View Full Version : Why can't R2 talk?

06-21-2007, 03:07 PM
Not knowing a lot about proper Droid construction, this question may be silly. But I got to thinking about how inseparable R2 and Threepio are and realized that there is a practicality in the relationship. Without Threepio, no human can understand the beeps and whistles from an astro droid. Which begs the question of why humans would create a droid that can't talk when the technology is there to make it possible.


06-21-2007, 03:51 PM
Luke understand him.

06-21-2007, 04:38 PM
From a character standpoint, I think it gives Threepio another more humanesque quality which conributes to him considering himself to be superior to R2. Also, it gives R2 a child-like quality, which lends him a lot of his personality and adds a certain amount of humor in some situations. It works pretty well, otherwise, we wouldn't care when R2 gets shot by Vader!

As to its practicality as a matter of verisimillitude, I can only suggest that these droids are designed solely as a "nerve center" for certain vehicles, hence perhaps they speak vehicle language... sort of like how you could hear your modem back in the crustaceaous era of AOL dial-up. They were probably not considered for human companionship- that's what protocol droids were for.

That's my guess.

06-21-2007, 07:26 PM
Luke is a geek. he'd probably understand a binary load lifters farts.

06-21-2007, 08:18 PM
Luke understand him.

Not really. In the X-wing flying away from Hoth, Luke has a super-nifty translation screen. But in ANH, as Luke is getting into his X-Wing cockpit, he asks, "You okay, R2?" and R2 beeps back. Luke responds, "Good" having NO idea what those beeps meant. R2 could just have well been saying "F this sh**!"

06-21-2007, 08:53 PM
R2 uses emotional sounds to crudely communicate, any human can grasp the concept but they don't think highly enough of their slave race droids to bother seeing them as people - Luke does.

As for why astromechs don't speak the human language Basic, they're packed with very important navigational, repair, and other data which doesn't leave room for human speech, and since they interact with other machinery far more than they need to with humans, it's not vital. Your Roomba doesn't talk but can still do its job and communicate with you on a basic level, the robot arm that builds cars uses the bare minimum communications medium because that's all it needs to communicate with the user.

06-22-2007, 12:00 AM
I always thought Luke uses the force to somewhat communicate back and forth between he and R2

06-22-2007, 12:37 AM
Because that is the way George wrote Artoo.

El Chuxter
06-22-2007, 03:22 PM
A few million years ago, Megatron ripped his voice box out.

06-22-2007, 07:12 PM
Damnit Chux, I was gonna make a Bumblebee reference. :(