Lucasfilm Boss Reveals The True Meaning Behind R2-D2’s Name

R2-D2 Star Wars

Lucasfilm creative art manager Phil Szostak has been addressing old Star Wars myths on Twitter all month, and when it comes to the origins of a certain little droid companion’s name, it turns out that the hearsay had it more or less right.

Szostak’s recent posts concern the rumor that George Lucas took the name “R2-D2” from a term he heard while working on the sound mixing tracks of a previous film. For his first tweet, Szostak cites the 2007 book The Making of Star Wars as his source:

“In The Making of #StarWars, Lucas recalled that, when mixing THX 1138, someone yelled out ‘R2D2’ for ‘Reel Two, Dialogue Two’ and he jotted the name down.”

In his second tweet, Szostak references the more recent discovery that the film in question wasn’t Lucas’ 1971 feature debut THX 1138, but was actually the director’s sophomore work:

“The actual ‘R2-D2’ reel that Lucas spoke of turned up at an April 2018 Skywalker Ranch screening for American Graffiti, saved by the film’s sound designer Walter Murch.”

For those unaware, the actual in-universe explanation for the name “R2-D2” is that it stands for “Second Generation Robotic Droid Series-2.” As for his friend C-3PO, the story goes that Lucas named him after a post office located at reference C3 on a map of his hometown. In the reality of the films, meanwhile, it’s said that Anakin picked the number 3 because he regarded the droid as a third member of the Skywalker family after himself and his mother.

Jump to the present day, and the two droids are set to be the only characters to feature in all nine episodes of the Skywalker Saga. As it stands, there’s not much we can say for sure about R2 and 3PO’s roles in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but after the two of them spent most of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi apart, it would at least be nice to see them interact a little more. In any case, we’ll find out what J.J. Abrams really has in mind when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th.