Tag Archives: r2d2

Why the Star Wars Saga May be a Big, Fat LIE

Back in 2003 during the production of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas revealed a crazy insight: R2-D2 was actually the narrator of the entire Star Wars saga.
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The original story of Luke Starkiller as recounted in the Journal of the Whills

According to ol’ George:

  • The Star Wars films are actually told from Artoo’s recollection, for inclusion in the Journal of the Whills, a record of notable events that shaped galactic history.
  • Artoo relayed the events of the original trilogy and the prequels to the Keeper of the Whill, about 100 years after the Battle of Endor.

From Gizmodo:

“The entire story of Star Wars is actually being recounted to the keeper of the Journal of the Whills—remember that?—a hundred years after the events of Return of the Jedi by none other than R2-D2.”

What are the implications? If the movies are actually narrated by R2-D2, and they were recorded long after they happened, then the whole Star Wars saga as we know it may not be accurate.

Here’s why.


1. Only Artoo doesn’t have flaws

The entire saga is filled with characters who are flawed in their own way. We have Luke, the powerful but brash Jedi; Leia, the headstrong but cold Princess; and Han, the con man/smuggler with a heart of gold.

Even the supporting characters are flawed. Chewie is prone to Wookiee temper, C3P0 is a chronic worrier, Obi-Wan lied, Yoda’s belief in the Jedi dogma was inflexible, and the Emperor’s overconfidence led to his demise.

Guess who was the only character not to have ANY flaw in any of the episodes? That’s right — R2-D2. The narrator of the saga is portrayed as loyal, brave, trustworthy, staunchly independent, and even adorable for a droid. If he does have a flaw, it’s only that we can’t understand his beeps and whistles.

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He also got more girls than Han and Lando combined.

2. Artoo saved everyone numerous times

Throughout the story arc, everyone gets to have a turn at saving the day.

Princess Leia saved her would-be rescuers by finding a way out of the detention level. Obi-Wan sacrificed himself to allow the Falcon to escape. Han’s intervention saved Luke twice. And of course, we have the biggest galaxy savers of the bunch, the Skywalkers. The dad-son duo is responsible for winning pod races, blowing up droid control ships, and destroying Death Stars.

Out of all the supporting cast, there is only one character who can match their record for saving the day: R2-D2.

  • Episode I: Artoo successfully repaired the Naboo royal starship’s shields, saving everyone from the Trade Federation blockade.
  • Episode II: Stopped Padme from being melted to death in the Geonosis droid factory
  • Episode III: Destroyed the buzz droids that were tearing up Anakin’s fighter
  • Episode IV: Carried the Death Star plans all the way to the Rebellion, got Luke and Obi-wan together, and saved everyone from death by trash compactor
  • Episode V: Repaired the Falcon’s sabotaged hyperdrive, allowing the ship to escape from Cloud City and the Executor fleet
  • Episode VI: Smuggled Luke’s lightsaber for the pivotal fight over the Pit of Carkoon, and unchained Leia from the dead body of Jabba the Hutt before everything exploded.
r2d2 flying
And like James Bond, he has a convenient gadget for every plot dilemma.

Other than the Skywalkers, no one else comes close to saving the day in both the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War. Heck, when it comes to heroics, Artoo even beats Jedi Master Yoda, who only came to the rescue twice in Episode II then got his ass kicked by Palpatine in III!

Then again, it just so happens that the entire Star Wars saga, including Artoo’s numerous heroics, are told from his point of view.


3. Artoo “died” several times, but always survived

Don’t you find it just a little suspicious that Artoo was damaged on several instances, yet he always seemed to bounce back intact?

The first was when Luke’s X-wing was hit during the Death Star dogfight. A volley from Darth Vader’s fighter hit Artoo directly on the dome — Luke even says “I’ve lost Artoo”. Yet he was back up and fully functional during the victory ceremony.

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The second time was in Dagobah when Artoo sank in the fetid swamp. He was eaten up by a swamp monster, and then spat back out, whole and damage-free.

