Goodness me. Artoo—a droid sheds a tear! And this, from the child who—a couple of years earlier—gave us the horror of the «shredded Rebel soldier? You see: slasher films and comics do not (necessarily) a psycho make.

artoo ventures off into the desert

Pathetic indeed. Poor little fellow

I’m quite impressed with the sense of his pathetic aloneness and desertion, as depicted in the bottom panel. I’m also impressed nowadays at the shot in the film in which Artoo wheels away into the desert vastness—chirping mournfully…

Film Notes

r2 engaed in conversation with threepio

How much more human can you get?

It’s a lovely and touching scene in the movie. There’s a great depth of mixed emotions conveyed by the characters. And this, even though neither of them can change facial expressions. More amazing still, one of these metallic, non-living characters has no face at all!

Years later, George would try to tug at our heart strings—the ones that are susceptible to cuteness—with more wee characters like the dreaded and much-maligned Ewoks. They actually do have faces and humanoid form, and are teddy-bear-like. Surely they should be more loveable still? Didn’t most of us have teddy-bears as little children? But no, R2 is still cuter, more loveable and has more depth of personality than those irritatingly muppet-like flea bags.

care bear and a dust-bin

Which would you prefer to have in Star Wars? Or, put it another way: If you had to pull the trigger… A or B?

Somehow we projected all sorts of good feelings into that little, one-eyed tin-can. But he’s not just a blank canvas awaiting the spark of our own imaginations—the overall effect is also the product of a man who seemed to have a certain movie-making X-Factor. Old school. And… let’s not forget, the man inside Artoo: Kenny Baker, who truly gave life to the character.

Incidentally, how on earth did R2 move around on that sand? I don’t know either. But you know, it never mattered to us, did it? We were so enamoured with the character and the story that we just automatically suspended our disbelief.

Next: Threepio gets it.

↓ Transcript
Artoo Detoo and See Threepio are lost on Tatooine

Artoo, is wheeling towards us. In the background Threepio shouts after him, "No, I'm not going that way. It's too rocky over there."

We see Threepio—through Artoo's single eye—turn his back on him. A teardrop—of oil?—rolls down his eye.
"Go on, I don't care." chides an uncaring Threepio.

"And don't come back begging for help--" says Threepio, as he walks away from his sad friend.

In a head and shoulder shot of C-3PO, "--because you won't get it." he throws back.

(Wide, overhead shot of the two going their separate ways)
"Do you hear me Artoo? You won't get it!"