If the “Star Wars” movies are any indicator, artificial intelligence may be better suited for life in the future, or on other planets, than are humans.
The little garbage can-shaped droid R2-D2 was present in all six of the Star Wars canon movies. He was a member of the rebel alliance, fought Darth Vader, and rescued his friends from the clutches of evil. Even though R2 was full of gears and solid state circuits, he always demonstrated that, in fact, he was all heart.
R2 usually fought side by side with his robot buddy C-3PO, a shivering mound of nerves and fear. But R2 was nearly always the droid that displayed true heroism.
Here are some characteristics best demonstrated by R2-D2 that humans need to learn, or droids may outlast our little race of humans.
1. Selflessness – In the movie “The Empire Strikes Back”, R2-D2 rescues his best buddy C-3PO on Cloud City. C-3PO was damaged after being blasted by storm troopers. Even though R2 is slow, and only gets around on three wheels, he rolled into enemy laser fire for his friend, never giving a second thought to his own well-being.
2. Loyalty – Throughout all six Star Wars movies, R2 was fast to make friends with both humanoid and robotic characters. But he would face a whole room of banthas for the characters he considered friends like Luke and Leia Skywalker, Han Solo, and C-3PO.
3. Bravery – Every now and then, R2 would get his paint chipped and a few circuits fried, but none of that pulled him from his main objectives. In “Return of the Jedi,” Luke is captured by Jabba the Hut and taken to a giant pit. Jabba intended to throw Luke into the sand hole where a hungry monster waited to devour Luke slowly over one thousand years. R2 smuggled in a light saber for Luke, pretty much saving the day and the rebellion, and furthermore, the entire galaxy.
4. Non-Judgement – R2 encountered many different forms of life and cultures. Many were strange and exotic, but this did not matter to R2. He didn’t make fun of them, or point his diodes mockingly. R2 didn’t spend his time figuring out what races and cultures and beliefs he agreed with or supported. He accepted everyone equally, that is, until they demonstrated they could not be trusted.
5. A Sense of Adventure – Sure, defeating Darth Vader wasn’t an easy job. And I bet the rebellion could have used a bot like R2 to sit around behind a desk, being highly efficient, sending out messages and tracking fighter parts’ deliveries. But a desk job wasn’t good enough for R2. He wanted an adventure, to be in the middle of things, to have his life on the line and come back home knowing he had made a difference.
If humans want to continue thriving in the future, perhaps we can all take a page from R2-D2, a little droid, shaped like a trash can, who wasn’t afraid to look danger in the eyes, all the while making friends and having cool adventures.
He only had three wheels, and at times he was a little slow, but the ideas he lived by and espoused are timeless. I hope we can all grow up to be just like R2-D2.