BLOG What Was R2-D2 Really Saying? Episode II

Once again, SFX Blogger Steven Ellis translates all those bleeps and whistles to reveal what the droid was really saying

STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE (continued…)

EXTERIOR: TATOOINE – ROCK CANYON – FLOOR – DAY. Artoo forces himself into the shadows of a small alcove in the rocks as the vicious Sandpeople walk past carrying the inert Luke Skywalker. The Sandpeople ransack the speeder, throwing parts and supplies in all directions. Suddenly they stop. Then everything is quiet for a few moments. A great howling moan is heard echoing throughout the canyon which sends the Sandpeople fleeing in terror. Artoo moves even tighter into the shadows as the slight swishing sound that frightened off the Sandpeople grows even closer, until a shabby old desert-rat-of-a-man appears and leans over Luke. His ancient leathery face, cracked and weathered by exotic climates is set off by dark, penetrating eyes and a scraggly white beard. Ben Kenobi squints his eyes as he scrutinises the unconscious farm boy. Artoo makes a slight sound and Ben turns and looks right at him.

ARTOO: No, it can’t be!
BEN: Hello there! Come here my little friend. Don’t be afraid.
ARTOO: Hey! Obi Wan? Obi Wan Kenobi, is that you? Blimey. Long time no see. Damn, you look as old as Owen. This planet isn’t good for the skin is it?

Artoo waddles over to where Luke lies crumpled in a heap and begins to whistle and beep his concern. Ben puts his hand on Luke’s forehead and he begins to come around.

ARTOO: So, how’ve you been?
BEN: Don’t worry, he’ll be all right.
ARTOO: Really screw up your plans if he isn’t, won’t it?
LUKE: What happened?
ARTOO: Hey, Luke, this guy knows your dad from way back.
BEN: Rest easy, son, you’ve had a busy day. You’re fortunate you’re still in one piece.
LUKE: Ben? Ben Kenobi!
ARTOO: Ben? Who’s Ben? Wait. You know this guy?
LUKE: Boy am I glad to see you!
ARTOO: He’s not Ben. He’s Obi Wan. He’s a Jedi you know. We go way back. Obi Wan haven’t you told him anything?
BEN: The Jundland wastes are not to be travelled lightly. Tell me young Luke, what brings you out this far?
LUKE: Oh, this little droid! I think he’s searching for his former master...
ARTOO: I’m not looking for my master. I’m looking for this guy; I’ve got a message for him from your secret twin sister.
BEN: I’ve never seen such devotion in a droid before... there seems to be no stopping him.
LUKE: He claims to be the property of an Obi-Wan Kenobi. Is he a relative of yours? Do you know who he’s talking about?

Ben ponders this for a moment, scratching his scruffy beard.

BEN: Obi-Wan Kenobi... Obi-Wan? Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time... a long time.
ARTOO: Yeah. Like two minutes ago when I called you it!
LUKE: I think my uncle knew him. He said he was dead.
BEN: Oh, he’s not dead, not... Not yet.
LUKE: You know him!
BEN: Well of course, of course I know him. He’s me! I haven’t gone by the name Obi-Wan since oh, before you were born.
LUKE: Then the droid does belong to you.
BEN: Don’t seem to remember ever owning a droid. Very interesting...

He suddenly looks up at the overhanging cliffs.

ARTOO: Oh, come on. Stop playing the fool. You know me! I’m R2-D2! From Naboo. Anakin used to fly with me? Remember? Before he went all angry. Okay, erm... Qui Gon and the idiot Gungan? Padme and all those dresses? No? The Clone Wars? The loose wire jokes? Come on. Obi, buddy! I was standing right there with you when Luke and his sister were born…. Don’t leave me hanging here!
BEN: I think we better get indoors. The Sandpeople are easily startled but they will soon be back and in greater numbers.
ARTOO: Nothing? You’re gunna totally blank me?

Luke sits up and rubs his head. Artoo lets out a pathetic beep causing Luke to remember something. He looks around.

LUKE: Threepio!

_____

Artoo stands at the edge of a large sand pit and begins to chatter away in electronic whistles and beeps.

ARTOO: Oh, look, a well-timed distraction…

Luke and Ben stand over a very dented and tangled Threepio lying half buried in the sand. One of his arms has broken off.

Luke tries to revive the inert robot by shaking him and then flips a hidden switch on his back several times until finally the mechanical man’s systems turn on.

ARTOO: So, we’re not going to talk about how you know me then are we? You gunna pretend you don’t know Threepio either. Gonna blank him too? Yes? Fine! Bloody Jedi…
THREEPIO: Where am I? I must have taken a bad step...
LUKE: Can you stand? We’ve got to get out of here before the Sandpeople return.
THREEPIO: I don’t think I can make it. You go on, Master Luke. There’s no sense in you risking yourself on my account. I’m done for.
ARTOO: Oh, don’t be so melodramatic. You big baby!
LUKE: No, you’re not. What kind of talk is that?

Luke and Ben help the battered robot to his feet.

Artoo watches from the top of the pit. Ben glances around suspiciously. Sensing something, he stands up and sniffs the air.

BEN: Quickly, son... they’re on the move.