10 Things You May Not Have Known About R2-D2 and C-3PO

Did you know that R2-D2 and C-3PO make a cameo in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark? They can be seen in hieroglyphics on a wall.

One of the great things about the Star Wars universe is the way characters are paired up. There’s Luke and Leia, Han and Chewie, Vader and Sidious – and of course, R2-D2 and C-3PO.

These two droids are some of the most iconic characters in sci-fi history, let alone just in Star Wars.

They’ve been through countless adventures together, always finding themselves right in the middle of the action.

Here are ten interesting facts about these two iconic droids!

R2-D2’s design was the subject of a lawsuit between Universal and Fox.

George Lucas was inspired by the droids in the 1972 sci-fi movie Silent Running when designing R2-D2. The resemblance was so close that Universal Studios sued Lucas for copyright infringement. However, the suit was dropped when Fox pointed out the similarities between Star Wars and Universal’s Battlestar Galactica.

Personally, I think the gonk droids look more like the ones from Silent Running than R2-D2 does. But that’s just my opinion.

Obi-Wan Kenobi remembered R2-D2 in A New Hope.

There’s a bit of a continuity error in A New Hope when Obi-Wan claims he doesn’t remember R2-D2. However, this is contradicted by the prequels. It’s possible that Obi-Wan was being evasive when he said “I don’t seem to remember ever owning a droid” – he never actually denied knowing R2-D2.

In the novel Star Wars: A New Hope – The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy, Han sees Obi-Wan beckon R2-D2 over while Luke is practicing with his lightsaber. Obi-Wan strokes R2-D2’s head and says “It’s good to fly with you again, my old friend.” This moment nicely ties up a loose end in the Star Wars saga.

R2-D2’s name came from the set of American Graffiti.

While working on the script for Star Wars during the production of George Lucas’s 1973 film American Graffiti, Lucas fell asleep in his room. During his nap, sound editor Walter Murch called out for Reel 2, Dialogue Track 2, using the abbreviation “R-2-D-2.” Lucas was awakened by the request and asked Murch to repeat it. After hearing it again, Lucas thought it was a “great name” and returned to working on his script. It was a stroke of luck that the beloved little droid with a foul mouth was named R2-D2!

R2-D2 is George Lucas’s favorite character.

In the commentary for Revenge of the Sith, Lucas admitted that Artoo is his favorite character from the Star Wars franchise. He said that he always makes sure that Artoo saves the day at least once in each film because he loves the droid so much. Throughout the films, Artoo performs heroic acts, such as repairing the shields on the Queen’s ship in The Phantom Menace, saving Padme from the droid foundry on Geonosis in Attack of the Clones, operating the elevator for Obi-Wan and Anakin and distracting Grievous in Revenge of the Sith, getting the Death Star plans to the Rebellion and stopping the trash compactor in A New Hope, and smuggling Luke’s lightsaber to the Sarlacc pit and throwing it to him when he’s fighting Jabba’s goons in Return of the Jedi. Considering all of the heroic actions Artoo performs throughout the Lucas-era Star Wars films, it’s no surprise that Lucas has a soft spot for Artoo over all the other characters.

R2-D2 and C-3PO were inspired by comic duo Laurel and Hardy.

The characters and the dynamic of the relationship the two droids share was heavily influenced by the slapstick comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. When comparing the mischievous, bullish Artoo to the uptight, clumsy English Threepio, the parallels between Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are easily drawn. George Lucas was also heavily inspired by Japanese films, and so it’s no surprise that the characters Tahei and Matashichi from Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film, The Hidden Fortress, also influenced the creation of R2-D2 and C-3PO. Lucas aimed to bring the perspective of the film’s lowliest characters to Star Wars through the eyes of these two droids.

Both R2-D2 & C-3PO have appeared in multiple films outside the Star Wars franchise.

As two of Sci-Fi’s most recognizable icons, Artoo and Threepio have made many non-canon cameos over the years.

Artoo can be spotted in the 2009 reboot of “Star Trek” and its sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness,” where he briefly appears flying in space debris. This droid also makes minor cameo appearances in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “Ready Player One,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and “Wreck-It Ralph” sequel “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” Additionally, Artoo and C-3PO even appeared together on an episode of “Sesame Street.” While C-3PO is known for his famous line, “I am fluent in over six million forms of communication,” he now boasts the ability to communicate in over seven million forms after his TranLang III communication module was upgraded. Interestingly, Anthony Daniels, the actor who plays C-3PO, initially did not want to portray a robot on-screen but changed his mind after seeing conceptual paintings of the character. Vader and Threepio come into contact with no recognition of each other in “Empire Strikes Back,” much like Artoo and Obi Wan in “A New Hope.”

Threepio’s memory was erased at the end of “Revenge of the Sith,” so he wouldn’t know who Darth Vader is. However, an Imperial officer brings Vader Threepio’s remains in the short story “Thank The Maker.” In a flashback, young Anakin finds Threepio’s head in Watto’s junkyard and convinces his mother to let him keep and repair the droid. In present time, Vader holds Threepio’s deactivated head and orders the officers to return it to Chewbacca’s cell. This shows that Vader still cares for Threepio and wants him to be with someone who will care for him. Threepio’s red arm in “The Force Awakens” is a tribute to a droid friend who sacrificed himself. In the comic “The Phantom Limb,” Threepio is part of a mission to rescue Admiral Ackbar and survives a crash with Omri and four other droids. Along the way, Omri questions the ethics of droid usage and remarks on the fragility of life when one’s memory can be wiped at a master’s whim.

The protagonist of the story, C-3PO, believes that he has undergone multiple memory wipes which makes him question the significance of his past lives. He expresses his thoughts in a monologue similar to the one in “Tears in Rain”. C-3PO recalls memories of places like a droid factory, a battle arena, and a city, and suffers from memories of his past. Threepio loses his arm in a fight with creatures, leaving him and Omri as the only survivors. They finally reach the transmitter, but it starts raining acid, which will destroy the transmitter if they don’t act quickly. Omri tells Threepio that he is not changing sides, but chooses friendship, and transfers Ackbar’s location to him. Omri sacrifices himself by walking into the acid rain to send a signal to Poe Dameron, ensuring C-3PO’s survival. In the end, Threepio takes Omri’s red arm, which was revealed after the acid rain ate away at his blue paint, and this is the same arm that we see in “The Force Awakens”.

FAQ

1. What are R2-D2 and C-3PO?

R2-D2 and C-3PO are two of the most iconic droids in the Star Wars franchise. R2-D2 is an astromech droid, designed for repairing and maintaining starships, while C-3PO is a protocol droid, programmed for etiquette, diplomacy, and translation.

2. Who created R2-D2 and C-3PO?

The characters of R2-D2 and C-3PO were created by George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars franchise. They were designed by Ralph McQuarrie and built by Tony Dyson and John Stears, respectively.

3. What are some of R2-D2’s abilities?

R2-D2 is known for his versatility and resourcefulness. He can hack into computer systems, repair machinery, and even project holographic messages. He also has a built-in rocket booster that allows him to fly short distances.

4. What are some of C-3PO’s quirks?

C-3PO is known for his overly polite and formal manner of speaking. He is also easily flustered and prone to complaining. Despite this, he is a loyal and dependable companion to his human counterparts.

5. What are some memorable moments featuring R2-D2 and C-3PO?

R2-D2 and C-3PO have been a part of many iconic moments in the Star Wars franchise. Some of their most memorable moments include R2-D2’s role in delivering the Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance in A New Hope, and C-3PO’s encounter with the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi.

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