R2D2 is just under a metre in height wth two legs and a retractable "foot". His body contains numerous sensors as well as a seemingly endless supply of gadgets. The robot was usually played by actor Kenny Baker although props and CGI were also used in some scenes.
Most people probably became familiar with R2D2 through the original Star Wars movie. In this film he and C3PO are on ship with Princess Leia who uses R2D2 as a messenger.
When C3PO's memory is wiped in Revenge of the Sith R2D2 is spared - possibly because of his lack of verbal communication. This rather unbelievable plot device allows R2D2 to move into the original trilogy with the knowledge required to make the story work.
R2D2 is a loyal and fearless droid who faces danger willingly and often saves the human characters.
The cute bleeping trashcan that is R2D2 has achieved iconic status and even been inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame. For his millions of fans around the world there is a huge range of merchandise available to buy from full life size reproductions to inexpensive toys, remote control and voice activated models and even cookie jars!
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars film in 2007 the United States Postal Service (USPS) will be introducing R2D2 themed mailboxes into post offices around America.