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Sunday, May 13, 2007

R2-D2 said what?

Well, Star Wars* was on the telly again today. It's amazing how one can be sitting down for dinner, channel-surfing, come across an old film and be suddenly glued to it, even when there are perfectly good DVDs of "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" and "Black Adder III" on the shelf.

Of course, with the Littlest Fando in the room, Fry and Laurie and Black Adder aren't going anywhere near the DVD player, lest our little one pick up all manner of colourful new phrases or suddenly ask us, "Beloved parents, what exactly is a 'codpiece?'"

Anyway, we were sitting there watching Star Wars for at least the 1,100th time this month, when I suddenly realized that for all these years people have taken for granted that R2-D2's electronic banter is harmless, innocuous chat. The premise is that someone, usually Luke or C-3PO, would say something, R2 would answer in his usual series of electronic chirps, whistles, and beeps, and everyone would giggle and think to themselves, "What a funny little robot!"

As it turns out, this particular view is a complete pile of robot crap.**

After doing a little research though, my sources*** have determined that R2-D2 was in fact voiced by none other than blue-streak comedian Redd Foxx. His original dialogue was, shall we say a bit saltier (like crispy bacon). It was taken out and replaced by the electronic sound effects once the studio realized that the MPAA was considering an "X" rating. The resulting edits got the film down to a "PG." It would have been a "G" rating if not for the size of Carrie Fisher's buns... in her hair I mean.

Anyway, I have procured a sample of some of the more printable portions of the original dialogue. I say dialogue because Mr. Foxx reportedly improvised frequently from Lucas' script. As this is a PG to PG-13 blog, the saucier portions have commented out through the use of traditonal symbology (%$#@&) or replaced with more acceptable euphemisms (in italics).


Chewbacca: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrgh

C-3PO: He made a fair move. Screaming about it can't help you.

Han Solo: Let him have it. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee.

C-3PO: But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid.

Han Solo: That's 'cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.

Chewbacca: Grrf.

C-3PO: I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, R2: let the Wookiee win.

R2-D2: $%&#$! that, I'm gonna kick that stinking, &%$# shag rug's (bum, more or less)!!!


C-3PO: Now don't you forget this! Why I should stick my neck out for you is far beyond my capacity!

R2-D2: Listen you old gold-plated &^%$#@ pile of (form of excrement) bolts. I'll bust your metal lip if you don't shut the %#@& up!


C-3PO: Just you reconsider playing that message for him! No, I don't think he likes you at all. No, I don't like you either.

R2-D2: Well, I don't like you either, you @%$##&%, $^%&#, (variant of a particular sexual orientation involving rabid geese) fancy pants! I'll play you like a &%$#$#@ drum, if you don't shut the $#&% up!


C-3PO: I would much rather have gone with Master Luke than stay here with you. I don't know what all this trouble is about, but I'm sure it must be your fault.

R2-D2: You want to see something that's my fault you $#€Σ% (derogatory reference to possibly non-existent personal anatomy) ? You wait until they find your &€%ƒ#$ξ, (suggestion that subject has scabies) metal (suggestion the subject is without scruples or particular organs) head floating in the #√€$Ω% john!

C-3PO: You watch your language!

R2-D2: You watch me ş$%ƒβ %Σ&%€ $♥Ω∂∞ you up, you √βΩξ♣, ŏ$€%≤ξ &Σƒ♠!!!!


C-3PO: Listen to them, they're dying, R2. Curse my metal body. I wasn't fast enough. It's all my fault. My poor master.


*Yes, I know the official title is Star Wars IV: A New Hope, and that it even says that onscreen, but everyone and their brother, and Lucas himself called it Star Wars then, so it's stuck. Of course, Lucas didn't know when he made it that it would be the ginormous success it's become and would make him wealthier than everyone except Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling, and the bloke who invented cheese in a spray can.

**Polystyrene and titanium box-springs, if you must know.

*** C-3P0's My Life with That Vulgar Little Wastebin on Wheels: R2-D2, Hyperion, 1987; Carrie Fisher's R2 and Me, a Story of Wild Electronic Love and Emotional Disappointment, Random House, 1995, and Harrison Ford's R2 and Me 2, A Story of Even More Wild Electronic Love and Emotional Disappointment, Scholastic Press, 1997.

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