Artoo in The Clone Wars
R2-D2 was not your average droid. He was smart, crafty, and a contained wealth of information that was far too valuable, at least for Anakin, to erase. Hence, the senior Skywalker never followed Republic protocol requiring him to wipe the droid’s memory. There was even a mini-story arc about it in the first season of The Clone Wars.
Two episodes, Downfall of a Droid and Duel of the Droids, dealt with Anakin’s efforts to retrieve Artoo before the Separatists could extract vital information. Anakin did, obviously, rescue his astromech companion. But did he learn his lesson and wipe the droid’s memory thereafter? No. In fact, he never did. Ever. Artoo’s memory remained intact.
Further complicating the continuity issue is the fact that, in The Clone Wars’ sixth season, Artoo would accompany Yoda on a mission. That mission even took them to Degobah. Surely Yoda had his memory wiped after that, right? Nope.
Artoo in the Original Trilogy and Beyond
Artoo would serve at Anakin’s side throughout The Clone Wars right up until Anakin became Darth Vader and beyond. It was only after Obi-Wan defeated Anakin, and the droids entrusted to Bail Organa’s care, that Artoo ever left Anakin’s service. While Organa had “the protocol droid’s” memory erased, he left R2-D2’s intact. Thus, Artoo remembered everything that had happened to him, and every event of which he’d taken part. That knowledge would stay with him for the entirety of the Star Wars saga, through the original trilogy and beyond.
Artoo knew Obi-Wan. He also knew Yoda and had even been to Degobah. Hell, he probably even knew that Leia was Luke’s sister. So why didn’t the droid ever say anything to Luke? Why did he keep so many secrets for so long, going so far as to even let Yoda whack the droid with a cane repeatedly? I suppose it’s possible that sometime, off screen, Yoda or Obi-Wan gave the droid specific instructions that Artoo followed to the letter. Or perhaps his silence was the result of the droid’s fierce independence. It wasn’t his business to say anything so, why should he? Not his circus, not his Kawokian monkey-lizards.
When it all boils down, I think the easiest explanation is the most likely: it was just a story-telling corner that that Lucas and Dave Filoni painted themselves into without truly thinking it through. What do you think, fans? Did Artoo have his memory wiped at some point and we’re not aware of the occurrence? Or is R2-D2 the best secret keeper of all time? Let us know your thoughts!