R2-D2 finally gets a sequel trilogy character poster as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker releases a new batch of artwork. First introduced in the original Star Wars in 1977 along with his constant companion C-3P0, the feisty astromech droid affectionately known as Artoo quickly became a fan favorite for his plucky courage in helping Luke Skywalker and company take down the Galactic Empire’s ultimate superweapon the Death Star.
After his key role in the first movie’s climactic battle, which left him badly damaged but still alive, Artoo went on to be a hero again in the sequels The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Not ready to leave the plucky droid behind, George Lucas brought Artoo and C-3P0 back for his prequel trilogy, and again the dome-headed little robot found himself in the middle of the action, this time sporting rocket thrusters that allowed him to fly. Despite his central role in the previous six Star Wars films however, Artoo has found himself conspicuously relegated to the background in the new sequel trilogy, while new droid BB-8 has taken on the role of adorable non-human mascot. But the original Star Wars droid team of Artoo and Threepio may be back in the foreground in the upcoming trilogy-capping Rise of Skywalker, at least going by early trailers, which among other things tease a potentially tragic end for Threepio.
In a further indication that Artoo will actually have something to do in Rise of Skywalker, the droid has finally gotten his own sequel trilogy character poster. A whole new batch of posters has indeed just been released by Lucasfilm ahead of the movie's arrival, featuring 12 of the movie's main characters. See the posters in the space below:
The style of the posters obviously is a throwback to the old Star Wars trading cards fans collected back in the late '70s and early '80s when Lucas' films first burst on the scene and took over pop culture. The posters are also seemingly designed specifically to minimize spoilers, as they all feature the characters isolated against starry backgrounds with nothing from the actual scenes in the movie to potentially give away secrets (though it's possible that the most eagle-eyed fans may still find hints in the available images).
The only real obvious hint given by the new batch of posters is in fact the presence of R2-D2, whose absence from the latest trilogy has been a source of frustration for many fans. Now however, it seems Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is ready to bring things full circle by letting Artoo and Threepio take on a central role in the story as they did all those years ago when fans first fell in love with Star Wars and its endlessly bickering droid duo. Perhaps the movie will even please fan theorists by employing an early R2-D2 twist dreamed up but ultimately abandoned by Lucas.