If there's a droid equivalent for the American Humane Association in a galaxy far, far away, Han Solo movie director Ron Howard is going to be in trouble. Just look at the video he posted to Instagram, but please be aware that it's not for any faint-of-heart droid-lovers, as it looks like one is barbecuing on the Star Wars set!
This flaming astromech is the latest tease from the upcoming Han Solo movie's production to hit Ron Howard's social media. In June, Howard took over the still-untitled feature from the previously attached Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and he's been keeping active on Twitter and Instagram ever since. Despite having served as directors for a significant amount of production, the 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie pair were removed due to creative differences, but Howard has kept the ball rolling.
Ron Howard's comment about things being "rough all over the galaxy" arrives just days after a post in which he wrote that "the Empire looms large." As one might expect from an aggressive totalitarian space regime, it sounds like the galaxy is having a fair share of difficulties dealing with the rising Empire as the events of the Han Solo movie unfold.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Han Solo movie will reveal whatever path it was that led to this unfortunate R2 unit to become some kind of junkyard grill. Unfortunately, violence to droids is pretty common in Star Wars, from C-3PO getting ripped to shreds on Cloud City, to a poor little GNK getting tortured in Jabba's palace.
Because of this particular droid's resemblance to R2-D2, it's easy to assume that some kind of monster must be responsible for its current, engulfed-in-flames predicament. Let us keep in mind, though, that if there's one character in all of Star Wars who's obsessed with fire, it's R2 himself. We saw him use his rocket thrusters to ignite an oil slick to stop two super battle droids in Revenge of the Sith. Later, in the early Clone Wars adventure "Duel of the Droids," R2 employs the same flame throwing tactic to defeat the traitorous astromech R3-S6. R2 also seemed quite eager to help C-3PO burn the Jawa bodies in A New Hope. Basically, don't ever turn your back on that little guy.
Then again, maybe we're looking at this flaming R2 unit from the wrong perspective. Perhaps the little guy or gal died gloriously on the fields of battle and this is his well earned Viking funeral.
Regardless of what led to this particular R2 unit's fiery demise, our duty as Star Wars fans is clear. We'll wait for the Han Solo movie to hit theaters May 25, 2018, and, in the meantime, keep an open space in our collections for the factory-built inevitable combination outdoor grill and flaming astromech husk.