There’s a constant in all of the Star Wars movies, and it isn’t just the Force. A single being is in every major chapter, trusted by all, and has seen the rise and fall and rise and fall of the Jedi – the astromech droid R2-D2. It turns out, according to George Lucas, R2 isn’t just a sidekick or there for comedic relief – R2 is the narrator of the Star Wars.
An astute journalist at i09 noticed a key passage in Chris Taylor’s 2014 book, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise. On the set of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas told animation director Rob Coleman his framing device for the entire Star Wars saga.
“The entire story of Star Wars is actually being recounted to the keeper of the Journal of the Whills—remember that?—a hundred years after the events of Return of the Jedi by none other than R2-D2.”
The Journal of the Whills is a big deal, mostly because it survived the canon-slashing of Disney. The Journal of the Whills is a journal that exists in the Star Wars universe and references the Jedi, but was originally conceived in the original George Lucas-written drafts of Star Wars as a way to tie the Star Wars universe to the “real world.” You know, the one we live in. The Journal of the Whills has appeared in the novelization of the original Star Wars, as well as The Force Awakens, so it’s not just an Extended Universe nugget that got kept as an oversight – there’s something here.
Remember that R2 doesn’t get his mind wiped like C-3PO at the end of Episode III. He’s been a major player in galactic history since well before the Clone Wars when he was serving Queen Amidala.
What’s most interesting is his official story now that the canon has been cleared like so many droids unable to compete with BB-8 units as the years progressed. According to official canon and Wookiepedia, R2-D2 is in low power mode in Episode VII, as we know. But in low power mode, Artoo is “dreaming” of his “greatest adventures” as he pores over his decades of accumulated data. Could the first six episodes of Star Wars be the dreams of R2-D2? And if he’s the keeper of the Journal of the Whills, is all of this a dream?
What we do know is that R2-D2 will likely be around for a long time… If this is true.