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Finally, Artoo suffered a direct hit from stormtroopers during the Battle for Endor, causing him to short-circuit. Threepio even wailed, “Why did you have to be so brave?” And yet that very same night, Artoo was back up and running in time for the Ew0k victory party.

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So what does this mean? I’m not saying that R2-D2 is flat-out lying. I’m just saying that his recollection of events may not be all that accurate. After all, it’s been over a hundred years. And he always seemed to save the day. And he never seemed to die.

Think of the possibilities.

What if a different, unknown droid actually saved the royal starship in Episode I, but only Artoo survived to reap the glory? What if C-3PO played a deadly prank on snowtroopers during the Battle of Hoth, but Artoo omitted it out of respect for his droid buddy? And what if critical parts of the saga either didn’t happen at all or happened very differently, since Artoo wasn’t around to see them?

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One of the many historical events that Artoo conveniently “forgot

Perhaps Boba Fett was actually a bad-ass, and Artoo just made him seem like a total wuss. Perhaps Porkins really survived, and died later of diabetes. Maybe Obi-Wan wasn’t dumb enough to trust the entire future of the Jedi to two babies, and sired some of his own. Maybe Darth Vader wasn’t really redeemed, but was killed by Luke before he faced off against the Emperor. Han actually did shoot first, and didn’t even leave a tip.

And maybe, just maybe, a certain Gungan didn’t really exist.

That’d be one of the upsides of having a dirty, lying astromech droid called R2-D2.

R2D2 drinking

Want more mind-blowing Star Wars insights? Then guess who killed Finn’s stormtrooper buddy on Jakku!

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5 Alternative Theories for C3PO’s Red Arm

So now we finally know why C3Po has a red arm in The Force Awakens. Without giving too much away, let’s just say he’s wearing it as some sort of remembrance to a droid who helped him.

Except I’m not buying it.

Sure, Omri the Imperial droid is cute, and the ending is bittersweet. But I still prefer my own theories as to how Threepio ended up with a red arm.

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1. Never upset a Wookiee

During the celebrations on Endor, Threepio got drunk on WD-40. Unfortunately, this also made him forget that Wookiees don’t like losing, and he wins one too many games of dejarik against Chewie.

Since Threepio is officially a hero, the rebels scavenged poor C3K0 to repair him. The red arm went to Threepio, while the rest was given to the Ewoks as their new deity.

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2. Death sticks

Luke’s new Jedi Academy was going well, until one student went rogue.

A promising padawan named Elan Sleazebaggano Jr. went back to his former life as a deathstick dealer. Pretty soon, all of the Jedi were addicted.

It turned Leia into a crack whore (causing their divorce), made Ben Solo turn to the dark side, and turned Luke into a hobo. As for droids, it either caused them to hibernate for years, or have a permanent red arm.

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3. Shitty camouflage

During a covert mission in First Order territory, Threepio was given a new paintjob to cover up his distinctive gold shine. Unfortunately it backfired after he was mistaken for a different droid and caught the attention of a human dressed as a flag and an alien that shrinks to the size of an ant.

After completing the mission, the victorious Resistance did a sloppy job removing the paint since it was happy hour and holy shit Princess Leia’s doing a drunk striptease forget this fucking droid!

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4. Honest mistake

It’s lonely in the Resistance base, and Threepio mistook a can of varnish for lube. Who hasn’t made that mistake, right?

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5. Disney just ran out of gold paint during filming

Do we really need to over-analyze everything?

 

The Saddest Thing about The Force Awakens

Back in the olden days of Return of the Jedi, we were treated to a happy ending.

The second Death Star was destroyed, along with Vader and old man Palpatine. All over the galaxy, repressed citizens crowded the streets in jubilation. The last shot of the original trilogy had the heroes of the Rebellion celebrating while the force ghosts of Ben, Yoda and Hayden Christensen looked on.

Against all odds, the ragtag alliance won the war and ushered in the fall of the Galactic Empire.

returnofthejedix05The last time they will ever be happy together

After all they’ve been through, our heroes earned a well-deserved break, right? The old Expanded Universe thought so.

