The Time George Lucas Trolled Every Star Wars Fan Over R2-D2

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

When the Star Wars prequels first came out, one of the most controversial plot points was the beloved droid R2-D2 being able to fly courtesy of his own little rocket boosters. Fans were understandably curious why he never used this ability in The Original Trilogy when it would have been most useful. This led to some fun trolling on the part of George Lucas when various Star Wars media proclaimed that the warranty on R2-D2’s particular brand of rocket boosters would expire after 20 years.

R2D2’s Prequel Powers

Before we reveal how George Lucas should have “master troll” on his CV, we need to quickly review the original source of this R2-D2 controversy.

The little droid pulled off some major feats in The Phantom Menace (including riding the hull of a starship and repairing its shields while getting shot at), but he never flew. That changed in Attack of the Clones when the astromech did some of his own trolling, pushing C-3PO over a ledge in a droid factory before unveiling his rocket boosters and safely flying over the dangers below.

Prequel Plot Hole Trap

Understandably, fans of the franchise George Lucas built instantly began questioning why we never saw these R2-D2 rocket boots in the Original Trilogy. Certainly, the ability to quickly fly away could have helped the droid escape the predatory Jawas or avoid getting swallowed by that weird muck monster on Dagobah. They would also have come in handy, avoiding Ewok traps on Endor and navigating the forest terrain.

George Lucas Was An Original Troll

With that out of the way, how did George Lucas troll the entire fandom over R2-D2 and his rocket boots? Back in 2002, he authorized an official Star Wars site called HoloNet News that was mostly intended to build hype for the upcoming film Attack of the Clones.

The site was sadly shut down in 2013, but as this archived page proves, the site once had a cheeky announcement that Industrial Automaton had to pay a “costly out-of-court settlement…to a Sump port worker injured by a falling droid” and ended up rescinding the “lifetime” guarantee of these rockets, claiming they now only had a warranty of 20 years.

The HoloNet announcement was deliberately silly, right down to the IA CEO saying that a 20-year warranty was still impressive because “That’s almost two Devlikk lifetimes, after all.”

Would You Like To Hear About Your Droid’s Extended Warranty?

star wars droids

What makes this some A-level trolling from George Lucas, though, is that this then became canonical info about R2-D2 that served as his only explanation for why the droid isn’t flying around in the Original Trilogy. This is the storytelling equivalent of finding out that the Millennium Falcon only has hyperdrive problems from a single canonical paragraph that Han Solo didn’t get an extended warranty on his ship.

Good…Good…Let The Hate Flow Through You

Strictly speaking, this bit of George Lucas trolling about R2-D2 became non-canonical once he sold everything to Disney, but the 2015 youth novel Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! soon made the warranty explanation canon once again.

While Disney has been weirdly picky about the Lucas ideas they preserve and those they abandon, it’s great that the Maker’s trolling of fans lives on. We aren’t really surprised, though… as Yoda might remind us, once you start down the hilariously petty path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

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