R2-D2 is a character in the Star Wars franchise. This is one of very few characters to appear not only in the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy, but in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One. He is an R2 series astromech droid, serving as C-3PO's counterpart. Throughout the course of the films, he joins or supports Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi in various points in the saga.
The late English actor Kenny Baker played R2-D2 in all three original Star Wars films, and received billing credit for the character in the prequel trilogy, where Baker's role was reduced, as R2-D2 was portrayed mainly by radio controlled props and/or CGI models. In the sequel trilogy, Baker was credited as consultant for the The Force Awakens, though Jimmy Vee performed the character in some scenes. After Baker's death, Vee later fully took over the role, beginning in The Last Jedi. R2 has been operated by John Stears, Brian Johnson, Kit West, Don Bies, Grant Imahara, Jolyon Bambridge, Oliver Steeples, and Lee Towersey.
R2-D2, possibly due to his memory never being erased or reprogrammed, has more personality than other droids, R2 is very loyal and courageous, and though he is not designed for combat, he is not afraid to fight when the situation demanded it. When forced into combat R2 held his own by using his wide variety of mechanical features to serve as weapons.
General Grievous noted that he possesses a defiant and quirky personality. It has been heavily suggested that in his numerous interactions with C-3PO that R2 has a spunky, if not sarcastic sense of humor. He also seems to have little reservations of behaving in such a matter.
R2-D2 is known for his loyal, courageous, and assertive personality. While R2-D2 is not designed for combat, R2-D2 is still able to hold himself well in a fight on several occasions during the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War. Unlike his fastidious and worry-prone protocol counterpart C-3PO, R2-D2 has an adventurous spirit and was able to cope well under challenging circumstances. Unlike C-3PO, he is able to keep secrets and employ deception to achieve his masters' goals. Due to his resourcefulness and quick-thinking nature, R2-D2 acquitted himself well during a number of difficult and challenging missions including repairing the Naboo Royal Starship's shield generator, preventing T-7 ion disruptor rifles from falling into the hands of the Empire, and delivering Luke's lightsaber during a mission to rescue Han Solo and Chewbacca from Jabba the Hutt.
While certainly not a war droid, R2-D2 has shown reasonable skills in self defense. When forced into combat R2 held his own by using his wide variety of mechanical features to serve as weapons, such as using oil to blind his opponents or make them slip, shocking them with his shock prod, tying them up in a cable or simply bashing into them.
The Phantom Menace
R2-D2 is first seen being introduced to Gungan exile Jar Jar Binks, before rushing to the ship's hull to fix the shield generator. Although most of the astromechs are shot down, R2 makes the repair. He is thanked for his service and cleaned by Queen Padme Amidala, who at the time was disguised as a handmaiden. He then accompanies Padme, Jar Jar, and Qui-Gon Jinn to Tatooine, during which by the time he is introduced to C-3PO. He also flies with Anakin Skywalker in a space battle waged during the Battle of Naboo. He is last seen at the Naboo's victory parade.
Attack of the Clones
R2 accompanied Anakin Skywalker, who was now a Jedi apprentice, and Padme Amidala, who was now a Senator, to Naboo to hide from assassins paid to assassinate Padme. He also returned to Tatooine with them, where he was reunited with C-3PO, who had been given coverings and now lived on the Lars Farm with Shmi Skywalker who married Cliegg Lars. He remained on the farm with Padme when Anakin set off on an ultimately foiled attempt to rescue his mother. When a message from Obi-Wan Kenobi informed he was in trouble on Geonosis, R2-D2 accompanied Anakin, Padme, and 3PO on a rescue mission. Despite being told to stay with the ship, R2 went out to follow them despite 3PO's disapproval and attempts to stop him. The two droids found their way to the Droid factory where he rescued Padme from a vat of molten rock. Somehow, he found his way to the Geonosian Arena, where he found 3PO had lost his head which was placed on the body of a B-1 Battle Droid and is pinned down by Kit Fisto, while his body was given a Battle Droid head. R2-D2 was able to retrieve his head and place it back onto his body, restoring him as only he could. After the battle of Geonosis and the beginning of the Clone Wars, R2 served as a witness to Anakin and Padme's secret marriage alongside 3PO.
