R2-KT (also referred to as "Artoo") was a compassionate, pink-plated R2 series astromech droid who witnessed the rise and fall of numerous galactic powers. Serving in the Galactic Republic through the Clone Wars, R2-KT eventually came into the service of Leia Organa's Resistance about fifty years later during their fight against the First Order.
While in service to the Galactic Republic, R2-KT worked in the Republic Navy alongside the 501st Legion of the Grand Army of the Republic. Often stationed aboard the Resolute, the flagship of Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, R2-KT assisted in various campaigns, including the search for Rotta the Huttlet in the Battle of Teth, the rescue of Jedi Master Aayla Secura in the Battle of Quell, and the destruction of the Separatist blockade prior to the Battle of Ryloth.
Decades later, the droid served in the ground forces of the Resistance, maintaining starfighters at the Resistance base on the planet D'Qar. R2-KT held this position during the assault on Starkiller Base, a superweapon of the First Order. Following the battle, R2-KT attended the send-off of Rey and Chewbacca on their journey to find Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi.
Droid of the 501stEdit
R2-KT was an R2 series astromech droid who served in the Republic Navy beside the 501st Legion of the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars, a galactic campaign of the Galactic Republic against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Less than a year into the war, Rotta, the son of crime lord Jabba the Hutt, was kidnapped by the Separatists, and the 501st Legion was assigned to rescue the Huttlet.
Meeting with Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, R2-KT and the 501st rendezvoused for a mission briefing in the hangar of an Acclamator-class assault ship above the planet Teth, the location of Jabba's kidnapped son. Prior to the mission, Skywalker's Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, told the story of how she saved her master in the Battle of Christophsis by collapsing a wall over him and onto enemy battle droids. The story humored the 501st clone troopers, prompting Clone Captain Rex to ask Skywalker if it was true. When the Jedi affirmed that most of it was, R2-KT and fellow astromech droid R2-D2 chuckled. Wasting no time, Skywalker reminded his men that they had a battle to prepare for, and at the order of Rex, R2-KT and the 501st disbanded.
Later in the war, R2-KT served aboard the Resolute, a Venator-class Star Destroyer, which served as General Skywalker's flagship and was commanded by Admiral Wullf Yularen. While the Resolute was defensively stationed in the Quell system of the Outer Rim Territories, Jedi General Aayla Secura requested aid from Skywalker, since her forces were heavily outnumbered in the Battle of Quell. As the Resolute arrived in Quell's atmosphere, R2-KT was present in the capital ship's hangar bay beside a Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry gunship which Skywalker, Tano, and Rex promptly boarded. As R2-KT left the hangar, the commanders, along with two additional gunships, exited the Resolute to assist Secura's forces.
In the time after the Battle of Quell, the planet Ryloth came under siege by Separatist forces led by Wat Tambor. To confront the blockade, the Republic dispatched three Star Destroyers, the Resolute, the Defender, and the Redeemer. Skywalker assigned Tano to lead the attack through the blockade, and R2-KT was stationed in the Resolute's hangar bay as the Padawan and Blue Squadron prepared their starfighters. Once Tano and Blue Squadron engaged the enemy forces, four Munificent-class star frigates appeared out of hyperspace to reinforce the blockade. Overpowered, the Republic Star Destroyers were forced into a retreat, although the Redeemer was destroyed before it could escape. After the retreat, R2-KT remained in the Resolute hangar, moving past the remaining V-19 Torrent starfighters as Skywalker requested a head-count from two clone trooper pilots. Soon after, R2-KT continued roaming the hangar as Skywalker and R2-D2 made repairs to Tano's Delta-7B Aethersprite-class light interceptor. After talking with Tano, Skywalker decided that they should return to the blockade, planning to use the heavily-damaged Defender to ram the Lucrehulk-class Droid Control Ship and break the Separatist formation. As the crew of the Resolute rushed to the hangar and worked to evacuate the Defender, R2-KT remained posted near an LAAT/i gunship. Skywalker's plan succeeded, and additional Republic ships arrived to begin the ground assault.
Serving the ResistanceEdit
After fighting for three years, the war came to an end, and the victorious Republic reformed into the Galactic Empire. However, many systems were against the Imperial rule, so the Alliance to Restore the Republic was created, and less than nineteen years after the end of the Clone Wars, the Galactic Civil War began. By the twenty-third year after the formation of the Empire, the government suffered a major loss at the Battle of Endor, in which Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine was killed. In the months after the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance reformed into the New Republic and decisively defeated the Empire in the Battle of Jakku. However, in the following decades, Imperial sympathizers created the First Order, threatening the safety of the Republic. To combat the First Order, Leia Organa created the Resistance, a small military force, and within six years of the Resistance's creation, R2-KT came into its service, operating at the Resistance base on the planet D'Qar. Like many Resistance droids, R2-KT was granted independence and viewed as a partner rather than a machine. Alongside the loading droid B-U4D, the BB unit BB-8, and tech officer Peet Deretalia, R2-KT was part of the ground forces responsible for keeping the Resistance's T-70 X-wing fighters ready for flight.
