Disney’s already released two trailers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and while they do a lot of work in reintroducing popular characters (looking at you, Lando) and teasing major plot twists (is Dark Rey real or what?), there’s an iconic character who’s been missing in action from all the Episode IX footage we’ve seen so far: R2-D2.
That’s right, the beloved astromech droid who’s appeared in every core Star Wars movie still hasn’t been seen in any of the trailers for The Rise of Skywalker. But thankfully, none other than R2-D2’s buddy C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) recently confirmed that the trash-can shaped bot will make at least one notable appearance in Episode IX.
To be fair, we never really doubted that R2-D2 would show up in Star Wars: Episode IX eventually, but given the minor role the droid played in Episode VII and VIII, we were getting a little worried that he’d be relegated to the sidelines again in this final chapter.
See this group shot from the Rise of the Skywalker trailer? Everyone’s there: Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca, C-3PO, even that junky new droid D-O. But no R2-D2.
And again in this picture, we see Threepio, Finn, and Poe racing through the desert on some sort of steampunk pirate ship. But no Artoo.
If you were worried that your favorite droid would spend The Rise of Skywalker stuck at a Resistance base or locked in a supply closet you can rest easy. According to Anthony Daniels, R2-D2 will show up for a desert scene that seems to play a major role in the new movie.
Daniels leaked this detail at a press conference in Paris. So while there is video of the recording, it’s in French. Thankfully, one Reddit user translated the key bits, but we still recommend the pure joy that comes from hearing C-3PO speak French.
Here’s the key part, paraphrased into English:
Confirms that R2 will be in a desert scene, where he explained that because he can’t really see, he has to pretend to see R2, and at one point in TROS, he has to put his hand on R2 as he usually does but that they took R2’s helmet off this time, so he almost fell over. Had a laugh. Says R2 is played by an actor called Hassan, at least for that scene.
What does this mean? We can’t say for sure. It is interesting that they removed R2-D2’s helmet. Does the droid take some damage in battle? Should we add Artoo to the list of characters we’re worried won’t make it through The Rise of Skywalker alive?
It’s too soon to say for sure, but at least now that we know if Episode IX is the end of R2-D2, at least the little droid will go out fighting.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20.