Related question here

As you can see in the picture I've taken from this answer (below) R2D2 can be pretty clearly seen in the opening battle in Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (kudos Richard). My question: What is the out-of-universe reason for including R2D2 in a Star Trek film?

Bonus question: although I doubt there is one, is there an in-universe reason provided for R2 being here?

R2 in Star Trek

R2 Into Darkness

  • The question I've linked to I think is different from mine, as I'm specifically asking about this individual case and what the out-of-universe (and in-universe) reason(s) is/are – Often Right Aug 2 '15 at 0:15
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    Daaang! Why are people downvoting this totally legit question? – Lexible Sep 14 '15 at 3:33
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    @Lexible Happens to me a lot lol; I don't really care any more – Often Right Sep 14 '15 at 3:36

The answer is simple: Because JJ Abrams can.

From Yahoo movies:

"R2's really been in all of the movies I've done, really for no other reason than I'm a huge fan, and when I was a kid I realized that R2 was also in 'Close Encounters,'" Abrams told us at last night's "Star Trek Into Darkness" Blu-ray release party. "Actually, I'm putting a 'Star Wars' character into 'Star Trek' as an homage to 'Close Encounters.' So there you go."

People like R2D2 enough to put him everywhere:

Steven Spielberg enter image description here enter image description here

Michael Bay enter image description here

There is no need for a convoluted answer to everything...

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    Please don't put in a placeholder answer until you have all the details ready. It doesn't help you. – Matt Gutting Aug 2 '15 at 0:19
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    I don't think it's really necessary to repeat the pictures I've already got in the question – Often Right Aug 2 '15 at 0:24
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    @N_Soong They weren't there when I was adding stuff to my answer. – calccrypto Aug 2 '15 at 0:33
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    @N_Soong Was it? Whoops – calccrypto Aug 2 '15 at 2:17
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    Now we need the "Grand Unified R2 Fanfic" to tie all these appearances together in-canon. – Liesmith Aug 3 '15 at 7:28

I've expanded on this in my answer to the question Star Wars referencing Star Trek or vice-versa?, but the essence is that Lucas' company Industrial Light & Magic produced the visual effects for the Star Wars and Star Trek movies, as well as many others.

Chances are some of their employees were having fun.

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Easy in-universe answer. Star Trek is set in a fictional future of our own planet. Star Wars already exists in our world. It would still exist in the future. Someone on one of the ships was a Star Wars fan, and built an R2 unit - which would probably not be hard in a Star Trek future.

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    Is there a source for this claim? – Edlothiad Nov 26 '17 at 16:37

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