R2-D2 is one of the most popular characters from the Star Wars franchise. Some upper-level theorists argue that he is the most important character in the Star Wars mythos — a veritable Space Heisenberg, pulling the strings of galactic history behind an impassive domelike facade. (R2-D2 is bald, after all.) And the astromech droid can lay claim to a unique honor, owing in part to his incredible powers and in part to the impact he made on a young boy named Jeffrey Jacob Abrams: He’s the only Star Wars character to appear in the Star Trek franchise. It’s true! If you look very closely in 2009’s Star Trek reboot, R2-D2 appears floating through space-debris.
Now that the reboot-sequel-premake (or perhaps just “Khanquel”) Star Trek Into Darkness has hit DVD, io9 noted that R2 also has a brief cameo in the new film. This time, he’s actually on board the Enterprise. At least, he is before Evil Admiral Robocop fires at the Enterprise mid-warp, at which point R2-D2 is sent sailing into the faster-than-light continuum. Check out a screenshot of that here:
See him? He’s that blur just down and to the left of the center of the screen, with a dome-head and tripod-looking legs.
So basically, R2-D2 is doomed to be floating space debris in the Star Trek universe. Unless — and I realize this is a big “unless” — maybe this is all a subtle set-up for Into Darkness director J. J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars reboot? Like, we all know that astromech droids didn’t exist in the Star Trek universe…but maybe when Future Spock time-traveled in the Star Trek reboot, he butterfly-effected the Star Trek universe into creating astromech droids.
One of those droids was named R2-D2 and was stationed on board the U.S.S. Antares, which was destroyed in the Battle of Vulcan (Star Trek, 2009). The astromech droid was floating in space through the debris of the Antares, but managed to latch onto the Enterprise; like everyone else who stows away on the Enterprise, R2-D2 was promoted several times in his first week and became the Chief Droid on board, giving it unparalleled access to the history records of the rebooted Star Trek timeline, including a full map of the genetic code of humanity.
Unfortunately, R2-D2 was lost in battle during the Khan Incident (Star Trek Into Darkness, 2013). Unbeknownst to the crew of the Enterprise, R2 had fallen through a wormhole in the faster-than-light continuum into a quadrant of the universe roughly twenty quintillion mega-kilometers away from Earth; because the wormhole folded him through the fourth-dimension, the droid estimated that he was now in a corner of the space-time continuum roughly seven billion years from where he started.
R2 floated through this galaxy far far away for centuries, accumulating new energy levels from ambient space-microbes which pulsated with energy he had never seen before. This new energy gave R2 the ability to propel himself at unparalleled speeds into a new ectoplasmic corner of non-space. (R2 named this “hyperspace.”)
Some millennia later, the droid landed on a moon with minor atmosphere but trace doses of hydrogen and oxygen. Using science and the power of the space-microbes, R2 spent the next three eons carefully crafting new life and then guiding that life towards a creature that was scientifically identical to the humans of R2’s past. Working in the shadows and jumping through hyperspace, R2 guided the history of a whole galaxy. Eventually he got bored, and decided to create other beings like himself; this led him to co-found Industrial Automation, with the intention of fading into the background and becoming just another astromech droid. (Meanwhile, over the course of the last billion years, the space-microbes had infiltrated the biochemistry of R2’s humans, giving some of them incredible superpowers and bad haircuts.)
To sum up, R2-D2 fell out of the rebooted Star Trek universe, created the Star Wars universe, and he will star in 2015’s Star Wars: R2 Darkness, which will tee up the eventual 2021 crossover, Star Star: War of the Treks. Ben Affleck will play R2-D2 via performance-capture; however, he will be voiced by Vin Diesel.