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Feature
The 30 Greatest Star Wars Characters
From Admiral Ackbar to... Yoda - we count down Lucas' best creations

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The 30 Greatest Star Wars Characters | 4. R2-D2
4. R2-D2

What is it that prompted the United States Postal Service, in honour of Star Wars' 30th anniversary, to dot the country with an army of mailboxes dressed as R2-D2? Well, obviously, he fits the part from a physical standpoint.

But more than that, Artoo remains the most universally cherished character in the Star Wars pantheon and, with the possible exception of Vader's mask, its most potent emblem, doing duty in innumerable universes far, far away from his own, appearing in everything from Sesame Street to Raiders Of The Lost Ark to The Simpsons.

And that's certainly not because he represents anything particularly innovative in droid design. He is, as has been endlessly pointed out, a close relative of the kitchen swing-bin (albeit one of those swanky chrome ones that cost £200 at The Conran Shop, rather than the £8.99 Addis job you bought at Tesco).

He would also seem to be utterly unsuitable for every manner of terrain he encounters. Casters are not what are called for when you spend as much time as Artoo does trundling the desert wastes of Tatooine...

Nevertheless, he is irrepressibly cute, perhaps the only robot in movie history that instils the urge to pet him. Kids adore him because he looks, acts and sounds like the biggest, best toy in the shop.

But for all his cuddly design, Artoo is a useful little fellow. Entrusted with the Death Star blueprints by Princess Leia, he's one of the saga's key players. Courageous and cool-headed, he saves the day on countless occasions while C-3PO stands around dithering like an old woman.

And who among us does not get a lump in their throat when the plucky droid is shanghai'd by Jawas and conks out with a bleepy gurgle so plaintive it could melt the heart of a Coruscanti ogre? SIMON BRAUND

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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

1 WTF?
AS usual this list is screwy, how does Portmans stroppy bitch beat Windu? Windu chopped off Jango Fetts head and he gets stepped over by a fucking biker scout? A princess? Some red draped security guard from the Death Star? Probaly the greatest JEDI ever, and you miscreants piss on his eternal memory. Fuck all y' all ! More

Posted by DAVIDK on Wednesday June 19, 2013, 13:09

2
Dannybohy, if you stopped reading Empire in the 90s, what you still doing here? My Name is Legion, it's not the 30 most important characters but the 30 greatest characters! Sheesh! More

Posted by zeech1941 on Wednesday November 7, 2012, 19:18

3
Dannybohy, if you stopped reading Empire in the 90s, what you still doing here? My Name is Legion, it's not the 30 most important characters but the 30 greatest characters! Sheesh! More

Posted by zeech1941 on Wednesday November 7, 2012, 18:23

4 RE:
Empire haven't got a clue. This is exactly why I stopped buying the magazine religiously like i did in the mid 90s!, the fecking stupids lists!! everybody likes a list, but every damn issue and always complete and utter shite. More

Posted by Dannybohy on Wednesday November 7, 2012, 14:41

5
Yoda 'species indeterminate?' actually Yoda is a Whyll. Star wars.com says so? It's just a shame he never got to win a light saber fight, the chance to name a DVD chapter 'The Triumph ofvthe Whyll ' would have been hard to resist More

Posted by PaoloCorleone on Monday November 5, 2012, 14:37

6 Bad Mother Fucka
Mace Windu no 29??? Biatch please... More

Posted by JohnMcClane81 on Saturday November 3, 2012, 20:58

7 The Pilots
Where is Wedge Antilles, he survived both Deathstar runs. Where is Biggs Darklighter, he died that we might live. More

Posted by Avoid on Saturday November 3, 2012, 11:42

8 Interesting point by Legion!
Boba Fette is a cool character but Luke should surely be above him. Only other change would be Darth Vader at number 1. More

Posted by guysalisbury on Friday November 2, 2012, 13:30

9 Sam Jackson is great, but Mace Windu isn't
Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, Padme Amidala and Count Dooku were some of the worst written, one dimensional, no-depth characters ever to grace the big screen, they were definitely not great creations and should not be included in this list. More

Posted by Jamie_M on Friday November 2, 2012, 13:20

10
Oh yeah forgot too say...fck luke Skywalker, Han is the man More

Posted by UncleFknBully on Friday November 2, 2012, 11:58

11
Wtf...where is Salacious B.Crumb? More

Posted by UncleFknBully on Friday November 2, 2012, 11:55

12
Congratulations Empire on once again completely missing the point when it comes to what made Star Wars work. Luke Skywalker is the most important character. Why? Because he represents us, our longing to be somebody, to do something important, to escape from the mundane and grow as an individual. The binary sunset scene alone pisses all over the entire prequel trilogy. Yet you place him 7th, below Boba Fett! A nothing character when you actually look past all the fanboy shite. You didn't get it thirteen years ago, and you still don't get it now. More

Posted by My name is Legion on Friday November 2, 2012, 02:46

13 Excellent List
I agree with this list almost 100%, although I wouldn't have included some of the lame, one-dimensional prequel pseudo-characters like Mace Windu. (Actually, with the exception of Darth Maul, I probably would've left the prequels out entirely. Those movies, after all, don't feature characters so much as merchandising opportunities.) In Windu's place I would've added Grand Moff Tarkin, somewhere higher on the list. More

Posted by intelandroid on Thursday November 1, 2012, 23:45


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