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Remember That Time R2-D2 Was So Depressed He Pounded Jell-O Shots Until Passing Out?
How else do you explain why he slept through "The Force Awakens"?
This post is part of the A Month of Star Wars series (experiment?). More info here.
I think it’s safe to say droids in Star Wars are just different. They emote. They have a sense of humor and recognize irony. Not every droid, of course. But the main ones, the ones we spend time with, are almost human-like in their reactions. That’s a large part of their charm.
R2-D2 is the OG of droids. While C-3PO is having a panic attack, R2 is doing work. R2 has been the hero more times than I care to count right now (it’s a lot though, trust me). But at the end of the day though, R2-D2 is still just a droid. It is metal and ceramic and circuitry. It doesn’t eat. Or procreate. (Though R2 was always eager to shove itself into any terminal it came across… hmm.)
Hopefully one thing we can agree on is droids don’t sleep. C-3PO talks about powering down, which I guess is maybe the equivalent of a catnap. But the idea that droids can willfully power down and ignore attempts to revive them—as in, deep sleeping—is kinda ludicrous. Imagine if you picked up your iPhone and it didn’t wake up because it was having a bad day. And continued not waking up until it was good and ready. Crazy, right?
R2 is unconscious for years. You know how after something sits in a room long enough, it sort of becomes part of the room and you stop seeing it? That’s what happened to R2-D2. Eventually, someone covers R2 with a tarp, probably because they are tired of dusting the droid, or maybe because it’s unnerving being in the same room with something that is essentially a corpse.
I’m not suggesting R2-D2 doesn’t have reasons for its extended blackout period. As we glimpse in a flashback, R2 is at Luke’s Jedi academy when it’s burned to the ground. If the arson didn’t bum R2 out, Luke sending R2 away certainly did. The little droid is straight-up depressed. We don’t know what R2 does before falling into the sort of magical slumber typically reserved for fairy tale princesses. We can only speculate about what physically drove R2 into unconsciousness. The leading contenders:
short-circuits after trying to make sense of Donnie Darko
lights some candles and takes a bath
calls to cancel its cable TV subscription but hours of disconnects, transfers, and elevator music drives it to insanity
tries to get even with “dad” by dancing on the bar at Coyote Ugly, slips in puddled beer and falls into a coma
takes a drive to clear its head but gets stuck behind someone going 30 in the passing lane
plays a game of Monopoly after the Wi-Fi goes down
realizes C-3PO is the closest thing to a spouse and just gives up
It’s all a bit ridiculous. Clearly. But so is the idea that a robot can choose to take itself offline and just as suddenly wake up, just because the plot says so.
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