Monday, January 22, 2007

R2-D2 and Chewbacca: True Heroes of the Rebellion

Keith Martin's 2005 essay "A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope: Reconsidering Star Wars IV in the light of I-III" reconstructs and theorizes some of the characters and plot points of "A New Hope" given what we know from the prequels.

With the amount of insight and knowledge about of the rise of the Empire, and the need for a well executed rebellion, Keith postulates that R2-D2 and Chewbacca are key field agents who keep the rebellion moving in the right direction.
"Wherever 3PO goes, being as loud and obvious as he always is, his unobtrusive little counterpart goes with him. 3PO is R2's front man. Wherever they land, R2 is passing messages between rebel sympathisers and sizing up governments as potential rebel recruits - both by personal contact and by hacking into their networks. He passes his recommendations on to Organa."
The behaviour of Obi-Wan and Yodo is also best explained by their fear of what Luke might become.
"On first seeing R2, Obi-Wan has a twinkle in his eye and calls him "my little friend". Well, he is. However, when Luke wakes up and says that R2 claimed to be owned by an Obi-Wan Kenobi, he blandly says "I don't seem to remember ever owning a droid." Ben has in fact owned several but the remark is aimed at R2 and translates as "You keep quiet. I'm not about to tell him everything just yet." Obi-Wan thinks fast and tells Luke a version of his past that does not involve a father who became a dark lord of the Sith. He wants to examine Luke a lot more closely before he risks telling him the real truth"
It makes for a very compelling read, and fits into the "R2-D2" as "Samwise Gamgee" theory I've heard before.

[Link] via Boing Boing.

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