Revenge of the Sith
R2-D2 plays a large role in the Battle of Coruscant, albeit what is seen of it on-screen. After landing in the ship, R2 helps Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to locate their target of rescue, Chancellor Palpatine. He also attempts to aid the Jedi when the elevator they are in proves faulty, but is intercepted by two super battle droids. However, he creates his popular "fiery surprise" and jets away. Soon after, he helps land the Invisible Hand, and also accompanies Anakin to Coruscant and later Mustafar, though his current awareness of his master's conversion to the dark side is unknown. After Darth Vader (Anakin's new alias) injures Padme Amidala, R2 and 3PO help get her to the ship.
A New Hope
When Princess Leia's ship was under attack and captured by an Imperial Star Destroyer, she inserted secret plans of the Empire's moon-sized battle station, the Death Star, into R2 and given the task to deliver them to the Rebel Alliance. He made his escape in a escape pod to Tatooine with his companion C-3PO and soon after crash landing on surface, R2 proceeded with his mission and headed for the rocky area while 3PO went his own way into the open desert, out of annoyance with him. Unfortunately, R2 was captured and salvaged by Jawas and sold him along with C-3PO to Owen Lars and met Luke Skywalker, Anakin's son.
While Luke was cleaning R2, he accidentally caused him to project a part of Princess Leia's message to former Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was now under the name of Ben Kenobi. R2-D2 later escaped from the farm and went out looking for Obi-Wan, but Luke and 3PO soon caught up with him and were attacked by Tusken Raiders. Luckily Obi-Wan showed up just in time to save them and after taking refuge at his hut, he presented Leia's full message asking him to help the Rebel Alliance in their fight against the empire. After the loss of Luke's family, R2 accompanied him and Obi-Wan to Mos Eisley where they would find a ship to take them to Alderaan. They hired Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, and his first mate Chewbacca to take them, but upon arriving, they found the entire planet destroyed by the Empire's super weapon. Their ship was eventually caught in the Death Star's tractor beam and brought aboard.
The crew managed to avoid capture and made their way to one of the command stations. R2 plugged into the network and located the main controls to the power beams that was holding the ship and noted by 3PO, the ship would be able to get pass the tractor beam if there was a power loss at one of the terminals. Soon after Obi-Wan left to take out the tractor beam, R2 also discovered Princess Leia was also aboard the Death Star and being held prisoner. While Han, Luke, and Chewbacca went off to rescue her, R2 and 3PO stayed behind. However they had to move away from their current position after a squadron of Stormtroopers forced their way in, but didn't suspect anything from the two droids. Hiding behind crates in the main hanger where the Falcon was, R2 operated a nearby terminal where he saved Luke, Han, Chewbacca, and Leia from being crushed by the garbage-compactors. Soon R2 and 3PO were regrouped with the crew, and R2 witnessed the death of Kenobi. Afterwards, he escaped aboard the Millennium Falcon to Yavin 4 where R2 presented the Death Star plans to the Alliance and planned out the attack for the attack squadron. R2 accompanied Luke in the attack on the Death Star and during the run down the trench he was shot and dismantled by Darth Vader, but the battle was victorious when Luke successfully destroyed the Death Star. He was soon repaired just in time to witness Luke and Han being awarded with medals for their heroism.
Return of the Jedi
R2-D2 goes to Jabba's palace with C-3PO on Tatooine. Here, Luke gives them to Jabba the Hutt temporarily as a ploy that he means no harm. R2 is aware of this, but 3PO is not. R2 is forced by EV-9D9 to serve drinks on Jabba's sail barge, an indignity to his potential. However, R2 gives Luke his lightsaber, allowing everyone to escape after the sail barge is destroyed. Later on, R2-D2 joins the Rebels on Endor.
