How R2-D2 Got His Name & What It Really Means



How R2-D2 Got His Name & What It Really Means 2

Star Wars has mythos that feel as rich and varied as any real civilization. As the franchise has been handed down to different creators and interpreted by fans, a myriad of origins regarding its most iconic elements have persisted. Even the names of many of these classic characters have differing stories behind their creations. 

Such is the case for R2-D2’s companion, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels.) For many years, the neurotic protocol droid was long rumored to be named after the C3 district post office of George Lucas’ hometown. Even if this played a part in naming the character, it was done so unconsciously, with Lucas stating in «The Making of Star Wars,» «Once I had R2-D2, I had to do something sort of like it, so I just made up another one.» Similar explanations exist for the origins of names such as Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness). 

Among the most varied name origins was that of the iconic Darth Vader. A longstanding assumption was that the Sith lord’s moniker originated from the German term «Dunkel Vater,» which roughly translates to «Dark Father» in English. However, further examination of early drafts of «A New Hope» had Vader and Anakin Skywalker as separate people, with the reveal that he’s Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) father not solidified until later rewrites of «The Empire Strikes Back.» The name came after Lucas attempted several unique combinations, such as Dark Water and Darth Wilson, until finding «Vader» the most suitable.

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