LUKE: "Uncle Owen! This R2 unit has a bad motivator, look!"

The droid uncle Owen wanted to buy at first, nicknamed "Red", was R5-D4, belonging to the R5-series, which was according to the Legends section of its entry in Wookieepedia, "a low cost (...) line, (...) plagued with malfunctions".

According to the same source (Legends via Wookieepedia), the R2-AG-series made use of old R5-series shells when the latter series was discontinued. The R2-AG-series was a line of agromech droids, which sounds much more useful when moisture farming then an astromech droid.

As evidenced by the quote, Luke thought Red to be an R2-series unit.

What did Owen think he was buying?

An R2-AG-series unit, or an R5-series unit? Did the Jawas try to pull a fast one on him, selling an R5 for an R2-AG?

Inspired by the question why the Lars family needed an R2 unit.


The film's official novelisation indicates that both Owen and Luke recognised the R5 unit as a "semi-agricultural droid", specifically noting that it was similar to an R2 unit in all but its attachments. The implication seems to be that an R5 is so similar to a normal R2-unit that a cursory inspection wouldn't highlight one model over another.

Apparently Owen Lars had already come to a decision, having settled on a small semi-agricultural robot. This one was similar in shape to Artoo Detoo, save that its multiple subsidiary arms were tipped with different functions. At an order it had stepped out of the line and was wobbling along behind Owen and the temporarily subdued jawa.

The film's junior novelisation goes one step further, referring to the droid as an "R2-5" droid.

The Jawa leader yapped a sharp command and the other Jawas scurried out from behind the sandcrawler’s treads to dust off the R2-5. Then, catching Owen’s eye, the Jawa leader made encouraging gestures at the blue-domed R2 unit.

Given that Owen is a farmer in name only (in any other continuity, he'd be considered a utility provider), a droid that can service high-tech moisture masts and water piping would seem to be the necessity, rather than its ability to help grow crops.

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  • Wait, so what series is that droid according to canon? An R2-5 or an R5-D4? Do you have other canon sources that name the series / model? – SQB Jan 20 '16 at 19:42
  • @SQB - The canon name is definitely R5-D4. I've seen it in the other novelisations, the new (disney canon) factbooks, etc etc. The only place I've seen it listed as R2-5 is in the junior novel. – Valorum Jan 20 '16 at 19:49

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