Luke spent the subsequent decades rebuilding the Jedi Order, but his dream was delayed by his nephew Ben Solo, who massacred his fellow students after succumbing to the dark side. R2-D2 was present at the burning of the Temple Luke built; his master placed his hand on his trusted astromech as he knelt and wept.
Thirty years after the Battle of Endor and a short time after Luke went into exile, R2-D2 went into a self-imposed low-power mode in order to recuperate from decades of uninterrupted operation, having not operated at peak efficiency for several years prior. In a sort of semi-retirement, his celebrated status in the early Rebellion protected him from becoming spare parts as newer and more advanced droid models had become the norm for starship support duty. In his low-power mode, R2 sifted through the immense stores of data he had downloaded from the computers of the first Death Star; the entirety of the Imperial database, entering a state akin to dreaming.
Shortly after the attack on Starkiller Base, he overheard Rey stating that the First Order had recovered the missing part of a map that revealed Luke Skywalker's location from Imperial records. R2 promptly reactivated after years of hibernation, and searched his records and found that he had previously downloaded this map while upon the first Death Star. Projecting the map into the room, R2 matched his map with the piece that BB-8 held. He subsequently accompanied Rey and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon to Ahch-To, the planet identified as Luke's final destination.
During the beginning of the Galactic Civil War, R2-D2 and C-3PO were at the Rebel Alliance's base on Yavin 4, witnessing the Rebel fleet leave for Scarif, to assist Rogue One in stealing the plans to the Death Star.
Along with C-3PO, R2 makes an appearance in a segment about Mickey Mouse's television career.
Along with C-3PO, R2 appears in one small part where C-3PO explains how important speech clarity is for survival while admitting there are exceptions to the rule, such as Donald Duck's speech, which R2 can apparently understand pretty well.
R2 and C-3PO make an appearance in the ANT Farm episode "ScavANTger Hunt".
R2 and 3PO accompanied Minister Tua to Garel where she was on her way to pick up a shipment of illegal T-7 Ion Disruptors. Upon their arrival, C-3PO and R2-D2 were present when the Rebels stole the Disruptors. during the gunfire against Zeb and the Stormtroopers, R2 followed Chopper and boarded the Ghost with 3PO and journeyed back to Lothal.
While aboard, R2 secretly recorded the Rebel's activity for his master, Bail Organa and during the ambush he helped Sabine come up with a plan to destroy the Disruptors by overloading them. Soon after escaping the Imperials, the Rebels returned R2 and 3PO were safely to Senator Organa and while 3PO went off to shut down, R2 shared his findings with his master.
R2-D2 was heard in the onboard soundtracks for the PeopleMover and its replacement, Rocket Rods, as those attractions' respective vehicles passed through Star Tours at Disneyland. The most widely accepted story is that he and C-3PO retired to Star Tours sometime after the events of Return of the Jedi.
In Hong Kong Disneyland, R2-D2 had began its meet-and-greet sessions in Star Wars: Command Post (where replaced Stitch Encounter), during Star Wars: Tomorrowland Takeover event start at June 11, 2016, as part of its 10th anniversary celebration.
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
R2-D2 is the astromech for the StarSpeeder 1000 and one of the main characters throughout the ride. R2 seems to have more control over the ship than C-3PO does, and seems to veer the ship out of sticky situations, such as electrocuting a sea monster that attempts to eat the ship, tasing a buzz droid, or helping escape Darth Vader's force grip. He is also seen in the queue.
- R2-D2 was loosely based on Matashichi (Kamatari Fujiwara) from Akira Kurosawa's 1957 film The Hidden Fortress. Like Matashichi, R2 is small, impish, and practical. However, he's smarter, more courageous, more selfless, and more morally sound. George Lucas never paid Fujiwara for basing his character off of him, and Fujiwara never commented on the Star Wars films in comparison to The Hidden Fortress.
- R2-D2 and C-3PO are the only Star Wars characters to appear in every Star Wars film to date, including Rogue One.