20

Sound editor Walter Murch has stated that R2-D2's name originated from when George Lucas heard him say it in an editing bay while working on American Graffiti.

From an old interview:

One day I was mixing the second dialogue premix for reel two of American Graffiti and voice-slated it "R-2, D-2," and George, who's sitting in front working on the script of "Star Wars", suddenly stood up: "What did you say?" "Ummm, I don't know.. R-2, D-2--is that what you mean?" "R2D2!!....What a great name!" he shouted, and went back to writing his script. The rest is history.

I have read rumors regarding the origin of C-3PO's name. The one I keep coming across is

C3PO was named after a post office which is located at reference C3 on a map of Lucas' hometown.

This isn't terribly far-fetched, but I have not been able to find any actual confirmation of this in any interviews, annotated scripts, or behind-the-scene materials.

What is the real origin of C-3PO's name?

  • I don't think there's a legit answer for this considering all I can find is the reference of it being C3PO because of the post office at reference 3. Unless there's an interview I have yet to see. – DoctorWho22 May 8 '14 at 17:00
16

In the original first draft script C3PO was actually just named C3.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki?title=Talk:C-3PO

A July 1974 First Draft Star Wars script (eBay item 110734818187) shows his original name was C-3, who says on page 63 to General Skywalker, "I'm C-3: Human Cyborg Relations. Your kindness is greatly appreciated." R2D2 is called A-2 and speaks English.

It's possible that they added the PO to make the name flow better, but I can't seem to find any interviews regarding the origin to name that we know now. It's possible they originally decided it to be C3, and then changed it to C3PO as a nod to Luca's hometown post office as you stated.

  • 3
    Complete speculation, but it seems significant that both C-3PO and R2-D2 went from 2-character names to 4. It's possible that the change was deliberate for one of them, and then other was changed simply to maintain the 4-character naming pattern. – Nerrolken Oct 7 '14 at 17:05

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.