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Story highlights "One of the most instantly recognizable pieces of pop culture" sold at auction Auction house: Droid is believed to be only complete R2-D2 unit in the public domain. They sell out movie premieres and dress up as their favorite characters.

And now some even pay millions to get their hands on a movie prop. The films were made between and What people don't realize is that R2-D2 is the most underrated hero in movie history. R2-D2 is droid at its best.

R2-D2: Star Wars' Real Hero

Without him The Trade Federation would have prevailed, Obi-Wan, Padme, Anakin, Luke, and Leia all would have been killed, the Death Star would have not been defeated, and Han Solo would've gotten vaporized for real and not just frozen in carbonite. Episode I: God doesn't save the Queen.

The Anatomy of an R2-D2 Astromech Droid!

R2-D2 does when he fixes her escaping ship's shield generator. And he helps Anakin get his ship off autopilot so he can whoop Trade Federation ass.

R2-D2, from Return of the Jedi

Oh, and he saves Luke, Han, and Leia from being crushed in this trash shoot thing. Episode VI: Breaks chains that are holding Leia captive so she's not attached to a giant dead slug on a ship that's about to explode. This allows her to escape in that hot, hot bikini. Also smuggles Luke's lightsaber into Jabba's palace and throws it to him at the most opportune time.

Star Wars Smart R2-D2

R2-D2 isn't just some droid Luke bought after other robot purchases defected. Nor is he merely collateral for Luke to offer in exchange for Han Solo's life.

George Lucas' Early Star Wars Plan Had R2-D2 Telling The Story

And he's certainly more than some cutesy sidekick that provides comic relief with C-3PO. Designed from artwork by Ralph McQuarrie in , R2-D2 looks more like a small blue-and-white garbage can than a human being.

George Lucas' Early Star Wars Plan Had R2-D2 Telling The Story

In the films, R2-D2 is the type of droid built to interface with computers and service starships-a kind of super technician suited for tasks well beyond human capability. By turns comic and courageous, this helpmate communicates with expressive squeals and head spins, lumbers on stubby legs, and repeatedly saves the lives of human masters.

Several R2-D2 units, specialized according to function and edited into a final composite, were used for making a single movie scene. Some units were controlled remotely. Others, like this one, were costume shells, in which actor Kenny Baker sat and manipulated the droid movements.

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Termed a protocol droid in the films, C-3PO can speak six million languages and serves the diverse cultures of Lucas' imaginary galaxy as a robotic diplomat and translator. Where R2 is terse, 3PO is talkative. Where R2 is brave, 3PO is often tentative and sometimes downright cowardly. Where R2 looks like a machine, 3PO-in spite of the distinctive gold "skin" -more closely resembles a human in movements, vision, and intelligence In each of the Star Wars films, actor Anthony Daniels wore the C-3PO costumes. The Star Wars films are much more than pop entertainment. Since the first of the series was released in , they have been so immensely popular that they have become cultural reference points for successive American generations.