This Star Wars article contains spoilers for The Mandalorian.
The first chapter of the George Lucas‘ Original Trilogy would have turned out very differently had it not been for a bad motivator. Although R2-D2 is on a very important mission to get Princess Leia’s message to Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope almost throws a wrench in the little droid’s plan when Uncle Owen initially chooses R5-D4 as his new astromech. But then fate intervenes: the rusty droid’s motivator pops out of its head, followed closely by plumes of smoke.
R5’s a piece of junk and now everyone knows it. The little droid had a shot to become the best pal of the galaxy’s greatest hero, and perhaps even go on a big adventure or two, but he blew it. Fortunately, we know, thanks to The Mandalorian, that those pesky Jawas eventually fixed poor R5 up, and that he’s now under the employ of Tatooine mechanic Peli Motto in Mos Eisley. Still, it’s very tempting to imagine what could have been.
Had R5 become the Lars’ new astromech droid, would R2 have somehow still reached old Ben eventually? Would Obi-Wan have circled around and gone in search of Luke just in time to save him from being slaughtered by the Empire like his aunt and uncle? And with Obi-Wan, Luke, C-3PO, and R2 all speeding off on the Millennium Falcon to Alderaan, would R5 also have been along for the ride in this alternate universe?