“Star Wars: Droids”: Some Initial Observations

C-3PO and R2-D2 being taken in by land speeder racers, Jord Dusat and Thall Joben, in "The White Witch"
C-3PO and R2-D2 being taken in by land speeder racers, Jord Dusat and Thall Joben, in “The White Witch”

Yesterday, I mentioned that R2-D2 and C-3PO had been in a television series a few decades ago, of which I suspect many people (aside from the hardcore Star Wars fans) have not seen (or which they are not even aware).  “Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO” aired 13 episodes in the fall of 1985, with a follow-up 44-minute television movie, “The Great Heep”, in the summer of 1986 (by the way, amongst other places on the Internet, you can view all of the material on YouTube – here is one channel dedicated to the series).

C-3PO and R2-D2 help Mungo Baobab on his quest to get rich in "The Frozen Citadel"
C-3PO and R2-D2 help Mungo Baobab on his quest to get rich in “The Frozen Citadel”

In the series, we see several story arcs of the droids being with several masters, all young or young-ish men.  It is nice to be able to see our two most familiar droids getting involved in a variety of situations and having a good laugh out of it.  It gives us viewers a broader sense of who they are and how they act, beyond the original trilogy (at the time, that’s all there was (besides the “Star Wars Holiday Special”, in which we see them in the Boba Fett cartoon))

One thing the series shows us is that the droids always need a master, as C-3PO says in the episode “The Lost Prince”, “We can’t function without a master.”  And once they have a master, they are loyal to that master.  They seem to be blindly loyal, especially since their last master is primarily interested in getting rich, although they seemed not to have liked the master they had in the first few seconds of the beginning of the series, who was a smuggler (who jettisoned them overboard).

Gerin Toda tossing Jyn Obah in "The Revenge of Kybo Ren"
Gerin Toda tossing Jyn Obah in “The Revenge of Kybo Ren”

The most shocking thing to me, though, about the series is not about the droids – it’s about the strong women characters presented.  In almost every story arc, a young woman comes forth and joins whichever master the droids have in their quest.  Not only that, but usually the young woman would be fighting right alongside the men, courageously, and not being portrayed as a helpless person in need of saving, per se.  Even a kidnapped princess (or very princess-like) character, Gerin Toda, is able to engage an attacker, using martial arts, which was pleasantly surprising.

As I mentioned yesterday, since the show is no longer considered canon, it is unclear what the status of these stories is now – in the new canon, is this not what happened with C-3PO and R2-D2 in between episodes III and IV or did these stories still occur?  Even if they’re not officially canon, they are still amusing to see our two familiar droids.

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