|R2-D2: Beneath the Dome|
R2-D2: Beneath the Dome is a 2001 mockumentary that utilizes fake interviews, fake archive photos, film clips, and behind the scenes footage to tell the "life story" of the astromech droid R2-D2. The film was made by the cast and crew of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones based on an idea by Don Bies (ILM Modelmaker and head of the R2 production unit) and friends.
- "George said 'What are you doing to Artoo?' I said 'Well, I'm trying to throw my styrofoam cup away in this trash can.' He said 'That's not a trash can! That's R2-D2!'"
- ―Steven Spielberg
The film is narrated in a tongue-in-cheek style, giving the ups and downs of Artoo's life, from his humble upbringings in Bollux, England to his successful life as an actor. The mockumentary achieves this by using interviews by those who "know" him, such as: George Lucas, Ewan McGregor, Francis Ford Coppola, Richard Dreyfuss, Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Steven Spielberg and more.
It introduces his Human "family," complete with a brother and a sister. His birth name, "Reginald Dillingham," was changed for show biz. As it is revealed, the Star Wars series wasn't his first roles, as he had had many leading parts in plays and movies. He is shown to be quite the lady's man, with plenty of bikini clad women riding in his Limo. He is said to have a Human girlfriend who fears she might be pregnant. After a successful career in movies and theater, the shortage of new work sends him into a depression. He goes so far down the spiral, and in an attempt to prove his worthiness, he bungee jumps and is nearly killed when he forgets to use the cord. His career is then reinvigorated when asked by George Lucas to do Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
A trailer for R2-D2: Beneath the Dome accompanied the US Thanksgiving broadcast of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It then aired, beginning on November 25, 2001, in three weekly installments on the US television channel FOX. The segments were released simultaneously on StarWars.com as three web featurettes. This trailer was later included as a special feature on the Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones DVD.
The film was released on DVD in Region 1 on December 26, 2002. It contained all three segments that were originally aired on US TV and released on StarWars.com, plus the ending credits and an easter egg of photos of R2-D2 on the sets of the Star Wars films. The DVD was made available exclusively at Best Buy and Musicland stores, which includes SunCoast Motion Picture Company, MediaPlay and Sam Goody outlets.