R2-D2 (phonetically spelled Artoo-Detoo, and called "Artoo" for short), is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. An astromech droid, R2-D2 is a major character throughout all six Star Wars films. He joins or supports Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader), Obi-Wan Kenobi (portrayed by Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor), and R2-D2's droid companion C-3PO (played by Anthony Daniels) in various points in the saga. R2-D2 was played by Kenny Baker.
The original R2-D2 was designed by John Stears and specially created by Australia firm Petric Engineering and English firm C&L Developments. Many scenes also made use of radio control and CGI versions of the character. Both the original props of R2-D2 and C-3PO used in filming are used as audio-animatronics in the queue area of Disneyland's Star Tours ride.
In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, both R2-D2 and C-3PO are introduced on board the Tantive IV, along with Princess Leia of Alderaan, when they come under attack by an Imperial Star Destroyer. Leia slips R2-D2 a disc containing a distress message and the plans for the Death Star battle station and jettisons the droids in an escape pod that crashes on Tatooine.
R2-D2 and C-3PO are abducted by Jawa and bought by Owen Lars, step-uncle of Luke Skywalker. While Luke cleans the sand out of R2-D2's gears, he discovers a fragment of Leia's message, and removes the droid's restraining bolt to see more; once free of the bolt, R2 claims to have no knowledge of the message. That night, R2 leaves the farm to seek out Obi-Wan Kenobi. Soon, by way of fate, Luke is forced to leave Tatooine with Obi-Wan, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, and they attempt to deliver R2-D2 to the Rebel Alliance. Along the way, they are captured by the Death Star, but eventually rescue Leia and escape. R2-D2 delivers the plans to the Rebel Alliance, and becomes Luke's astromech droid during the attack on the station. R2 is severely damaged during the battle, but is restored before the awards ceremony at the end of the film.
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