Star Wars continuity is a little more complex than other fictional universes. Whereas properties like Star Trek and The Lord of the Rings cover centuries, the gap between The Phantom Menace and The Rise of Skywalker is just 67 years. Within that time, both the Empire and the First Order rise and fall, there are two massive galaxy-spanning conflicts and practically every piece of canon Star Wars media takes place.
Lucasfilm famously has a dedicated story group devoted to untangling all this, but some things still slip through the cracks. One common problem is that characters who appear in both the original and prequel trilogies don’t acknowledge that they’ve previously met C-3PO and R2-D2. Now, the actual reason is because George Lucas hadn’t planned out the exact details of the prequels in the early 1980s, but that obviously doesn’t apply in-universe.
The new book From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back has answered at least one of these problems, though. It depicts the events of The Empire Strikes Back from unusual perspectives, with Jim Zub’s “The First Lesson” proving that Yoda did indeed recognize R2-D2 when he arrived on Dagobah with Luke, as fans had theorized.
Here’s how the passage in question reads:
“Carefully moving through the swamp while staying beneath the fog, Yoda soon spotted the boy and his droid unpacking their supplies. Even though the droid was caked with algae, dirt, and stomach fluid, its appearance and familiar blips were still quite recognizable.
Of course the boy had Anakin’s old droid with him. Such cycles of fate no longer surprised the nine-hundred-year-old Jedi.”
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And there you have it. While it’s nice that this has been cleared up, I would also have been happy with the hand-wave that there are a lot of protocol and astromech droids out there in a galaxy far, far away and as they’re all nearly identical, it’s tough to tell them apart.
In any case, just because the Skywalker Saga has wrapped up, that doesn’t mean C-3PO and R2-D2 are gone for good. They’re due to star in upcoming animated project A Droid Story, which will see the bickering metal odd couple on a secret mission during which they guide a new character. No word on when it’ll land (or if Anthony Daniels will reprise C-3PO), but I reckon it could hit Disney+ before the end of this year.
More on that and other Star Wars news as we hear it!