Have you ever wondered how old R2-D2 is? While it is unclear exactly how long R2 has been kicking around in a galaxy far, far away, the little droid certainly has lived one heck of a life. The mainline of Star Wars films may be known as "The Skywalker Saga," but it might as well be known as "The R2-D2 Epic" because the lovable droid managed to leave his mark on the franchise in a way few characters did.
R2 is up there with Darth Vader as one of the characters who has been involved in the most influential moments of Star Wars lore. From The Phantom Menace on through to The Rise of Skywalker, R2 has wheeled his way through the stars and right on into our hearts. So, let's break down some of the most memorable moments R2-D2 has had in George Lucas's epic creation.
32 BBY: R2 Saves Queen Amidala's Cruiser While Escaping The Trade Federation Blockade
What would Stars Wars be without R2? Seriously... The Phantom Menace wouldn't have been much of a movie without the cute little astromech droid. If R2 hadn't repaired the shield generator aboard the Naboo Royal Starship, would Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Queen Amidala have made it through the Trade Federation blockade alive? Probably not. And since The Phantom Menace is technically the first entry in the film franchise (from a storyline perspective) and those characters are pretty dang important to the overall plot, R2 is pretty fundamental to all of Star Wars being a thing.
It would be R2's heroic actions on the hull of the Naboo Royal Starship that would elevate him to a member of Padmé's entourage which, in turn, led him to meet a character who would help him form one of the most iconic film duos of all time: C-3PO.
32 BBY: R2 Meets C-3PO For The First Time While On Tatooine
Did Star Wars fans need to see the event of R2-D2 and C-3PO meeting on the big screen for the first time? Probably not, but that doesn't make it any less heartwarming. Besides, that's like asking if Anakin Skywalker needed to be the one who created C-3PO, or wondering if Jar Jar Binks needed to ever exist in the first place... it doesn't matter. It's the reality we're living in.
This moment isn't necessarily the biggest in the lengthy history of R2, but it certainly is some fantastic fan service. Though, if we're on the subject, Threepio is entirely too naked for his own good.
32 BBY: R2 Was Accidentally Essential In Liberating Naboo With Anakin Skywalker Via An N-1 Starfighter
The climax of The Phantom Menace is when the 1999 film quits messing around and really kicks into full gear. You've got the iconic lightsaber fight set to John Williams's "Duel of the Fates." You've got the massive droid-Gungan fight on Naboo (marred just a little bit by Jar Jar's involvement). And you've got the prerequisite space fight between the Naboo pilots and the Trade Federation fleet.
And wouldn't you know it, Anakin Skywalker and R2-D2 end up playing a pretty big role in the liberation of Naboo when a pesky little thing called "autopilot" plops them right in the middle of the dogfight in space. R2 and Anakin promptly take out the Droid Control Ship, immediately winning the Battle of Naboo in the process.
28 BBY: R2 Accompanies Senator Amidala On Coruscant, Often Recording MeetingsPhoto: Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones / 20th Century Fox
R2's life between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones wasn't the most exciting time in the little droid's eventful existence. Unless you find the Senate meetings during the prequel trilogy to be rip-roaring entertainment. There certainly are worse fates in Star Wars lore than being a personal assistant to Padmé Amidala, don't get us wrong, but R2 is a precocious little droid with a penchant for finding trouble.
The events just before The Phantom Menace and immediately following it are the downtime of R2's life, except for when he puts himself into low-power mode as seen in The Force Awakens. But we all need a good nap now and then.