You can see this in any episode of Star Wars. R2-D2 was able to fix anything (better than other similar droids). It even defeated many other droids & robots.
How is it possible?

Every droid (of R2-D2 range) had everything same (tools, processing power, artificial intelligence etc.). Does anyone have an explanation?

  • 15
    R2 was only once shown to be superior at repairing something when compared to his coworkers: when the Queen's ship in Episode 1 had been damaged, he is the sole survivor of the R2 droids, and completes the repair. He wasn't 'better' at that point, just luckier - he didn't get shot, so he was able to finish the repair that the others had died before completing.
    – Jeff
    Oct 4, 2011 at 15:49
  • 6
    Lack of memory wipe is the right answer. I also recall in one book I read that R2-D2 had never had a memory wipe and became attached to Luke Skywalker's X-Wing fighter to the point that techs couldn't work on it without him and couldn't put another R2 unit in as a replacement. The upshot was that Luke's X-Wing was "bonded" to R2-D2 and was highly responsive. You'll notice at the end of Ep3, they specifically say they are going to wipe C-3PO's memory, but didn't say R2.
    – user5794
    Apr 11, 2012 at 16:18

4 Answers 4


The droids develop personality as long as they don't have a memory wipe. That is beneficial to some extent but it does have some drawbacks (as it becomes attached, more independent etc.). For example the battle droid would eventually realize without a wipe that they harm people and go mad.

As R2D2 had no memory wipe through the whole 6 films (at least no on-screen mention of one) it is assumed that it is because of his personality.

I'm not sure however how canonical this is.

  • 2
    Nice answer. But, how can you explain it for Star Wars Episode I ? In this movie, R2D2 corrected the ship without any experience memory. Not shown, but we can assume R2D2 didn't faced any battle-field environment before. Also, it wasn't with Anakin for such memory..
    – user931
    Feb 23, 2011 at 23:32
  • 11
    Lack of memory wipe is the correct answer. In Ep1, all R2 did was fix the starship he was assigned to, which really isn't anything special if you assume he'd have been given repair instructions prior to the assignment (seems reasonable). Near the end of the film, R2 did receive "battlefield" experience as the R2 unit in Anikin's Naboo fighter against the Trade Federation. Feb 24, 2011 at 0:15
  • 15
    @Sachin, According to the Wookiepedia, "The Royal Engineers were famous for making after-market additions to their R2 units, which rendered the droids some of the most sought after units in the galaxy." Perhaps one of these modifications made him smarter already? Feb 24, 2011 at 1:15
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    @Dyppl - the translator droid was C3PO. Feb 24, 2011 at 8:09
  • 3
    There was an episode of the Clone Wars animated series, Downfall of a Droid, where R2D2 was lost in battle and ended up in General Grievous' hands, and Anakin had to confess he never wiped R2's memory. In a later prequel to Hostage Crisis, Evil Plans he was abducted on purpose in order to obtain some plans, which where once again never wiped.
    – Zommuter
    Jun 21, 2013 at 12:55

Two identical twins are close to 100% genetically identical (not 100%, but far more than the 99.9% that all humans share). Some pairs may have one twin with higher predisposition for cancer or heart disease or dementia, but their physical potential for the most part is close to identical. So how come identical twins don't always have the same level of achievement, especially those separated at birth? It's because even identical twins brought up in the same household will have different experiences, affecting their intellectual and emotional development and resulting in two distinct personalities that react differently to identical situations.

Droids are sentient as well. The ability to learn and grow from experience is perhaps the key advantage of true intelligence, whether artificial or natural. Droids aren't simply calculators or electronic dictionaries. If a droid has been in combat and manages to live through the experience, you'd expect it to have a higher chance of surviving another battler than a new droid right off the assembly line.

Otherwise, why bother with AI? Why not just equip a roomba with voice commands and a welding torch?


I think R2-D2 never had a memory wipe and that is what makes him special. Also, he is like a soldier, always rushing to a fight. In Star Wars episode 4 C-3PO didn't want to search for Obi-Wan, but R2-D2 rushed to search for the Jedi, just like a soldier. In the Clone Wars he is almost the same. They always trust R2-D2 to do some special robot mission.


This would expand upon the "memory wipe" answer. Because droids learn and grow, R2-D2 has grown smarter and more intelligent without a memory wipe. But he has also been associated and working with some of the most powerful and knowledgeable people in the Galaxy (Anakin most specifically, but he was on missions with many other Jedi as well). So, if you combine the fact that he learned under Jedi, and never had a memory wipe that would explain it.

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