Luke started a new Jedi Academy, while Han and Leia settled down and pumped out Jedi babies. They had 3 kids, and Luke and his wife Mara Jade had one. Leia later became the New Republic head of state, and Han settled down to a comfortable life while occasionally going on adventures with Chewie and Lando.

With the release of The Force Awakens, the overlords of Disney wiped away all of that.

Instead, thirty years after the fall of the Empire, our heroes were actually worse off than before. Let’s take a look:

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Luke – Tried to start a new Jedi school, but ended up with a wholesale slaughter of his entire student body.

He failed so massively that he fled from the rest of the galaxy. He abandoned even his own sister, best friend, and his loyal droid. And as the opening crawl says, it was in Luke’s absence that the First Order grew stronger and spread tyranny across more worlds.

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Leia – Once a distinguished Senator, respected warrior, and royalty, she faded into political obscurity. In fact, she was considered a liability by the new government. According to the novelization,

Leia bit down on her lower lip. “So much time has passed. There was a time when they were at least willing to listen. And of course, the Senate’s makeup has changed. Some of those who were always willing to pay attention to me have retired. Some of those who have replaced them have their own agendas.” She smiled ruefully.

There’s even a scene where Leia straight up tells her envoy that if she went personally, something bad might happen to her:

“But why don’t you go yourself, General? An appeal of this nature is always more effective when delivered firsthand.” Leia’s smile thinned. “I might make it to the Senate, yes. I might even be able to deliver my speech. But I would never, never get out of the Hosnian system alive. I would have a terrible ‘accident,’ or become the victim of some ‘deranged’ radical. Or I would eat something that didn’t agree with me. Or encounter someone who didn’t agree with me.”

In short, Leia was coldbloodedly telling someone else to take the risks for her, and being frank about it. Now we know where Kylo Ren got his evil from.

In the end, we have Leia carrying on her lonely fight for freedom, after being abandoned by her husband, son, brother and the galaxy at large.

And what about poor Han Solo? He won the princess, saved the galaxy, and got his precious ship back from a suicide mission.

Thirty years later, he was estranged from his wife, disavowed by his son, lost the Falcon, and went back to his old conman-smuggler routine.

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And after managing to survive a hand-to-mouth existence, he gets stabbed in the heart with a ragged lightsaber by his own offspring.

Then there’s our beloved droids: C3PO and R2-D2. As usual, nobody listens to Threepio, and nobody even gives a fuck to paint his replacement arm. Meanwhile, Artoo becomes a hermit just like his master — shoved under a dusty tarp in a forgotten corner, he is absent for most of the movie in favor of BB-8.

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And in case you’re wondering about Lando, there’s no mention of him at all. It’s like the Hero of Tanaab and the Guy who Blew Up Death Star II didn’t exist. Maybe he died during a stimspice-and-hooker collision with a star cruiser. Or he got shanked in a dingy casino in Nar Shadaa. That would be the best outcome, so he wouldn’t see how low his friends have sunk.

And you know what? This may actually be better. It means that there is no fairy tale ending, and not everything has to end happily ever after. That is the cold, hard reality not just in the Star Wars universe, but our own. 

Quite a lesson for kids, right?

You might argue that even the old EU had its tragic moments. One of the Solo brats goes dark, the galaxy gets invaded, and Chewie dies. And yet, at the very least our heroes never got sidelined. Luke was still Jedi Master, Leia stayed in the political limelight, and Han was a respected General. And most importantly, they never abandoned each other.

With The Force Awakens, we have a virtual Shakespeare tragedy: an emo recluse who gave up on the galaxy, a faded princess abandoned by her whole family, and an aging con-man back to his old tricks. Each one of them going on their own separate path.

I really hope Lando wasn’t around to see any of that.

starwarsep6_ending“Look at them clueless fools. They have no idea what’s going to happen them.”


Hungry for more Star Wars stuff? Check out the story of stormtrooper FU-1287, and his experience in the raid on Jakku!

Showdown on Sunset Boulevard

He stood in the shadows, waiting.

So far today, he had already dispatched three: one human, one Tydian, and even a droid, an old 2-LOM model. And he had only been trailing the boy for six hours.

