Tuesday, May 12, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 11: Favorite Droid

If you have to even guess which droid is my favorite, we may have to renegotiate our terms of friendship. I'm only half-joking here.

Via Robots and Androids
Because yep, it's definitely R2-D2. His childishness and clever nature have been remarked upon before, but that really is what makes him so endearing. He's like a German Shepherd: loyal, impish, and intelligent off the charts. I always thought it was a brilliant move on George's part to have the first part of A New Hope to be from his and Threepio's perspectives, taking the part of the two bumbling farmers from Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, and they - particularly Artoo - fit well within the other narratives of the following films, developing complex relationships with their human counterparts. Artoo was more than a robot who cooed and whistled for attention. He was just as much a person as Luke or Leia.

And yet, when I saw Artoo make his first appearance in The Phantom Menace, I had conflicting feelings. While it was nice to see something familiar, it seemed like cheating to me and also didn't really fit into the canon that George Lucas had created in the original films. I don't buy for one second that Ben "forgot" about Artoo, and Anakin/Darth Vader of all people should have recognized the little fucker. I don't care how many years had passed. Moreover, like I said just two sentences ago, everything about it appeared to be George Lucas taking the easy way out. Instant connection with no work whatsoever! I'm all for expanding on a well-known character (Obi-Wan, for instance), but there has to be a purpose beyond mere fan service. Do we get any new insights into Artoo? Not really, except that, for some reason, Bail Organa decided that the little astrodroid didn't need to get his databanks wiped, unlike the neurotic Threepio.

Oh, and don't even get me started on C-3P0. That will just send me into a blind rage.

Regardless of the shameless pimping of the character in the prequels, Artoo still brings a smile to my lips. I even have his little whistle as one of my notification sounds on my phone (as does Sister Person, I believe), and I'll occasionally try my hand at imitating him. Now I just need to get a little statuette of him or something to decorate my soon-to-be closet office.

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