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R2-D2, C-3PO... why doesn't 3PO use the format C3-PO, and/or R2 use R-2D2?

Does the formatting imply the kind of droid it is, or perhaps some other feature?

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Different varieties of droid have different naming conventions.

R2-D2 is an R2 series astromech droid produced by the company Industrial Automaton. All units of his model have names starting with the R2- prefix, including R2-KT, R2-Q5, and R2-B1. The same line of astromech droids also had different models, including the R1, R3, R4 and R5 units.

C-3PO, on the other hand, is a 3PO series protocol droid produced by the company Cybot Galactica. These models all use the suffix -3PO, but the first letter differs depending on their capability. Examples of this model include K-3PO, E-3PO, and U-3PO.

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    According to The Phantom Menace, 3PO was built by Anakin Skywalker, not any company. Is your information from before the prequel movies? – Klaus Æ. Mogensen Mar 28 at 9:13
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    @KlausÆ.Mogensen C-3PO was originally a standard 3PO unit who worked for some time as the chief negotiator for the Manakron system. He eventually fell into disrepair and his primary components ended up in Watto's junkyard. He was then rebuilt from spare parts by Anakin Skywalker. Despite considering Anakin his "maker" he is not a custom model built from scratch, just a reassembled 3PO unit. – Kyle Doyle Mar 28 at 15:12
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    @KlausÆ.Mogensen It's more akin of someone who builds their own computer. They assemble the different components, not actually building circuits from scratch. – CBredlow Mar 28 at 20:07

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