R2-D2 is, without any doubt, one of the most loyal, courageous, and trustworthy companions in the Star Wars saga. He witnessed the secret marriage of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala, traveled with Yoda to the eerie Wellspring of Life, and was Luke Skywalker’s sidekick through galaxy-changing adventures. He may have been called an overweight glob of grease, a nearsighted scrap pile, and a malfunctioning little twerp by his best friend. But R2-D2 is so much more than that. Here are five of his greatest moments.
1. “Show me what you have on your rebels.” — Bail Organa
About five years before the destruction of the Death Star, R2-D2 and C-3PO were sent to Lothal by Bail Organa to assist Governor Arihnda Pryce in settling an Imperial arms deal between Minister Tua and the Aqualish Amda Wabo. The droids were taken from Garel to Lothal by the crew of the Ghost who were stealing deadly T-7 ion disrupters from the Empire. At the end, R2-D2 didn’t just help the crew to defend their position against Agent Kallus and his troops at Cikatro Vizago’s rendezvous point — he had been secretly gathering intelligence on the rebels on behalf of Bail Organa, who kept watching their activities along with agent Fulcrum. (Star Wars Rebels, “Droids in Distress”)
2. “Artoo, you are the bravest droid I ever met.” — Colonel Meebur Gascon
Near the end of the Clone Wars, R2-D2 became part of D-Squad, a special team of droids led by Colonel Meebur Gascon. D-Squad eventually managed to board the Republic cruiser Renown above Abafar. Unbeknownst to Gascon and his team, the cruiser was rigged with highly explosive rhydonium, meant to destroy Valor Station where an important Republic war conference was about to happen. In the end, R2-D2 remained aboard the cruiser to reprogram the detonators while D-Squad was able to escape. R2-D2 succeeded and the Renown exploded before it could destroy Valor Station. Believed to have sacrificed himself, a heavily damaged R2-D2 was found in the wreckage. When he was fully functional again, R2-D2 was heartily greeted by Anakin Skywalker and by his comrades from D-Squad. (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “Point of No Return”)
3. “I can see why your master trusts you, little one.” — Mace Windu
During the Clone Wars, R2-D2 played a crucial part in saving the lives of Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu. Both Jedi were aboard the Endurance when it crashed on Vanqor after having been sabotaged by Boba Fett who wanted to avenge his father by killing Mace. Fett allied himself with fellow bounty hunters Aurra Sing, Bossk, and Castas, but R2-D2 thwarted their plans to reach the wreckage where Anakin and Mace were partially buried. After having escaped from gundarks and the bounty hunters, R2-D2 returned to the Jedi Temple in Anakin’s Jedi starfighter, just in time to warn Plo Koon and Ahsoka Tano of what had happened. After Anakin and Mace were rescued, Master Windu praised R2-D2’s loyalty. (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “R2 Come Home”)
When Luke, Han, and Chewbacca left the droids aboard the Death Star in order to rescue Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2 operated perfectly together in order to trick Imperial stormtroopers. At first, C-3PO told the stormtroopers that the invaders were heading for the prison levels and thereafter, he conned the only remaining stormtrooper into believing that R2-D2 needed maintenance. R2-D2 reminded C-3PO to reactivate the comlink when they found themselves again near Docking Bay 327. (If he didn’t the saga would’ve pretty much ended right there.) Master Luke urgently needed help and he demanded they shut down all garbage mashers on the detention level. While C-3PO was hearing nothing but screaming, he feared he had been too slow and that Master Luke had perished. However, the screaming was coming from the heroes’ joy. R2-D2 had managed to shut down the garbage mashers just in time. (Star Wars: A New Hope)
5. “I wonder what happened to poor little Artoo. He’s always getting himself into trouble.” — C-3PO
One of the closest calls when R2-D2 rescued one of his friends was when he saved Padmé Amidala from a horrible death in the Geonosian droid factory. Right before the start of the Clone Wars, Padmé and Anakin had entered the droid factory, hoping to rescue Obi-Wan Kenobi while the Jedi were on their way to Geonosis. The droid factory turned out to be a death trap, and after Anakin and Padmé got separated, the senator from Naboo fell into a large barrel — soon to be filled with lava. R2-D2 realized the danger and activated his booster rockets to cross the distance quickly, and managed to override the controls of the barrel before the lava was released. (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones)
Maybe R2-D2 did something great in your favorite episode from The Clone Wars or you really enjoyed his endeavors aboard the Invisible Hand in Revenge of the Sith? What are your favorite underrated R2-D2 moments? Let us know in the comments below!
Tim Veekhoven (Sompeetalay) from Belgium is president and co founder of TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars fanclub. He has contributed to Star Wars Insider, the Build the Millennium Falcon magazine, and has created character names and back stories for ‘What’s the Story?’ and Rogues Gallery.