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