In Star Wars, R2-D2’s character is mainly defined by his snarky personality. Whether he’s bickering with C-3PO or brazenly disobeying Luke’s orders, Artoo marches (or rolls around on his treads) to the beat of his own drum. Ben Burtt’s masterful sound design has given Artoo a cheeky edge with just beeps and whirs.
The little astro-droid is also well known for his extensive collection of weapons, gadgets, and hidden in his tincan body. From his buzzsaw to his scomp link to his lightsaber ejector, what is Artoo’s best gadget?
Artoo first showed off the buzzsaw he used during Return of the Jedi’s middle act. Chewie races to eat an animal carcass that Chewie has spotted while the Rebels are walking through Endor’s forests. Han can see that it’s obviously a trap and tries to stop his Wookiee friend, but he’s too late.
Chewie grabs a carcass and triggers a trap. The net traps the entire group. Thankfully, one of Artoo’s old gadgets is still functioning. He raises a little buzzsaw to his chest, and everyone is set free. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a gadget to break their fall.
6 Fire Extinguisher
One of Artoo’s gadgets is a fire extinguisher. Whenever there’s a fire on a damaged ship or a building burning down, Artoo is there to put it out. This fire extinguisher can be very useful in a galaxy full of people who constantly shoot blistering beams at one another.
Artoo can spray both fire-extinguishing and oil slick foam. This was demonstrated in Revenge of the Sith when Artoo used oil to make super battle droids fall over.
A scomp connection, in Star Wars, refers to a small accessory that allows astromech & BD units to hack into computers using nearby sockets. R2-D2 uses this gadget more than any other. When Chewie and Leia are trying to escape Cloud City, Artoo uses his Scomp Link.
Artoo uses the Scomp Link to shut down the trash compactor in one of the most difficult scenes from the 1977 original movie. The Lego Star Wars games use the scomplink to open any door with Artoo’s image on it.
4 Lightsaber Ejector
After all the Rebels’ attempts to rescue Han from Jabba’s palace fail in the opening act of Return of the Jedi, they’re all flown out to the middle of the Tatooine desert to be sacrificed to the Sarlacc Pit for the Hutt’s amusement. It’s clear that Luke has a plan up his sleeve, but it’s not clear what it is until he nods to R2-D2 up on Jabba’s barge.
Artoo reveals that he has a little internal compartment where he’s holding Luke’s lightsaber. The compartment also houses a lightsaber-ejector. Artoo shoots Luke’s weapon out at him as he’s being made to walk the plank on Jabba’s skiff, allowing him to turn the tables on the bad guys.
His holoprojector was the most important Artoo gadget in the Star Wars movie of 1977. Luke Skywalker’s hero’s journey begins when his uncle buys Artoo and he uncovers a message on his hard drive in which Leia Organa says, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”After some programming work Luke uncovers all the details and gives it to Kenobi. Kenobi invites Luke along for the ride.
If Artoo wasn’t fitted with a holoprojector — and not only that; one that can record messages as well as playing them back — then Leia wouldn’t have been able to reach out to Obi-Wan, so the Empire might’ve won and Luke might’ve never become a Jedi.
2 Electro-Shock Prod
One of Artoo’s only defensive tools is an electro-shock prod. If he’s in danger, Artoo can stick a little electric rod out of his torso to shock his attackers.
Artoo is able fight in fights with Lego Star Wars because this is his only defense. Artoo cannot stun an enemy with his electroshock prod if he is attacked in Mos Eisley Cantina. Artoo can only do damage once per second so if Artoo gets challenged by another character, his best bet is to just run away and turn back.
Attack of the Clones. C-3PO accidentally is attached to two battle-droids that aren’t fully constructed. R2-D2 uses his rocket booster for a rescue mission across the factory floor.
While this was undeniably cool, it did leave Lucasfilm with the burden of explaining why he never used his rocket booster in the original trilogy, despite the many occasions it would’ve been useful. In the canon, it’s been explained that Artoo’s rocket booster (and most of his other gadgets) had stopped working by then and the warranty had expired.
NEXT: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About R2-D2 In Star Wars
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About the Author
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Ben Sherlock is a comedian. He is also a writer and independent filmmaker. Screen Rant features and reviews him as well as lists of reviews and reviews for Game Rant. He also covers Melville, Mad Max, and Mando. He is currently pre-producing the first feature film. Filmmaking can be expensive so this takes a while. He is currently pre-producing several short films. He has previously written for Comic Book Resources and Taste of Cinema. He can often found performing standup in any pub across the UK.
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