BLOG What Was R2-D2 Really Saying? Part VI

SFX Blogger Steven Ellis with the latest of his meticulous translations of R2-D2’s twittering. And we don’t mean he’s found his social networking page



Luke’s face is upside-down and showing enormous strain. He stands on his hands, with Yoda perched on his feet. Opposite Luke and Yoda are two rocks the size of bowling balls. Luke stares at the rocks and concentrates. One of the rocks lifts from the ground and floats up to rest on the other.

YODA: Use the Force. Yes...

Yoda taps Luke’s leg. Quickly, Luke lifts one hand from the ground. His body wavers, but he maintains his balance. Artoo, standing nearby, is whistling and beeping frantically.

ARTOO: Oi! The ship’s sinking!
YODA: Now... The stone. Feel it.

Luke concentrates on trying to lift the top rock. It rises a few feet, shaking under the strain. But, distracted by Artoo’s frantic beeping, Luke loses his balance and finally collapses. Yoda jumps clear.

ARTOO: The ship! Is sinking! Stop floating bloody rocks and listen to me! Oh, man… My copies of Play-Droid are in there!
YODA: Concentrate!

Annoyed at the disturbance, Luke looks over at Artoo, who is rocking urgently back and forth in front of him. Artoo waddles closer to Luke, chirping wildly, then scoots over the edge of the swamp.

ARTOO: Hello? Ship! Sinking!

Catching on, Luke rushes to the water’s edge. The X-wing fighter has sunk, and only the tip of its nose shows above the lake’s surface.

LUKE: Oh, no. We'll never get it out now.

Yoda stamps his foot in irritation.

YODA: So certain are you. Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?

Luke looks uncertainly out at the ship.

LUKE: Master, moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different.
YODA: No! No different! Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.
LUKE: (focusing, quietly) All right, I'll give it a try.
YODA: No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Luke closes his eyes and concentrates on thinking the ship out. Slowly, the X-wing’s nose begins to rise above the water. It hovers for a moment and then slides back, disappearing once again.

ARTOO: (In a sing songy voice) Do or do not. There is no try.
LUKE: (panting heavily) I can’t. It’s too big.
YODA: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmmm? Mmmm.

Luke shakes his head.

ARTOO: Go on then! You get the ship out of the swamp then short arse!
YODA: And well you should not. For my ally in the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we... ( Yoda pinches Luke's shoulder) ...not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you... me... the tree... the rock... everywhere! Yes, even between this land and that ship!
LUKE: You want the impossible.

Quietly Yoda turns toward the X-wing fighter. With his eyes closed and his head bowed, he raises his arm and points at the ship. Soon, the fighter rises above the water and moves forward as Artoo beeps in terror and scoots away. The entire X-wing moves majestically, surely, toward the shore. Yoda stands on a tree root and guides the fighter carefully down toward the beach. Luke stares in astonishment as the fighter settles down onto the shore. He walks toward Yoda .

ARTOO: Okay, that’s pretty impressive.
LUKE: I don’t...I don’t believe it.
YODA: That is why you fail.

Luke shakes his head, bewildered.

ARTOO: Guess I'll be the one cleaning the mud off then?

In the clearing behind Yoda’s house, Luke again stands upside-down, but his face shows less strain and more concentration than before. Yoda sits on the ground below the young warrior. On the other side of the clearing, two equipment cases slowly rise into the air. Nearby Artoo watches, humming to himself, when suddenly he, too, rises into the air. His little legs kick desperately and his head turn frantically, looking for help.

ARTOO: Oh, shit! Oi! Hey! Easy there! You know there’s no fuel in my legs! You damn well better not drop me!
YODA: Concentrate... Feel the Force flow. Yes. Good. Calm, yes. Through the Force, things you will see. Other places. The future... The past. Old friends long gone.
ARTOO: ( Suspended in the air) Ooooh, I miss flying… Damn expensive leg fuel.

Luke suddenly becomes distressed.

LUKE: Han! Leia!

The two packing boxes and Artoo fall to the ground with a crash, then Luke himself tumbles over.

ARTOO: Woah…Owwww!! Dammnit!! What did I say? What did I say?
YODA: Hmm. Control, control. You must learn control.
ARTOO: Awww. I have dents now! Look! Dents!
LUKE: I saw... I saw a city in the clouds.
YODA: Mmm. Friends you have there.
LUKE: They were in pain.
YODA: It is the future you see.
ARTOO: Shame you couldn't see the future, eh Yoda?
LUKE: Future? Will they die?

Yoda closes his eyes and lowers his head.

YODA: Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.
ARTOO: Oh, yes? Great excuse frog boy! Is that why all your mates died in a stupid pointless war? Is that why the Jedi all fell and the crinkly evil guy is running the galaxy? Bad motion was it?
LUKE: I’ve got to go to them.
YODA: Decide you must how to serve them best. If you leave now, help them you could. But you would destroy all for which they have fought and suffered.

Luke is stopped cold by Yoda’s words. Gloom shrouds him as he nods his head sadly.

ARTOO: Sod it. Let 'em die… I say we stay here. Kidding! Kidding!

See the first five parts of this feature here , here , here , here and here

Dave Golder
Freelance Writer

Dave is a TV and film journalist who specializes in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He's written books about film posters and post-apocalypses, alongside writing for SFX Magazine for many years.