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View Full Version : The Mystery of R4-P17 revealed!



Beast
03-28-2002, 04:46 PM
There has been alot of discussion, in the toy section as well as here as to why the droid was called an R4 unit, while he has an R2 unit's dome. Not to mention he originally appeared on internal Hasbro documents as getting a seperate figure from the Starfighter, and coming with a Masiff. Well, the official site has updated with a databank file about R4-P17 and our questions have been answered.

The Movies:
A faithful astromech built into Obi-Wan Kenobi's assigned Jedi starfighter, R4-P17 assisted the Jedi Knight during his mission to track down Senator Padmé Amidala's attacker. The truncated, dome-headed droid served as onboard astrogator, technician and communications specialist for Kenobi.

Expanded Universe:
R4-P17 started off as a traditional R4 unit, complete with the characteristic conical head, when she was nearly destroyed in a trash compactor mishap on Gyndine. While inspecting the Jedi customizations of the Delta-7 designs, Anakin Skywalker happened upon the wrecked little droid and rebuilt it. The new R4-P17 sported an R2-series dome and would eventually become the prototype for other integrated droid navigators aboard the Jedi Aethersprite fighters.

Behind the Scenes:
In early iterations of the Episode II script, R4-P17 was to have a scene wherein it wandered away from the landed Jedi starfighter and was attacked by weird insectoid creatures called rogas. The scene was never filmed -- in fact, the droid's full body look was never finalized. The concept artists developed a tiny body for the droid that would accommodate its placement aboard the starfighter. When this scene was scrapped, it was decided that R4-P17 would instead be a permanent fixture aboard the ship.

Apperantly the rogas, later became the masiffs, like the one that is packed in with the 2nd Geonosian figure that were to be packed in with R4-P17. It's nice to see that the mystery of the incorrrectly named droid has been solved.

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

LTBasker
03-28-2002, 05:04 PM
Interesting, however I wish they would've just left it as something like the droids were built-in to allow for them to control the whole ship much easier without the pilot there so they can rescue/retreat and the reason of the R4 title is because the domes contain the R4 componets but due to aerodynamics the droids were given domes instead of the classic R4 tops."

Tycho
03-29-2002, 02:25 AM
Thanks for the info JarJar.

I like your theory best Basker!

Now someone has to complain that George didn't care! To him, the whole thing would be a needless headache "and so what if my fans like everything to make sense. This movie is not 'starring R4!'"

Well George, we bought you your ranch! Thank you for the consideration.

(uh just kidding. In case I need to kiss HIS butt, I really DO think George is a pretty swell guy!)

Beast
03-29-2002, 02:37 AM
The thing I find funny about the whole databank file, is the fact Anakin rebuilt R4-P17. Once again, proving that almost everyone in the Star Wars universe is related. Since now R4-P17 is Anakin's creation, that makes Anakin her dad, C-3PO her brother, and Padme her mom, and later Luke and Leia her younger brother and sister. :D

Though in the E1 EU novel "Rogue Planet", Mace Windu is very upset with Anakin continuing to build droids. He even built one and dressed it as a Jedi, which upset Mace even more. But I am getting off topic, but what is next? Do we find out that R5-D4 in E2 is actually the first droid that Anakin built, before he started on C-3PO. :D

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Rollo Tomassi
03-29-2002, 03:56 AM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks
...but what is next? Do we find out that R5-D4 in E2 is actually the first droid that Anakin built, before he started on C-3PO. :D



If mark2D2 is correct, it's R2-D2 in disguise.;)

I kind of like the idea that it was going to be a half sized astromech droid. Those would have been cool to see. But all this EU history is just Lucasfilm retrofitting George's lack of foresight in creating a ship that could not accomadate a full sized astromech droid.

Tycho
03-29-2002, 04:18 AM
I think it was George saying to Doug, make me a starfighter shaped like the Star Destroyers.

Doug Chiang doing the design.

Then George liking it, but saying "wouldn't it be cool to add an astrodroid onto this so I can give Ewan more lines of dialogue so we can embelish this space fight scene a bit?"

Doug saying, "George, it won't physically fit in this design."

George saying, "Well, I want Obi-Wan talking to somebody. It says so in the script. So just stick the droid's head anywhere on top! We'll call it R4 to designate "Really FOUR-Gotten all Logic."

2-1B
03-29-2002, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks
A faithful astromech built into Obi-Wan Kenobi's assigned Jedi starfighter

Of course he's faithful, what else can he be? He certainly isn't going anywhere. Excuse me, "she" :D

That EU explanation is totally NOT gonzo. Are they going to write a book around that?

How much dialogue will Obi-Wan have with the droid?

dr_evazan22
03-30-2002, 08:55 AM
There's another quality example of the EXCELLENT writing that makes the EU an enjoyable and totally believable universe!

Just let me put on my boots so you can keep cranking those stories out!

The Rubber Cat
03-30-2002, 12:30 PM
The new R4-P17 sported an R2-series dome and would eventually become the prototype for other integrated droid navigators aboard the Jedi Aethersprite fighters.

O ho! Could somebody explain to the Rubber Cat what a Jedi Aethersprite fighter is? The Rubber Cat has also heard the term "Delta-7" bandied about. Are these just names for the Jedi Starfighter like Incom T-65 is a fancy schmancy pants name for an X-Wing? Heh hoo!

Great affectations and appreciations in advance.

1.

