Feb 14, 2016

So what woke R2D2 up in The Force Awakens?

So what made R2D2 wake up in The Force Awakens?

In The Force Awakens both R2D2 and C3PO took a back seat to the wunderkind robot that is BB-8.

Introduced to us as Poe Dameron’s, BB-8 proved pivotal to the success of the movie – serving as the new kid on the block to provide whimsical entertainment and also as the carrier of ‘thing that needs to be found’ requirement of the movie.

This left only room for R2D2 to make a cameo at the end of the movie.

So what then of R2D2 being revealed to the audience as having been in some kind of ‘powered down mode’ since, as advised by C3PO, Luke left?

What turned him back on and how did it happen?

The movie never really reveals the answer explicitly.

Even when the proverbial appears to be hitting the fan, he does nothing until at the moment he’s most needed.

He is able to suddenly wake up and go through his files to find that he has part of a star map that shows Luke’s location. BB-8 is then able to sub in his part of the map to complete the map which provides the means for the Resistance and Rey to find Luke Skywalker.


Prior to this BB-8 tries to have a conversation with R2D2 but has no apparent reward.

Does Rey turning up at the Resistance base have an affect on R2?

Does R2 have some pre-programmed instructions from Luke to present himself when the time is right?

Does Luke turn him on with some special Force connection?

The answer actually comes from JJ Abrams and the novelisation of TFA.

It would appear than as part of his low power mode, R2 can actually keep track of the conversations around him so when BB-8 tried to converse with him, R2 chose to warm himself back up.

When Poe, Leia and the others are chatting about how the First Order has the larger part of the map due to having control of the Imperial Archives, R2 realises he also has the Archives catalogued too (from when he engaged with the first Death Star) so decides to search within himself for the map.

This part of the novel conveys the point as explained by C3PO:

The protocol droid explained. “If the information you are seeking was in the Imperial archives, he believes he may have catalogued that data. He’s scanning through it now.”

Rey stared at the diminutive droid. “Artoo has the rest of the map?”

“He’s certainly implying the possibility!” C-3PO told her. “I’ve never heard him beep with this much energy before.”

So R2 had the data they needed the whole time!

Thank the maker!

When he presented it to the group, BB-8 was able to quickly determine the information he held matched R2’s data and the map was able to be completed allowing the whereabouts of Luke to be determined.

It’s amusing to consider that the missing part of the map was supposedly uncharted territory, yet Lor San Tekka had the map so presumably it had been charted at some point.

We presume Luke himself had given him the map so maybe Luke charted it.

Who knows.

JJ Abrams has expanded on this plot point:

“...the idea was that in that scene where R2 plugged in [into the Death Star], he downloaded the archives of the Empire, which was referenced by Kylo Ren.”

“BB-8 comes up and says something to R2-D2, which is basically, ‘I’ve got this piece of a map, do you happen to have the rest?’ The idea was, R2 who has been all over the galaxy, is still in his coma, but he hears this. And it triggers something that would ultimately wake him up.”

We think it’s bollocks that in his brief time on the Death Star R2 was able to download the entire Imperial Archives but there you go.

It’s a poor story telling device but they needed to get R2 involved somehow and that’s how it was done.

On screen this was simply played for a dramatic moment, R2 is suddenly on!

And he has the map! Amazing!

We never doubted him at all!

So the answer to how and what wakes R2D2 up is two things. BB-8 stirs him and when the right thing is said by the other characters, he is able to realise he has what they need. 

Feb 8, 2016

8 facts you didn't know about The Force Awakens. Number 7 will blow your mind!

Sorry not sorry for the click bait post title. Here's 8 interesting facts about the seventh Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. We assure you that number 7 is indeed pretty good....

1. Yoda was nearly in the movie

Frank Oz recorded some dialogue for the film. We speculate that it was to use in Rey's 'flashback sequence' in the same vein that Obi-Wan was snuck in. Whatever the work was, it didn't make it into the final form of the film.

2. 007 has a cameo as a mind tricked Storm Trooper

James Bond star Daniel Craig has a blink and you'll miss him cameo as a Stormtrooper. Craig was the Stormtrooper featured when Rey attempted to use the Force with a Jedi Mind trick. It's a risky scene as you just have to accept that Rey suddenly found her Force powers and was learning how to use them but if you do accept it, it's a fun moment.

3. Phasma's look was at one time considered for Kylo Ren 

Captain Phasma's final armour 'look' was at one time a conceptual design for Kylo Ren. Phasma wears a black cape with red trim, the colours of the First Order. Given that Phasma was inspired by the Boba Fett character it's no surprise she has a cape as the original idea for Fett was to have him wear a cape / poncho in the style of The Man with no Name from Clint Eastward's Spaghetti Westerns. Phasma's chrome armour is said to be taken from a space yacht built on the planet Noboo that palpTine owned. The suit is thus able to repel radiation however Phasma used the recycled chrome as a symbol of might and power.

4. No one loses a limb on screen, a first for a Star Wars film

Given the franchise's long tradition of characters losing limbs, The Force Awakens was the first Star Wars movie where no one loses an arm. In the novelisation of the film there is a scene were Ankar Plutt arrives at Maz Kanata's castle to retrieve the stolen Millennium Falcon. Chewbacca intervenes when Plutt accosts Rey and rips his arm off. It's not known if this scene was actually filmed and cut or simply dropped prior to filming. Kylo Ren does appear to cut Lor San Tekka in half but we don't see it happen.

5. Rey was left in Ankar Plutt's care on Jakku as a child

In a blink and you'll miss it moment in Rey's 'fashback' sequence check out the hand that is placed on Rey as a child. As Rey is crying, watching her parent(s)/ family leaving her behind, that hand is that of Ankar Plutt - yes, the man charging her for food and water provisions at the Station Outpost.

6. There are 6 Games of Thrones Actors in the movie

There's a 6 actors who performed roles in the Game of Thrones. Gwendoline Christie is the major player as Captain Phasma but did you spot Thomas Brodie-Sangster of The Maze Runner and Game of Thrones plays a First Order officer?

Jessica Henwick who was featured in season 6 of Game of Thrones played X-Wing pilot Jess Testor. Mark Stanley was a Knight of Ren.

Miltos Yerolemou who played Arya’s doomed fencing instructor Syrio Forel, is a bar fly in Maz Kanata’s bar and Emun Elliott had a crack as well as an X-wing pilot. This is because the casting director for the show also did the casting for The Force Awakens. Check out this full list of cameo moments in TFA.

7. Christopher Lee's niece played Doctor Kalonia!

The doctor that tends to Chewbacca's arm wound would have been well known to British Star Wars fans as she was played by Dame Harriet Walter, a renowned stage and screen actress. Her character was called Dr. Kalonia. There's a nice piece of symmetry here in that her uncle was Christoper Lee who played Count Dooku in two Star Wars films.

8. Ello Asty is a reflection of JJ Abram's love of the Beastie Boys

If you've ever watched a Star Trek movie by JJ Abrams, you may have noticed he quite likes the Beastie Boys. And that love has had a wee influence on The Force Awakens. It turns out that the name Ello Asty is likely a play on the Beastie's work Hello Nasty.

Asty also has 'Born to Ill' written in Aurebesh on his helmet, a further play on the BB's debut album, Licence to Ill. Given that, one wonders if BB-8's name is a reference to the band as well! The Born to Ill line itself is a play on "Born to Kill', a war reference, made popular by the Stanley Kubrick film, Full Metal Jacket. The line being written on a soldier's helmet - as was Asty's line...

You can catch some more Force Awakens Trivia! Or these 101 Star Wars facts.