We recently pondered the question of which Star Wars character just may have been the most influential in the film saga. I presented some arguments, which I thought were pretty well reasoned, I might add, that none other than the centuries-old wookiee co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon could make a stake on the claim. Well, you fans answered pretty emphatically with your thoughts on the subject. Today we examine your choice for most influential character in Star Wars: R2-D2.

R2-D2

The feisty little astromech has now appeared in every film and television era of the Star Wars saga, including even a brief appearance in Star Wars: Rebels. Over that span he’s been electrocuted (a few times) shot, lost, kidnapped, and even swallowed by a swamp monster. With dedication and perseverance, Artoo’s résumé is nothing if not impressive.

R2-D2 in the Prequel/Clone Wars Era.

R2-D2

Artoo proved his toughness when he was the only astromech to survive the harrowing dash through the Trade Federation’s blockade of Naboo, thus ensuring the survival of both Obi-Wan Kenobi and the future mother of the most famous twins born into the galaxy far, far away. This act of course also assures a chance meeting with Anakin Skywalker. We all know how that turned out.

R2-D2

Artoo’s importance grew throughout the Clone Wars. Anakin, averse to following Republic protocol, refused to wipe the astromech’s memory, making the droid’s databanks vital in the fight against the Separatists. Artoo would also prove instrumental in Anakin’s and Obi-Wan’s rescue of the Chancellor, freeing all three to continue on their paths of destiny… for better or worse.

The Original Trilogy/Rebellion Years.

A single-minded determination kept the little droid on mission: deliver the Death Star plans to Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine. He did just that, and later proved crucial in finding Princess Leia aboard the Death Star, and taking a laser blast for the team during Luke’s trench run.

Again Artoo comes to the rescue in Episode V. A quick conversation with Cloud City’s main computer tells him that the Falcon’s hyperdrive is offline; he fixes it, allowing Luke, Leia, Chewie and Lando to escape. In Return of the Jedi, he even serves as an undercover agent, infiltrating Jabba’s palace. Later, he’d launch Luke’s Lightsaber into the Jedi’s hand to effectuate Han’s rescue. Han, of course, goes on to lead the successful mission to deactivate the Death Star’s shield generator.