release 1962) was a strong influence. The resemblance between the two buffoon farmers in The Hidden Fortress and the two talkative droids in Star Wars is apparent. Indeed, when the droids find themselves alone on Tatooine, even the music and the style of "wipe" cuts are a clear homage to Hidden Fortress.
  • R2-D2 was partly inspired by the robots Huey, Dewey and Louie from Douglas Trumbull's 1972 film Silent Running.
  • The name supposedly derives from 'Reel 2, Dialogue Track 2', which is an example of some technical nomenclature used in filmmaking. In some Spanish speaking countries it is believed that the name derives from Arturito (little Arthur), as R2-D2 is popularly called there, since it sounds similar to the English Artoodeetoo.
  • According to the fictional account of Star Wars' creation in George Lucas in Love, the idea of the droids comes from when Lucas witnessed a whistling dwarf and an effeminate man in gold shirt on his college campus.
  • Around the same time that A New Hope was being shot, Ray Harryhausen had already created Bubo for the 1981 film Clash of the Titans. It was a metal owl with a big head that flew heavily and make whistles and tweets. However Lucas and Harryhausen found about each other's work when it was already started.

Expanded Universe

  • R2-D2 and C-3PO had their own cartoon series, Droids.
  • In the various Star Wars novels and comics they have played a small but significant role.

Other

  • There were a total of 15 R2-D2s on the set of Episode ||: Attack of the Clones. 8 were radio-controlled; 2 were worn by the actor Kenny Baker; the remainder were stunt models that could be moved by puppet strings or towed by wires.
  • R2-D2 is one of the most well-loved characters in Star Wars universe. He is especially well-received by the younger fans due to his unthreatening short stature (960 cm)and kid-friendly design. Ewan McGregor, the actor portraying Obi-wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy, said in an interview, "As soon as Artoo-Detoo comes on the set, everyone goes a bit silly." He recalled how his then four-year-old daughter announced she was in love with R2-D2. "My daughter wants to marry him. She actually cried herself to sleep one night because she wasn't with Artoo."
  • Ewan McGregor also confessed his own affections for the astromech: "...I don't personally want to marry Artoo-Detoo, but there is something about him that makes you feel great affection for him. I think it is a combination of his shape, his high-pitched voice. He's just incredibly appealing. In fact, I believe he is (director) George's favorite actor."

Notes

  1. Wallace, Daniel. (2002). Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Characters. Del Rey. p.138. ISBN 0345449002. Note: Canon sources are mixed as to whether R2 has a gender, but Wallace (an official source) indicates that the droid has masculine programming.

See Also

External links

da:R2-D2 de:Figuren aus Star Wars#R2-D2 es:R2-D2 fr:R2D2 it:R2-D2 ja:R2-D2 pt:R2-D2 sv:R2-D2

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