George Lucas, the creator of the galaxy far, far away has said that the true hero of the Star Wars movies is none other than the humble droid, R2-D2. The Star Wars character has been in every instalment of the three Star Wars trilogies, beginning back in 1977 with A New Hope – one of the best movies of all time.
Having been abducted by the mischievous Jawas after landing on Tatooine, R2-D2 and C-3PO are bought by Uncle Owen and looked after by Luke Skywalker. The two droids then accompany Luke on his adventure for the remainder of the science fiction movie. R2 then takes on a role of increased importance in The Empire Strikes Back, and he joins Luke on his trip to Dagobah to see the Jedi Master Yoda.
The astromech droid also played a key role in the prequel series as Anakin Skywalker’s trusty friend. Here, R2 helped get Anakin and Obi-Wan out of plenty of sticky situations, and is in the Star Wars animated series Clone Wars as well. Finally, R2 played an (albeit smaller) role in the more recent sequel trilogy, too.
Now, a George Lucas quote from a 2005 interview with Rolling Stone has resurfaced, and Lucas states that R2 is the hero of the Star Wars action movies. Lucas said “[R2 is] ultimately the hero of the whole piece. He’s the Lassie of the movies: Whenever there’s a pivotal moment of real danger, he’s the one that gets everybody out of it.”
It’s an off-hand comment, but it’s still very revealing. And, Lucas’s comment is right. When Luke, Han, and Leia are stuck in the compacter, R2-D2 is the droid who saves the day. Equally, it’s R2 who carries Leia’s message across the galaxy.
This also ties back to the fact that R2-D2 is one of the few characters who has a role to play in every Star Wars movie in the three trilogies. The droid is, undoubtedly, one of the most important – if underrated – characters in the franchise, and we wouldn’t say no to a Star Wars series with them in the lead. For more on a galaxy far, far away, check out why The Last Jedi is the best Star Wars movie.