This year’s animated adventure The LEGO Movie currently ranks as the third-highest-grossing movie of 2014, leading to quite a bit of talk about what’s next for the franchise and the elements that made it so successful, as well as what ended up on the cutting-room floor. According to the film’s creative team, a certain android from a galaxy far, far away was one notable victim of the editing process.
Talking with Yahoo, The LEGO Movie writers/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller revealed that Star Wars android R2-D2 was originally expected to have a major role alongside Batman and the rest of the licensed characters (and real-world characters) who appear in the movie.
“He was a Batman-level character,” said Miller, comparing him to the version of DC Comics’ Dark Knight (voiced by Will Arnett) who assisted the film’s hero in his quest to stop Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from gluing together the LEGO universe.
“We figured we could get R2-D2 because his voice wasn’t a human being,” added Lord.
However, the duo soon discovered that the unlimited freedom to mix and match brands that they enjoyed in the imaginary world of the LEGO universe didn’t always translate to the real-world production process.
“A kid doesn’t have lawyers that won’t allow the toys to play together,” said Miller of their approach to the film when scripting the interactions between various brands like Star Wars, DC Comics superheroes, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Lord of the Rings, and others. While some Star Wars characters did indeed appear in the film, they were relegated to cameos in the end.
“Part of the appeal for us was that Roger Rabbit thing — that you can get these characters together that you couldn’t get in any other type of movie,” added Miller. “Watching my own son play, he does put Batman on the Millennium Falcon and there’s no-one saying they take place in completely different times and galaxies.”
With a sequel on the way, there’s always the chance that R2-D2 could still find his way into a prominent role in The LEGO Movie 2 — although with a long list of live-action Star Wars movies also planned, there isn’t likely to be a shortage of R2 sightings on the big screen over the next few years.