Battle Droid
03-30-2002, 12:42 PM
Yep, those are names for the Jedi Starfighter.

The Rubber Cat
03-30-2002, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by Battle Droid
Yep, those are names for the Jedi Starfighter.

Would the esteemed Battle Droid be kind enough to post a link for the Rubber Cat and his fellow viewers? The Rubber Cat craves knowledge over all things!

Salutations and commemerations on a swift response!

3.

Battle Droid
03-30-2002, 12:57 PM
http://www.starwars.com/databank/starship/delta7/index.html

2-1B
03-31-2002, 12:10 AM
Originally posted by The Rubber Cat
Would the esteemed Battle Droid be kind enough to post a link for the Rubber Cat and his fellow viewers? The Rubber Cat craves knowledge over all things!

Salutations and commemerations on a swift response!
3.

If "TRC" so craves knowledge, shouldn't she be out finding it herself? ;)

Taichi
05-11-2002, 09:37 PM
Taichi thinks the rubber cat should stop talking in the third person, because it makes Taichi's head hurt......

2-1B
05-12-2002, 02:02 AM
Taichi, the Rubber Cat stopped talking in the third person a long time ago. :D

bigbarada
05-12-2002, 02:55 AM
How about this explanation: Anakin installed an R2 head into Obi-Wan's ship but jokingly told him it was an R4 unit to see how much Obi-Wan knew about droids. Well, Obi-Wan never got the joke and continued to call the droid R4 while the rest of the Jedi had a good laugh at his expense.:)

jeddah
12-02-2003, 08:51 AM
Hi, I've been meaning to post all this astromech stuff for ages and only got round to it today (you'll find a rash of postings on astromechs from me today :) )

Here is the inside story from Don Bies (http://www.donbies.com) on the naming of R4-P17. As you can imagine, the disclosure of this discourse was borne out of the R2-Builders going flame-crazy when we found out the irregular naming of this droid :D

THE ORIGIN OF R4-P17
By Don Bies

SO here we are on the second day George is touring the sets in Sydney...I'm asked to show him how well R2 will now plug into the data ports on Padme's ship. Justin Dix, part of my ace crew, director/writer of "Bounty Trails" and HUGE Star Wars fan, joins me on set. We set up the little droid, George and Rick walk in, and R2 performs his part flawlessly. "Great" says the understated flannelled one. Rick reminds him about the droid for the Jedi Starfighter.

GEORGE
"Oh yeah, we need a droid for Obi-Wan's ship."

DON
"No problem...That's R4, right?"

GEORGE
"Yeah."

DON
(Fully understanding the established, official astromech naming convention)
"Well, R4 is the head that's shaped like a lampshade."

In retrospect, perhaps not the most awe-inspiring description.

GEORGE
"Oh no, I don't want that one."

DON
(Trying to salvage astromech integrity) "You know what would be cool--I have one of the clear domes, you know the one where you can see inside..."

(The R3 series for the un-initiated.)

GEORGE
(unimpressed) "No...can't we just take an R2 head and paint it?"

At this point, I hear the voices of millions of R2 fans cry out...but the set-up line is just TOO good. I've waited a long time to say this...:

DON
"Well George, YOU can do anything YOU want..."

Of course, he is oblivious to my comment, and forges ahead.

GEORGE
"Yeah, just take an R2 head and paint it."

DON
(Dutifully) "What color?"

GEORGE
"Let's see...the ship is red, so paint it red."

I try to interject some verisimilitude...

DON
"Paint the blue parts red? THAT would look like the red R2 toy packaged with the Queen's ship from Ep1."

Thankfully:

GEORGE
"No, whatever is silver paint red and paint the blue parts silver."

DON
"Okay."
(To Justin)
"You get that?"

George and Rick leave.

And that's how R4-P17 came to be. Thought it was more planned out, didn't you?

EPILOGUE:

Several weeks later, before we shot any R4 scenes, Howard Roffman, head of Lucasfilm Licensing, visited the set. With the best interests of R2 fans in mind, I take him aside.

DON
"You know there is this droid R4-something, right?"

HOWARD
"Yes, on Obi-Wan's ship."

DON
"You know it's just an R2 head painted red, right?"

HOWARD
"Really?"

DON
"You know there's this whole naming convention to the astromechs, right?"

HOWARD
"Oh, yes."

DON
"Can't you get George to call it something else, like one we haven't seen--like R6?"

Howard chuckles and walks away.

I guess I'll try and brush up on my Jedi mind tricks.


jeddah

LTBasker
12-02-2003, 10:08 AM
I remember somethin in a DVD featurette and George was making sure it was called R4. I'm starting to wonder if George even remembers which is which. :crazed:

Ya know an R3 dome would've kicked butt, but it probably would've been a pain for the CGI scenes.

jeddah
12-02-2003, 11:05 AM
I remember somethin in a DVD featurette and George was making sure it was called R4. I'm starting to wonder if George even remembers which is which. :crazed:

Ya know an R3 dome would've kicked butt, but it probably would've been a pain for the CGI scenes.

Yep, that featurette is called something like "wedgie them in" or something.

I personally think an older droid like the R5 would have been good as it would show a natural progression to the more advanced R2 units in the OT. With Obi Wan's ship having its own hyperdrive ring, I think the need for hyper coordinate saves would be less imperative....

jeddah

JediTricks
12-02-2003, 10:10 PM
*JT just sobs and walks away, hanging his head as he sighs.*