If there's one character in the whole Star Wars franchise who is beloved by literally everybody who enjoys the films (and he's in all six of them), it's definitely gotta be Artoo-Deetoo. The mavericky little droid has become one of the most profitable SW merchandising figures, in a range of products including R2D2 beach towels, LEGO figures, trash cans and piggy banks. The reason for his popularity is simple: he's heroic, brave, fast-thinking, provides good-natured comedic banter with his best pal C3PO and, most importantly, he doesn't speak the Common Tongue. The melodic beep-booping he uses to communicate has become as much of a staple in the Lucasverse as the sound of lightsabers or Chewie's characteristic growl. All in all, I think I can in all confidence proclaim Artoo to be the main icon representing Star Wars in the public imagination (maybe alongside the Death Star).
Now, with pre-production for Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens in full gear, we get this great little nugget from director . J.J. tweeted this behind-the-scenes pic where he's hangin' out with his chirpy buddy R2D2, who of course is returning for the movie. I'm not sure if the actor who has always portrayed him, , is inside his astromech droid suit or not, as this seems like an event tied to some sort of workshop; not filming for the movie, obviously, which has yet to begin once the casting phase is completed. Anyways, it's good to see the helmer of the new saga being so close to one of his main stars (who has a teeny bit of a diva complex, sometimes). Check it out:
In case you're a time traveler from the distant past who has just arrived to the present and is wondering who the heck this white-and-blue bucket is, here's an excerpt from his Wookieepedia entry on him, to keep you up to date:
R2-D2, pronounced Artoo-Deetoo and often referred to as Artoo, was an R2-series astromech droid manufactured by Industrial Automaton prior to 32 BBY. Resourceful and spunky, the droid developed an adventurous personality during his many decades of operation. Inside of his cylindrical frame were many arms, sensors, and other tools that could be extended to fulfill various needs, such as slicing computers, extinguishing fires, projecting holograms, repairing starships, and flying. Along with his counterpart, the protocol droid C-3PO, R2-D2 constantly found himself directly involved in pivotal moments of galactic history. His bravery, coupled with his many gadgets, played large roles in saving the galaxy time and time again. Like other astromech droids, R2-D2 could walk on two legs or use a third leg to roll across the ground.
Star Wars: Episode VII is for now slated for a December 18th, 2015 release.