Friday, January 31, 2014

R2D2 (Star Wars Character Thoughts)

More Thoughts: Intro, C3PO, R2D2, Qui-Gon, Obi Wan, Anakin, Padme, Han, Chewy, The Emperor, Yoda, Vader, Luke

We all love R2D2. Perhaps it is because he is little and cute and makes funny noises. Maybe it is the way he argues with C3PO (and everyone else) or the funny stubbornness he exhibits. He is always in the right place at the right time and, even though it is his function to do so, he always seems to be able to overcome normal odds to fix any technological problem.

In the original films, he is always one step ahead of his counterpart. He has been given a special mission—whether it is to find Obi-Wan or to spring a trap on Jaba the Hutt or whatever—and he is going to accomplish it despite any hurdles or snags in the way. His extraordinary determination is especially visible in is introduction in “The Phantom Menace.” When he first appears in the overarching storyline, he is just one of many repair droids on Amidala’s ship. However, where all the others fail in an effort to repair damage to the ship, and are destroyed in the attempt, R2 survives and astounds the pilots with his unconventional solution. From that point on, R2 is a constant companion to our heroes. And he does not just provide solutions to technical issues. He seems to genuinely care for his masters, and exhibits a loyalty and self-sacrifice that is odd in a machine—albeit an intelligent one.

And that is what makes R2D2 a special and beloved character. He does not see himself as a tool designed to fulfill a function. He goes above and beyond that function to find purpose. He takes on the mission presented to him. He cares about the people in his life and fights for them and the good in their cause, without regard for the limitations of his programing or the safety of his own existence.

R2D2 is more than just a cute, cool character we all love and for whom we should root. He is a great example and a character we could all use for inspiration. Life is so much more than function. It is not just a series of impulses and drive that we slavishly follow. We have a purpose and plan to fulfill.

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