The story of the Star Wars saga may typically be referred to as the "Skywalker Saga," but no single Skywalkers has actually appeared in every Star Wars movie. Sure, it follows the family line, but there's only 2 characters that have actually showed up in every single movie so far: R2-D2 and C-3PO. Even Rogue One, the first Star Wars anthology film, featured a cameo from Artoo and Threepio. That gives the droids quite an impressive streak. But with another spin-off fast approaching, it looks like that streak could be broken. Will R2-D2 and C-3PO appear in Solo: A Star Wars Story?
Solo explores the history of the galaxy's most famous smuggler, and it's unlikely Artoo and Threepio will play any role in the film at all. This movie is heading to corners of the galaxy that have never been seen on the big screen before, with Lucasfilm exploring the criminal underworld through the eyes of Han Solo. On the face of it, it really wouldn't seem appropriate for Artoo and Threepio to crop up. Any encounter with Han would create continuity problems; a major appearance would have the effect of making the galaxy feel smaller rather than larger.
But does that absolutely rule out a cameo of some kind? Or is it possible Lucasfilm could still find ways to honor this particular Star Wars tradition? If there were a way for Solo to tip its hat at the droids' perfect attendance record, it's at least worth considering. It's admittedly a long shot, but for the sake of keeping their streak going, here are three ways Artoo and Threepio could still appear in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The Kessel Connection
Solo is certain to reveal the truth behind Han Solo's boast that the Falcon made the Kessel Run in "less than twelve parsecs." Surprisingly, though, the first mention of Kessel in Star Wars canon didn't come from the braggadocious smuggler, but actually from a throwaway comment by Threepio; the nervous droid feared that he and Artoo would be sentenced to Kessel's "spice mines." But why would Threepio even be familiar with those mines? His memory of Jedi service was wiped after the events of Revenge of the Sith, and he then spent the next couple of decades working for Alderaanian Senator Bail Organa. He has a vast database, so a cursory knowledge of Kessel's reputation is to be expected, but maybe there's something more behind that line.
Here's the catch; Bail Organa was no ordinary senator. He was also a key figure in the Rebellion; the new Star Wars canon has emphasized his role more than ever before. Bail actually used his two droids on a number of undercover operations; in fact, that was the role Artoo and Threepio were playing when they were integrated into Star Wars: Rebels. It's quite possible that Artoo and Threepio were sent on a secret mission to Kessel for some reason.
It wouldn't actually be a surprise to see Han interact with the Rebels in Solo. When audiences were introduced to Han in A New Hope, he was a bitter cynic who didn't really want to take a side in the war with the Empire. But that cynicism has to come from somewhere. In the old Expanded Universe, it was an unfortunate result of the young Han's falling in love with a Rebel named Bria Tharen. Tharen used Han to her own ends, leaving the smuggler as distrustful of the Rebels as he was of the Empire. Many fans believe Emilia Clarke's mysterious character Qi'ra will play a similar role in Solo. If Han does come across the Rebels, though, it is important that he not personally encounter Threepio and Artoo, keeping their role to more of a passing cameo.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019