Overhead, the twin suns of the desert planet beat down relentlessly. Cloaked figures rushed down shaded avenues to escape the stifling heat. Grimly, he knew that on planets like this, beings tended to stay indoors during the day, and activity tended to pick up at dusk. Three were already down — several more to go at sundown.

One hundred meters away, the subject of his attention turned to look at some useless baubles on a dusty window. The blonde head swung to and fro, like the hyperactive arm of an oscillator set to overdrive. The boy’s wide-eyed innocence at all the things around him was refreshing, if not mildly amusing.

What the boy found fascinating, his watcher considered little more than a hellhole. In fact, just the latest in a series of hellholes he had to live in, after the fall of the old system and the rise of a new order. Mos Etnoh considered itself a cosmopolitan place, with its rundown tourist attractions and “historical” landmarks that were likely put up a fortnight ago. Whereas Mos Espa prided itself on being a gambling zone and home of the Boonta Eve, and Mos Eisley was unabashedly a smuggler’s hive of scum and villainy, Mos Etnoh still clung to its pretensions of being the planet’s cultural center, if ever the world even had one.

Further ahead, a female voice called, calling the boy back to his guardians. The watcher took the opportunity to cross the street, ending in the same dusty window formerly occupied by his charge.

Without meaning to, he caught a glimpse of his reflection: a hooded figure in brown, with a graying beard and the tanned leathery skin of an old desert hand. Had he really aged that much? Even the most brutal years of the Clone Wars did not take such a toll on him.

His musing were cut short by movement to his right. An old Xhillian rushed down the street, muttering about the infernal heat. Xhillians were a long-lived species, easily matching a Hutt. By the mottled gray skin of this one, he was obviously past the 500-year mark. And yet, he moved faster than a newly hatched spawn.

The bearded man pretended to study the same baubles that fascinated the boy, watching the Xhillian’s reflection on the unwashed pane. A moment later, his suspicions proved correct — there was a brief flash of silver on the old being’s sleeve. The split-second glint would have been unnoticeable to most, but not to the watcher. It was the unmistakable silhouette of a holdout blaster.

Slowly he turned. The Xhillian glanced once in his direction before hurrying on, intent on pursuing the same quarry. That was his fatal mistake.

After making sure there were no additional eyes on the street, the watcher lashed out, catching the alien midstride. The blaster, already primed for action, fell from his robe.

The Xhillian’s gray hide briefly flashed yellow in alarm. As the blaster clattered loudly on the ferrocrete, his skin took on a deep crimson red. Anger.

The two figures faced each other in the canyon of the alley: one snarling, the other quietly confident.

In the blink of an eye, the red alien raised his other sleeve, revealing a second holdout blaster. But the tanned human was faster — before the arm was even halfway up, its owner was already embedded with three prongs of a Kamino saberdart, coated with their trademark poison.

The Xhillian fell. The human remained standing over his quickly graying corpse.

The only witness to the duel was a hunched beggar, who quickly learned to look away and mind his own business.

The watcher hurried on to catch the boy. Four down so far, several more to go. Dusk was quickly approaching.

As he moved, he turned to look back at the being whose life he just took. Unlike before, the man no longer felt any pangs of regret, no sudden bouts of conscience in his new role. His head swung back to his fair-haired quarry. The Xhillian was already the past — he had to focus on the present.

As he did, a sudden tingle of alarm gripped him, the same sense that enabled him to survive all throughout the Clone Wars and the turbulent period that followed. There was something familiar about that beggar.

Just as he turned to look, a sudden flash of emerald brilliance bathed the street, before being quickly extinguished. The watcher looked at the cauterized hole on his chest, gasped, and staggered.

A hand steadied him. The old beggar.

“Quietly now, my friend.”

The man looked up at a face much like his own. Graying beard, tanned skin, crisscrossing lines of worry permanently etched by years of hardship and countless battles. But the blazing blue eyes were unmistakable.

The shadows deepened and dusk settled. As his breathing shallowed and faded, the watcher mused on the irony of it all. After three long years, he had finally tracked his ticket to a Core promotion: the rumored son of Skywalker himself. Only to be caught by the boy’s real guardian, a figure who was long thought to be dead. A figure that he had served with during the Clone Wars, no less.

