Auralnauts, the comedic team who have previously riffed on the rest of the Star Wars series, The Dark Knight Returns, Terminator, and much more, have here done the public service of redoing A New Hope, only this time R2-D2 can talk. In hindsight, it is sort of surprising that George Lucas did not deem this one of the things he had planned to do but was unable to using the technology of 1977, as it performs the very Lucas-ian service of dissolving the film’s sci-fi allure in favor of literalism and lame banter. R2-D2 is not necessarily funny; the notion that he is comes from the unexpected reactions by C-3PO and others as they repeat his sarcastic asides or scoff at him.
About nine minutes in, though, the joke takes a turn, when Obi Wan Kenobi first shows up and acts like he has never met R2. “You don’t remember?” R2 says. “Wait, you seriously don’t remember me? After everything we’ve been through. The arena on Geonosis? The daring raid on General Grievous’ ship to rescue Chancellor Palpatine? What about the time we first met? When I repaired Queen Amidala’s star cruiser just in time to escape the trade federation blockade? None of this rings a bell to you?” It’s a neat puncturing of the absurdity of one of the prequel trilogy’s primary conceits—that somehow these two rascally droids have been everywhere. Perhaps it works out better for everyone when R2 can only communicate in beeps.