ROBOTS: C-3PO and R2-D2
QUOTE: “It wasn’t my fault, sir, please don’t deactivate me. I told R2-D2 not to go, but he’s faulty, malfunctioning. Kept babbling on about his mission.”
—C-3PO to Luke Skywalker after R2-D2 escapes to search for Obi-Wan Kenobi and deliver Princess Leia’s message.
While many robot tales aim to instill robo-phobia, the first installment of Star Wars treated audiences to a softer and completely humorous side of their mechanical personalities with the quaint and quirky relationship of the ‘droid’ characters R2-D2 and C-3PO. At first glance, they are an unusual pair — the robot equivalent of Bert and Ernie. With a spindly gold body and the gait of a toddler, Threepio plays the anxious prude complete with prissy, butler-esque speech, while Artoo, a squat, blue and silver barrel, is the robot’s robot, a courageous fixer who talks in a digital symphony of chirps and whistles.
It’s chatterbox vs. music box, and this dynamic provides comfort and comic relief throughout the Star Wars films — their constant bickering reminiscent of our own delightfully dysfunctional relationships. When a badly damaged Artoo is rescued in the film, Threepio pleads with Han Solo: “You must repair him, sir! If any of my circuits or gears will help, I’ll gladly donate them.” Threepio is willing to give up his virtual kidneys for Artoo — now that’s love.
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