He does! He’s a troll! Yoda is a troll! Obi-Wan Kenobi is a troll! They pretended not to know the plucky droid on purpose to mess with Luke’s head and to keep him in the dark, so Darth Vader wouldn’t be able to discover that Luke Skywalker is his son.
Don’t believe me? Keep reading, I’ll prove it! I’ll be linking several videos of the scenes as evidence, and for an early fun fact.
George Lucas intended for the Star Wars saga to be viewed as a journal. But for that to work, someone has to be able to remember everything.
Someone who won’t age. Someone who can narrate without interfering with the flow of the story.
Someone who can be in an action scene, yet their plot armor is so good that we, the audience, don’t even realize it’s there!
And that, my friends, Is R2-D2. Snarky, faithful, comedic relief, true main character, and (from a certain point of view) a god in Star Wars.
Because unlike all of the Force users, bounty hunters, rebels, imperials, and everyone else with a pulse, R2-D2 will not die. Ever!
Table of Contents
Why Does R2-D2 Not Remember Yoda?
He does and Yoda remembers R2-D2! Our main source of canon lore is the novel Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View.
This is a retelling of the classic Star Wars trilogy (there’s also a sequel that focuses on The Empire Strikes Back). In this one book we get forty different stories, each from the perspective of a different character.
R2-D2 does appear in a few of them, but the one we want is, There is Another, written by Gary D. Schmidt and told from the perspective of Yoda.
I won’t spoil it here, but we learn several things from this story.
Like how Yoda knew it was R2-D2 and not a different astromech droid. So, why did Yoda and R2-D2 act like they didn’t know each other? Keep reading!
Does R2-D2 Remember Everything?
Yes! But only from the moment he was built. R2-D2 originally belonged to Padme, who also went by Queen Amidalla of Naboo.
She gave Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) R2-D2 when he became a Jedi Knight. (This was unusual for several reasons since Jedi are supposed to be Space Monks, and the Code forbade Jedi to get married or have a family).
R2-D2 would assist his new master along with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Captain Antilles (remember him?), and Poe Dameron.
Although he did enter a low-power sleep mode after Luke Skywalker went into hiding, R2-D2 didn’t miss much… besides C-3PO getting a red arm.
Does R2-D2 Have His Memory Wiped?
Nope! We’re not given an official reason why he doesn’t have his memory wiped. Astromechs were supposed to have their memories purged regularly, so they never had too much information of battle plans in case they got captured.
There was an arc in The Clone Wars show, where Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi had to track down R2-D2 because Anakin refused to wipe his memories.
And the amount of secrets within R2-D2 only increased. He was there with C-3PO at Anakin and Padme’s secret wedding, several key moments in the clone wars with different generals, and when Anakin became Darth Vader.
In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, we’re treated to a rare moment of C-3PO translating R2-D2’s beeps, and we learn a shocking truth.
R2-D2 recorded the moment that Anakin Force-choked Padme, and also the moment of their twins’ birth and Padme’s death.
He would keep these recordings hidden and refuse to show Luke even after Darth Vader was long gone.
When Does R2-D2 Have His Memory Back?
Always. He never lost it and he never will. It is believed that R2-D2 has a built-in order to protect his master.
The theory in this video is supposed to gloss over why Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Yoda, and Owen Lars, (Luke Skywalker’s uncle), didn’t recognize the plucky droid. There are still holes in this explanation but it also makes the most sense.
The reason is because of the infamous scene where Luke Skywalker meets Obi-Wan (who went by Ben). Obi-Wan states that he doesn’t remember owning a droid.
(He doesn’t say he doesn’t recognize R2-D2.) It doesn’t help that Luke assumed that R2-D2 belonged to the old man.
(Obi-Wan didn’t correct him, just said he didn’t remember owning a droid). But most importantly, the Star Wars films were told out of order.
And the movie wouldn’t receive it’s episode four tagline until it was re-released in 1981 (it was released in 1978 first without the episode tag). Meaning old Ben wasn’t lying.
But is Luke Skywalker the true owner of R2-D2? We’ve seen the droid go against orders before–he tracked down Obi-Wan Kenobi on his own accord.
He fought Yoda to reclaim Luke’s lamp (we’ll call this a draw since Luke stepped in). Even though we can’t understand what he’s saying, R2-D2 has a unique way of getting his point across.
Other Points Of Interest
R2-D2’s unlikely friendship with C-3PO shone through in every scene they shared. And he took active part in many fights, when C-3PO would try to run away.
Out of all of the side characters, George Lucas liked R2-D2 the best. Ever wonder why the movies and some of the games start with “in a galaxy far, far away?”
That’s because George Lucas’s original idea was to have the entirety of Star Wars be told to an alien race called the Whills. And R2-D2 was supposed to be the one telling the story.
This suggests R2-D2 is the real chosen one because he can’t die.
R2-D2 is the best actor hands down and will always be the best droid (sorry, BB-8). He’s a keeper of secrets and a loyal icon for the franchise to rally behind. Thank you for reading and may the Force be with you.