In Star Wars, R2-D2’s character is mainly defined by his snarky personality. Whether he’s bickering with C-3PO or brazenly disobeying Luke’s orders, Artoo marches (or rolls around on his treads) to the beat of his own drum. Ben Burtt’s masterful sound design has given Artoo a cheeky edge with just beeps and whirs.
This little astro-droid is well-known because of his extensive collection. From his buzzsaw to his scomp link to his lightsaber ejector, what is Artoo’s best gadget?
Artoo first showed off the buzzsaw he used during Return of the Jedi’s middle act. Chewie races to eat an animal carcass that Chewie has spotted while the Rebels are walking through Endor’s forests. Han can see that it’s obviously a trap and tries to stop his Wookiee friend, but he’s too late.
Chewie grabs a carcass and sets off the trap. All of them are trapped inside a net. Thankfully, one of Artoo’s old gadgets is still functioning. The buzzsaw he releases from his chest sets everybody free. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a gadget to break their fall.
6 Fire Extinguisher
One of Artoo’s gadgets is a fire extinguisher. Whenever there’s a fire on a damaged ship or a building burning down, Artoo is there to put it out. In a galaxy full of people who constantly fire off blistering beams at one another, this fire extinguisher can be very handy.
Artoo has the ability to both spray oil slicks and fire-extinguishing fog. Revenge of the Sith showed this when Artoo used oil to get super battle robots to fall over.
Star Wars’ scomplink is an accessory that allows Astromech or BD units to hack into computers using nearby sockets. The gadget is most commonly used by R2-D2 than any other. Artoo’s Scomp Link is used to unlock all locks when Chewie or Leia try to escape Cloud City.
Artoo closes the trash compactor using his Scomp Link in one of the most challenging scenes from the original 1977 movie. The Lego Star Wars games use the scomplink to open any door with Artoo’s image on it.
4 Lightsaber Ejector
After all the Rebels’ attempts to rescue Han from Jabba’s palace fail in the opening act of Return of the Jedi, they’re all flown out to the middle of the Tatooine desert to be sacrificed to the Sarlacc Pit for the Hutt’s amusement. It’s clear that Luke has a plan up his sleeve, but it’s not clear what it is until he nods to R2-D2 up on Jabba’s barge.
Artoo reveals that he has a little internal compartment where he’s holding Luke’s lightsaber. It also contains a lightsaber-ejector. Artoo shoots Luke’s weapon out at him as he’s being made to walk the plank on Jabba’s skiff, allowing him to turn the tables on the bad guys.
From the Star Wars original movie, 1977 Star Wars movies, his holoprojector was the most crucial Artoo device. Luke Skywalker’s hero’s journey begins when his uncle buys Artoo and he uncovers a message on his hard drive in which Leia Organa says, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”After some programming, Luke discovers the message and sends it to Kenobi. Kenobi invites Luke on the journey.
If Artoo wasn’t fitted with a holoprojector — and not only that; one that can record messages as well as playing them back — then Leia wouldn’t have been able to reach out to Obi-Wan, so the Empire might’ve won and Luke might’ve never become a Jedi.
2 Electro-Shock Prod
One of Artoo’s only defensive tools is an electro-shock prod. If he’s in danger, Artoo can stick a little electric rod out of his torso to shock his attackers.
Artoo has the ability to fight using Lego Star Wars games as his sole defense. Artoo cannot stun his assailants with his electroshock prod when he’s attacked at the Mos Eisley Cantina, or any of the levels. Artoo does not do damage in one second. If Artoo is being challenged by another character, his best choice is to run away and turn back.
Attack of the Clones. C-3PO accidentally is attached to two battle-droids that aren’t fully constructed. R2-D2 saves C-3PO by flying his rocket booster across the factory floors.
While this was undeniably cool, it did leave Lucasfilm with the burden of explaining why he never used his rocket booster in the original trilogy, despite the many occasions it would’ve been useful. In the canon, it’s been explained that Artoo’s rocket booster (and most of his other gadgets) had stopped working by then and the warranty had expired.
NEXT: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About R2-D2 In Star Wars
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About the Author
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Ben Sherlock is an independent writer and comedian. Screen Rant reviews and features him. Game Rant lists and reviews him. Mando covers Melville and Mad Max. His first feature movie is in preproduction. Because filmmaking is expensive, this takes a while. In the interim, several short films are in production. His previous writing credits include Taste of Cinema, Comic Book Resources and Comic Book Resources. He is often seen performing standup in any UK pub that allows him.
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