R2-D2 is the favorite robot of generations of Star Wars fans.
It combines many of the most desirable attributes of synthetic creatures and as well as those of a perfect servant. His little 0.96-meter frame is packed with all sorts of tools that make him a great starship mechanic and computer interface specialist.
When the Queen's starship sustains damage to its shields, it is R2-D2 who repairs the ship. R2-D2 serves as on-board astromechanic to Anakin Skywalker and his son, Luke. R2-D2 rescues the Queen in an android factory, stopping a deadly downpour of molten metal. R2 also helps to reassemble fellow robot C3PO.
R2-D2 is crucial is assisting Luke Skywalker in a rescue mission to free the Princess from the Death Star. The little droid navigates the complex computer system to provide the rescuers with timely assistance and status updates.
R2-D2 doesn't speak human language, but its stream of chirps and whistles are quite expressive and serve to endear him to his compatriots. The secret of its charm seem to reside in its ambling, lackadaisical manner, one that we associate with someone who is relaxed and acting natural. R2-D2's spontaneity, affability, and loyalty are attributes we increasingly look for in the machines that enter our lives. He's just doing his job, not showing off. As a result of his hard work and great attitude, R2-D2 is a hero three times per episode.
Aside from serving its fictional masters, R2-D2 serves George Lucas, the writer-director of Star Wars. Lucas tells the story through the actions of this otherwise peripheral robot figure. R2-D2 carries messages between principle characters, saves them when they are in trouble. He works like Kurosawa's servant characters which are not real characters but move the narrative; we see the film through R2-D2's eyes.
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