Power of the Force, 1995
Appears in: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, The Force Awakens
Card Back: 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.
A key release for the first wave of the relaunched line, the POTF2 R2-D2 also provided the first challenge on the ‘bang-for-buck’ action figure scale as he came single carded with zero accessories. Even as a kid I was sceptical about how much I should pay for him, but as no Rebel assortment could be complete without the plucky astromech I took the bait.
There was some precedence from the vintage line for R2-D2 to come single carded, but there the comparison ends. Out of the pack the sculpted panel details on Artoo’s barrel body, the retractable third leg and light piping ‘eye’ feature mean that this 1995 release presents a significant upgrade from the vintage version, even while retaining the shiny chrome dome.
This version of Artoo was a statement of intent – Star Wars was back, and Hasbro meant business.
Other than the fact that it’s a great little toy there’s not too much left to say about. He has four points of articulation (swivel head, legs and retractable foot), great proportions and a longevity that means he’s still my preferred astromech to use when snapping Saga Legends figures. In terms of screen accuracy he came off the best from the first wave of POTF2, and by my count remained one of the stronger versions over the duration of the line.