[WARNING: contains spoilers for Chapter 16 of The Mandalorian, if you somehow haven’t yet seen it. Read on at your own risk.] Star Wars fans, especially those of the original trilogy, screamed with joy upon seeing Luke Skywalker in the second season finale of The Mandalorian. That delight grew when we saw R2-D2 role up beside him. In the scene, the fan-favorite astromech droid wiggled and beeped with excitement upon seeing Grogu. There are now two, prevailing theories about why R2-D2 reacted the way he did. We’ll explain both, and which is more likely.

The Mandalorian; Grogu; R2-D2
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

The first and more likely theory is that R2-D2 was simply excited to see another member of Yoda’s species. Even George Lucas in creating Star Wars had been elusive when it came to the Jedi Master’s origins. Until Grogu, the only other, diminutive, green-eared character we’ve seen was Jedi Master Yaddle. And remember, as far as Luke knows (at least that’s how it was portrayed in the original trilogy), Artoo had only met Yoda when they went to Dagobah.  But what if that wasn’t the reason for the droid’s reaction? What if it goes deeper?

Did R2-D2 already know Grogu before the events of ‘The Mandalorian?’

The Mandalorian; Grogu; R2-D2
Artoo is about to get very excited. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

The second theory is that Artoo knew and remembered Grogu. Thus, he was genuinely excited to see the little green guy still alive. Remember, R2-D2 spent most of his time during the Clone Wars at Anakin Skywalker’s side. It stands to reason that he might have previously encountered Grogu at the Jedi Temple, or elsewhere. Further, Anakin famously never wiped Artoo’s memory. (There’s even a whole Clone Wars story arc about that.) So, this theory does carry some weight. But… There’s always a “but.”

Mandalorian; R2-D2; Anakin Skywalker
Artoo knows everything. EV-ERY-THING. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

If the droid knew Grogu, why not express excitement? Well, despite R2-D2 retaining his memory, he never (as far as we know) revealed his past to Luke. He certainly didn’t tell Luke about Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side, or contradict Obi-Wan Kenobi’s version of the truth. We doubt that after the events of the original trilogy Artoo would have said to Luke “Hey, so, I have to tell you something….” Thus, unless the droid completely spilled the beans to Luke at some point off-screen, admitting that he knew Grogu previously is pretty unlikely.

Thus, we’re left with “OMG Luke! It’s a baby Yoda!” Honestly, we’re okay with that. What are your thoughts?