2 How R2D2 Got It’s Name
Do you know the origin of the name R2D2 from Star Wars? It would seem, at first glance, to be a true sci-fi name. Surely a lot of thought went into developing one of the main characters of the film. Not exactly.
When it comes to fantasy and sci-fi films, plenty of the names of the characters are, well, quite simply fantastic. They appear to be so wonderfully created to us mere mortals that we often think that it took some amazing mind to think them up. Either an amazing mind, or a tortured soul. Plus, surely the great minds that develop these names from seemingly nothing have at least some form of whimsical inspiration. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Poor R2D2’s name had no such inspiration in his origin. In fact, it is about as boring and mundane a way to pick a name that you will find. So how did it come about?
Before Star Wars was ever filmed George Lucas was involved in another hugely successful film, American Graffiti, which he directed. When George Lucas was working on mixing the American Graffiti soundtrack, he numbered the reels of film starting with an R and numbered the dialog starting with a D. R being reel, and D being dialogue. Sound designer Walter Murch asked George for Reel 2, Dialog 2 by saying “R2D2″, which was pretty catchy. George liked the way that sounded (who can blame him) so much he integrated that into another project he was working on…Star Wars.
In reality we can’t blame the method if the method works, which it certainly did with Star Wars. R2D2 and his name, original or not, has a certain ring to it that many of us still remember far more easily than others in the films.