R2-D2 is a tripodal computer repair and information retrieval robot, or astromech droid. As an R2 unit, he is equipped with navigational starfighter interfaces, plus extensive sensor packages and numerous devices to facilitate in-flight repairs: laser arc welder, circular saw, grasper arm, and fire extinguisher. He communicates through information-dense chips, beeps and whistles and seems to take pleasure in causing anxiety for his neurotic companion, the protocol droid C-3PO.
R2-D2 played several important roles in the rebellion's victory over the Empire at the Battle of Yavin. First, he escaped the consular ship Tantive IV with the technical readouts of the Death Star hidden in his memory banks, making him and C-3PO the most hunted droids in the galaxy. Then, he brought Luke Skywalker together with Obi-Wan Kenobi, making possible the delivery of the plans to the Rebel alliance. Using that information, a small group of fighters launched an attack against the Death Star. R2-D2 served as "co-pilot" aboard Luke's Red-5 X-Wing, monitoring the fighter's control and tactical systems during the final attack run that destroyed the Empire's ultimate Battle Station.
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