One question I know a lot of fans had after seeing “The Force Awakens” was about R2-D2’s role at the end of the film. Well at the same Writers Guild of America screening where J.J. Abrams confirmed a cool cameo appearance, he and Michael Arndt explained what happens to R2-D2 at the end of the film:
So we know at the end of the movie R2-D2 wakes up from his powered down state to reveal the other part of the map that will lead them to Luke’s whereabouts. But how did R2 get that information, and what made him wake up at that moment in the end of the film? Well here is what J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt revealed about R2-D2 at the screening, via an article from Entertainment Weekly:
“We had the idea about R2 plugging into the information base of the Death Star, and that’s how he was able to get the full map and find where the Jedi temples are,” Arndt said.
“But the idea was that in that scene where R2 plugged in, he downloaded the archives of the Empire, which was referenced by Kylo Ren,” Abrams said
“BB-8 comes up and says something to him, which is basically, ‘I’ve got this piece of a map, do you happen to have the rest?’” Abrams said. “The idea was, R2 who has been all over the galaxy, is still in his coma, but he hears this. And it triggers something that would ultimately wake him up.”
“While it may seem, you know, completely lucky and an easy way out, at that point in the movie, when you’ve lost a person, desperately, and somebody you hopefully care about is unconscious, you want someone to return.”
So there you have it. R2 wakes up from his coma state thanks to BB-8, and had the map information by plugging into the Deathstar’s mainframe in “A New Hope,” which I think is pretty cool.
You can check out the full article over at Entertainment Weekly, where they talk more about figuring out the best way to re-introduce the classic characters in “The Force Awakens.”