J.J. Abrams Discusses R2-D2’s Important Role In Star Wars: The Force Awakens


While the film is being unanimously praised by critics and fans around the world, there have been a few criticisms levelled against Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We’re not talking about anything major, but if you dig around the internet you’ll find several issues that people keep bringing up, one of which pertains to R2-D2 and his role in the film.

If you haven’t yet seen The Force Awakens, first of all, go see it immediately. But secondly, you may not want to read on and instead bookmark this page and come back once you’ve seen J.J. Abrams’ sequel, as there will be major spoilers. You’ve been warned…


Still with us? Ok, good, because what follows are some very interesting comments from Abrams and screenwriter Michael Arndt about R2-D2 and what happens near the end with the character.

As we all know, the fan-favorite droid is kept off screen for most of the film and we really don’t see very much of him. According to C-3PO, his buddy has been in “low power mode” ever since Luke Skywalker disappeared. However, very conveniently, R2-D2 decides to wake up right near the end of the film in order to give the Resistance the missing piece of the map that will lead them to Luke.

There’s no real explanation given for why he all of the sudden decides to wake up at the perfect moment, and like I said, it’s certainly a bit too convenient. Could he not have woken up years ago and helped the Resistance find Luke a lot earlier? And how did he have the map in the first place?

While we don’t have all the answers to the questions surrounding R2-D2, both Abrams and Arndt have attempted to clear everything up a bit. The latter explained the following to Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview:

“We had the idea about R2 plugging into the information base of the Death Star, and that’s how he was able to get the full map and find where the Jedi temples are.”

Abrams touched on the issue as well and tried to explain it even further.

“BB-8 comes up and says something to him, which is basically, ‘I’ve got this piece of a map, do you happen to have the rest?’ The idea was, R2 who has been all over the galaxy, is still in his coma, but he hears this. And it triggers something that would ultimately wake him up.

While it may seem, you know, completely lucky and an easy way out, at that point in the movie, when you’ve lost a person, desperately, and somebody you hopefully care about is unconscious, you want someone to return.”

Again, it all does seem a bit too convenient and more of a plot device to service the story than anything else, but with movies like The Force Awakens, you can’t scrutinize every little detail. Abrams, Arndt and Lawrence Kasdan got a lot of thing right with the plot, and seeing as how terrific the final product turned out, it’s easy to overlook the little issues like this.

Tell us, what did you make of R2-D2’s role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Was it a bit too convenient for you, or did you not mind?