Monday, August 27, 2012

Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (SW 1978-79)

R2-D2, part of the original 12. This is one of those figures that my opinion of changed over time. I liken it to Garfield comic strips. When I was a kid, they were hilarious. As I got older though, I realized just how unfunny it was. I cannot figure out if my sense of humor became more refined, or that Garfield kept repeating the same jokes over and over (okay, you like lasagna and hate Mondays - can we move onto something else!). My point being, when I was a kid I liked this figure, when I got older however...

Yes, R2-D2 is a core character, and yes, I realize that the detail on his body could really only be accurately done with a decal. But still, when I got older, I realized this character kind of, well, sucked. First of all, where is the third leg? The only way to get an R2 with a third leg in the original line was to buy the Droid Factory Playset. He used that third leg most of the time in the movies! Second, the head detail only vaguely resembles his real head - and they never changed it. Not when they made Sensorscope R2 and not when they made Lightsaber-popping R2. Can you even put the R2 figure in an X-Wing? No! That feature is already built in. You had to wait until the Y-Wing was produced during ROTJ before you could put an astromech droid in a vehicle.

Okay, after all that, why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. It's R2, despite all his flaws, he's a core character. Who's going to shut down the trash compactor on your Death Star playset?

2. You can let Jawas shoot his ass.

3. That shiny, shiny head. I like shiny objects. Tin Man's my favorite.

4. His head clicks when turned, kind of like that barn door on your Fisher-Price farm set that "mooed."

5. R2 figure vs. Yoda figure in a no-holds-barred knockdown fight over Luke's X-Wing kit lantern! Who will win: the swiss-army droid or the 900-year-old Jedi Master? You decide!


R2, like most astromech-class (so-called because they could plug into many starships and aid with navigation and other duties) was built by Industrial Automaton maybe around 33 years before the first movie (age debated). At the time of "The Phantom Menace" he was owned by the Royal Engineers of Naboo, and the rest is history. He saved the Queen, ended up with Anakin, then Bail Organa, a bunch of owners (in the cartoon series Droids), then back to Bail, then to Luke and so on. In the novels after the movies, R2 eventually reveals details and footage of Anakin and Padme to Luke and Leia, since he never underwent a memory wipe like C-3PO did. In stories about Luke's descendants, R2 was still in use at least 137 years after the first movie's events.

Want the full story? His Wookieepedia article

8th in alphabetical order

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