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It just occured me that R2-D2 is about 65 years old in the events of The Force Awakens. As far I know, he hasn't ever received a memory wipe - meaning that he has been storing data for all of those years. His HDD must be bloated by now - or is it?

So my question is, has there been ever mention in the various canons of Star Wars on how the droids store and manage their data?

  • Haha... How do you know that it doesn't push old useless data to cloud? – I Love You 3000 Dec 28 '15 at 10:26
  • @SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 I hope cloud storage is cheap in the galaxy far, far away then. Galaxy wide cloud storage doesn't sound easy to maintain, esp. with all the wars going on. – Relix Dec 28 '15 at 10:38
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    I guess he compress the data on .rar files. Thats why he have trouble remembering where he had the map to skywalker. – Alessandro Sanfilippo Dec 28 '15 at 16:29
  • @Relix In the 1980s, you can only store a few kilobytes in a floppy disk. Today, you can store gigabytes in a thumb drive. In today's binary computing, the required size of memory increases exponentially faster than the size of the value being stored. A few decades from now, quantum computing is expected to enter commercial use: The size of values that can be stored increases exponentially to the memory size available. I imagine that in a galaxy far, far away, millennia ahead of our current state of technology, a single memory drive (maybe a second for backup) is able to last almost forever. – thegreatjedi Feb 5 '16 at 8:05
  • ^would put that as answer but you wanted in-universe sources lol – thegreatjedi Feb 5 '16 at 8:05
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According to the Star Wars: Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, after 65 years of continual operation, R2-D2's memory files are indeed horribly bloated.

Apparently he spends much of his time nowadays in a special low-power mode attempting to make sense of the vast amounts of data he's come into contact with, both in terms of his own lifetime and also the data he's hoovered up by downloading entire networks that he's connected to

As R2-D2 recuperates in his self-imposed low power mode, his diagnostic systems are attempting to organise the vast trove of information in his databanks from over seven decades of uninterrupted operation. The defragmenting of millions of exanodes within his memory is causing R2-D2 to "dream" many of his greatest adventures

  • So what you're saying is that LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales is now officially canon -- specifically R2's headcanon. – Slacklord the Terrible Feb 19 '16 at 23:14
  • So in nutshell, they really require the memory wipes. Else it gets bloated. – Relix Feb 20 '16 at 14:34
  • @relix - Precisely. It's why C-3PO is still chugging along and yet R2-D2 is a total basket case – Valorum Feb 20 '16 at 17:35
  • @Relix that's what they tell themselves – Azor Ahai Feb 20 '16 at 20:07
  • @Richard could also be that C-3PO has more storage space in the first place, to store those six million + more languages. As opposed to R2-D2 who would've only needed to know the details of the ship he was placed in. – Relix Feb 21 '16 at 10:24

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