Poor old R2-D2 went through a lot across the Skywalker Saga, but due to him only speaking in a series of electronic sounds, it’s hard to know how he actually feels about everything that’s happened to him. This newly discovered Star Wars easter egg, however, may go some way to uncovering the trauma that the loveable droid suffered after the betrayal of his original master, Anakin Skywalker. Warning: it’s really sad.
Redditor u/r_da_mi shared a video (which you can check out here) compiling the different times that Artoo ignores Luke’s instructions to stay by or inside the ship throughout the Original Trilogy. He then suggests that the reason the droid does this is because the last time he did as he was told when given this instruction was in Revenge of the Sith, when Anakin never came back. Like the post puts it, “I’m not crying you are.”
As fans well know, Artoo retained his memories of the prequel era unlike C-3PO, so we can infer that he’s worried that history will repeat itself and Luke will leave him in a similar way to his father. It’s hard to decipher if Artoo actually worked out that Anakin became Vader, but he certainly knows that something bad happened to his master after he told Artoo to stay put. So, it makes sense that the droid would never let Luke out of his sight. He may even blame himself for Anakin’s supposed death.
R2-D2 took a backseat role in the Sequel Trilogy, but he did do something important in The Rise of Skywalker, as his backed-up data files were able to restore Threepio’s memories. This opened up another can of worms, though, as fans were left wondering whether Threepio now has full recollection of the prequels again. According to the film’s novelization, at least, that is indeed the case.