One of the biggest continuity issues in the first two Star Wars trilogies involved R2-D2 and the fact that the last two living Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Grand Master Yoda, failed to recognize him from the days of the Clone Wars.
The entire story of that galaxy far, far away began when Uncle Owen and Luke bought R2 off the Jawas at the beginning of A New Hope. Little did they know that the droid held the key to saving the world from the tyrannical rule of the Empire. But to speak about the extent of Artoo’s contribution to the Skywalker Saga is frivolous, to say the least. The character has always proven to be integral to the narrative and its progress, whether in the Original Trilogy, the sequels, or even the days of the Republic.
Over the years, though, a lot of people have wondered why Yoda failed to recognize Artoo in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke landed on the swamps of Dagobah. Most folks attributed this to another one of George Lucas’ continuity blunders, but a new anthology book, published to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Episode V and titled From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back, finally reveals that Yoda did recognize the droid, but just shrugged it off.
The recent publication, which is a retelling of the events from the POV of other characters, dedicates a chapter to Yoda, wherein he notices that Luke’s companion is actually the same R2 unit from the days of the Clone Wars.
Here’s the excerpt that details this scene from his perspective:
“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.”
It’s certainly interesting to see that the former Grand Master of the Jedi Order still has his wits about him, and it further reaffirms the fact that both Yoda and Obi-Wan knew more than they let on to Luke in the Star Wars Original Trilogy.