Twenty-nine years after the Battle of Jakku, the First Order destroyed the Republic capital in the Hosnian system with the use of a superweapon called Starkiller Base. In response, the Resistance established plans to destroy the weapon, and the Resistance pilots prepared their starfighters; during this time, R2-KT was stationed at the Resistance base airfield. Led by Poe Dameron, the Resistance began their assault on Starkiller Base, successfully destroying the superweapon by crippling its thermal oscillator. Shortly after the battle, R2-D2—who was also in service to the Resistance—completed a map to Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi, with the help of BB-8. Resistance members Rey and Chewbacca were selected to find Skywalker aboard the Millennium Falcon, and R2-KT attended their send-off.
R2-KT was a 1.09 meter-tall R2 series astromech droid produced by Industrial Automaton. Covered in white, pink-accented plating and a gray dome, R2-KT had a light blue photoreceptor. Also known simply as "Artoo," R2-KT had a compassionate personality—a characteristic present in the programming of all R2 units. R2-KT also displayed an appreciation for humor, chuckling with R2-D2 when Tano told a story about saving Anakin Skywalker's life.
As an R2 series astromech droid, R2-KT was equipped with an arc welder, a holoprojector, a reader socket, a recharge coupling, and various concealed tools. Additionally, R2-KT had two motorized all-terrain treads and a third, retractable tread for balancing on uneven surfaces.
Behind the scenesEdit
Creation and charityEdit
- "In 2004 Katie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Katie loved Star Wars and loved the color pink. When her health declined to the point she couldn't get out of bed, she said she wished she had a droid to watch over her like R2-D2 watched over a sleeping Padmé in Attack of the Clones."
- ―Albin Johnson
R2-KT, the "Droid With the Heart of Gold," was created by the R2-D2 Builders Club in 2005 as a tribute to Katie Johnson, the seven-year-old daughter of Albin Johnson, the founder of the 501st Legion costuming group. Katie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2004, and Albin (who was doing 501st charity work at the time), began to receive support from around the Star Wars community. Garrisons of the 501st Legion started independent fundraisers, and when Star Wars creator George Lucas visited Japan on a promotional tour for Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, the Japanese Garrison told him of Katie's condition. In response, Lucas filmed her a "get well" video.
As Katie's declining health struck her bedridden, the girl wished she had a droid to watch over her, like R2-D2 watched over Padmé Amidala in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. When Jerry Greene of the R2 Builders heard about the Johnsons' story, he and his fellow builders organized a campaign to collect parts and assemble an R2 unit for Katie. In a few months, they constructed a custom, fully functional droid which they painted pink and named "R2-KT." According to Albin, Katie kept the droid by her bedside through her final days.
R2-KT has since been used to visit children's hospitals and spread awareness of pediatric illness by attending Star Wars events. The droid has also been the focus of various fundraisers; in 2007, Hasbro Inc. produced an R2-KT action figure, raising $100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and in 2015, Mattel sold a Celebration Anaheim–exclusive R2-KT Hot Wheels collectible, donating the proceeds to Star Wars: Force for Change. With the 501st Legion, R2-KT has raised millions of dollars for charity.
Role in Star Wars canonEdit
- "R2-KT, an astromech that came out of the fan group the 501st is in the film, was in Clone Wars—shows up all over the place—is in LEGO, because we respect the fans and want you to feel like you are heard."
- ―Dave Filoni
In 2008, R2-KT was introduced to Star Wars canon when Dave Filoni of Lucasfilm Ltd. featured the droid in the animated feature film Star Wars: The Clone Wars as a way to honor the memory of Katie and show respect to fans of Star Wars. R2-KT made two additional cameo appearances in the Clone Wars television series, appearing in the season one episodes "Jedi Crash" and "Storm Over Ryloth." In the season five episode "Secret Weapons," R2-KT was set to appear alongside R2-D2 as a member of D-Squad. However (to avoid the confusion of having two characters named "Artoo"), R2-KT was replaced with QT-KT, a droid styled in R2-KT's likeness.
On November 28, 2015, Albin Johnson revealed that R2-KT would make a live-action appearance in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, the seventh installment to the episodic Star Wars saga, and Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm Story Group confirmed that the droid was the same in-universe character from The Clone Wars. In the film, which was directed by J.J. Abrams and released on December 18, 2015, R2-KT appears in three brief cameos. R2-KT also appears as a playable character in LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a non-canon video game adaptation of the film released on June 28, 2016.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars film (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Jedi Crash"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Storm Over Ryloth"
- Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
Notes and referencesEdit