Did you think it was weird when Yoda was all like “New droid, who dis?” when he met R2-D2 in “The Empire Strikes Back”? Yeah. Same. Well, now “Star Wars” is looking at the moment from a certain point of view.
The “Star Wars” prequels introduced a number of apparent plot holes to George Lucas’ space opera, not least of which was the involvement of R2-D2 and C-3PO in those earlier events ― which retroactively makes it odd that none of the other characters seem to remember the droids in Episodes IV, V and VI.
We actually asked C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels in 2019 about Obi-Wan not recognizing Threepio in “A New Hope,” and not even he knew why.
“I don’t know, I mean... one droid looks like another, I guess,” he said.
An especially infuriating moment comes in “Empire Strikes Back,” when Yoda doesn’t appear to know R2-D2 when Luke Skywalker brings the droid with him to Dagobah. Despite the pair having a lengthy history together, Yoda acts like a stranger, even hitting the droid with his stick. But “Star Wars” is clearing things up a bit in the new anthology “From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back.”
According to multiple reports, the story collection, which was released late last year in honor of the 40th anniversary of “Empire Strikes Back,” explains that the Jedi did recognize Artoo. Jim Zub’s story “The First Lesson,” which is told from Yoda’s POV, supposedly goes into detail:
Carefully moving through the swamp while staying beneath the fog, Yoda soon spotted the boy and his droid unpacking their supplies. Even though the droid was caked with algae, dirt, and stomach fluid, its appearance and familiar blips were still quite recognizable.
Of course the boy had Anakin’s old droid with him. Such cycles of fate no longer surprised the nine-hundred-year-old Jedi.
So there you have it. It’s not that Yoda didn’t recognize R2-D2. It’s more like they were old high school classmates who spotted each other at a Walmart and just chose not to acknowledge it.
As for why the pair’s past was never addressed in the films (and, you know, the whole thing about them knowing Darth Vader and him being Luke’s dad and all), “Star Wars” may have answered that years ago in an old social media post.
“Throwback Thursday: Keepers of the galaxy’s most guarded secrets putting on a great show for Luke’s benefit,” the post reads.
There you go, R2-D2. Yoda did recognize you. He’s just not going to tag you in any photos anytime soon.