Before he slipped into oblivion, the watcher’s last thought was how bitterly unfair it was that the Emperor or anyone in the ISB would never know what he discovered.

Overhead, the twin suns set. The old beggar blended back in the shadows, as the boy and his adoptive guardians went on their way, across the undulating sands of the Dune Sea.

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The Right Mix

Lora Hex smiled. After six long years, the seeds of her revenge were ready to be planted.

It had taken six long years to turn abstract idea into actionable reality, an idea that began its first stirrings as soon as she was taken from the New Republic world of Poctoris.

It had taken half that long for the First Order to trust her with a task other than mere theory building and paperplast shuffling. On the third year of her forced servitude, the former Sr. Researcher of Profile Training and Psychoanalysis was finally promoted. From mere lab hand, Lora slowly climbed the ladder back to junior analyst in her new home, the Star Destroyer Ravager.

It helped that half of the FO scientists were moronic yes-men who wouldn’t have passed the first year admission exams in a Republic institution, much less wear a lab coat. It also helped that she began sleeping with the vessel’s Director of Science, a morbidly obese man whose academic credentials consisted of being related to the sector Moff.

On the fourth year, she gained clearance to the tightly guarded Recruit Training Program, the First Order’s conditioning process for the conscripted soldiers that formed its military backbone. Lora felt a special kinship with these recruits — like her, they were forcibly taken from their homeworlds, never to see their families again. Unlike her, the “blaster fodders” were taken at a very young age, the better to mold them for a lifetime of unquestioning service to the Order.

At first limited to observer status, within six months Lora became Program Assistant. Her meteoric rise came from improvements she made in the regimen’s Logical Reasoning, Cortex Development and Abstract Thinking classifications.

On the fifth year, the death of her elderly superior catapulted Lora into the position of Program Head, Level 1 Recruit Training and Conditioning. It was the break she was looking for.

She began with minuscule changes to the basic regimen. A slight tweak to the Creativity course here, a small dip in the Obedience programming there. All over her various postings, Lora sabotaged the conditioning process of FO foot soldiers more effectively than any Republic battle fleet or resistance spy. Approximately 120 new graduates of the FC batch on the fortress world of Thosis II received a boost in independent thinking. Onboard the Decimator, 70 recruits of the FL batch were given a sense of survival, while 30 new FN troopers destined for the Finalizer were given a moral conscience. The First Order wanted the perfect stormtrooper: smart, unquestioning, and uncaring. Lora was giving them the exact opposite.

Unfortunately, her sabotage was shortlived. After several incidents of insubordination among the FC batch, the entire wing was sent to a penal colony for reconditioning. Of the FL batch, an attempted mutiny by FL-1366 led to the summary execution of six squads and the whole legion’s quarantine. In her zeal to topple the enemy from within, Lora’s altered troopers stood out like flashing distress beacons and were ruthlessly suppressed.

But not anymore. On her sixth year, Lora Hex finally found the right mix for her revenge. The latest batch was independent enough to think without being hardheaded, creative enough to adapt while seeming obedient, and ethically aware without being obvious. Best of all, they were programmed with a delayed fuse. Instead of being fanatically opposed to tyranny like the first ones, the new ones will blend in and quietly disrupt the First Order from within.

The FU batch was her crowning gift to the powers that destroyed her life.

As Lora closed her datapad, the door to her cabin chimed, announcing the arrival of unexpected guests. On the monitor, two black-clad agents of the dreaded Internal Security Directorate stood waiting outside, alongside a handful of naval troops. After two years of causing havoc, the ISD had finally caught on to her.

Lora Hex looked out her window. She closed her eyes, imagining she could see the emerald seas of Poctoris one last time, rather than the featureless gray of a warship’s bulkhead. She reached for a button under the desk.

The soundless explosion briefly blossomed from the destroyer’s right flank, incinerating Lora, the two ISB agents, a whole detention squad, and all historical records of Recruit Training and Conditioning, Level 1.