Stop and consider this for a moment; R2-D2 is the central character of the Star Wars saga. He is the main protagonist of both trilogies and contributed more to the epic war in the stars than most other key characters; second only to Anakin/Darth Vader himself in terms of narrative importance.
It’s true. That little bucket of bolts is at the centre of every key event in the whole saga and is the real hero of the Republic and the saviour of the Rebellion. Every time something of significance occurs, every event that happens which is a catalyst of change in the universe, every battle that sways the course of the war – there this little R2 unit will be found.
Let’s look at the facts here using just the films as source;
1. Saved Amidala’s ship while escaping the Trade Federation blockade of Naboo
2. Fought in the battle of Naboo (and integral to the Republic success)
3. Sabotaged the Droid factory on Geonosis
4. Attended the secret wedding of Anakin & Padme
5. Assisted in the rescue of Chancellor Palpatine
6. Aboard the Tantive IV and escaped capture
7. Took message to Obi-Wan Kenobi
8. Assisted in the escape from the Death Star of the next generation of rebel heroes
9. Witnessed the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi
9. Fought in the battle of Yavin IV
10. Trained with Luke on Dagobah
11. Witnessed the death of Yoda
11. Part of the infiltration team in Jabba’s Palace
12. Plays critical role in the Strike Team on the moon of Endor
Quite a catalogue of events indeed – what a brave little droid indeed.
I’m also sure that if you examined R2-D2’s activities in expanded universe material (which I’ll admit I’m not all that conversant with – I’m an original trilogy traditionalist!), what little of it I’m aware of, and there is no way anyone can deny that R2-D2 is the single most important individual in the Star Wars universe.
I’m certain that there’s some Star Wars academic or super-fanboy who’s had this revelation long before I did and examined the situation in much more detail and expressed so much more eloquently & more thoroughly researched and considered than I have. I’m writing this on a train journey commute to one of my employer’s many national offices and this little seed of a thought ( that I’ve been ruminating for sometime in the back of my mind) leapt to the forefront and writing it down (albeit briefly) made the hot, sardine-like, bum-ache of a journey a little more bearable!
I’ll Google it later, but in the meantime I hope I’ve given my little WordPress community circle some food for thought on this Wednesday… it’s an important issue after all 😉