REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: R2-D2 is LOST!’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

R2-D2 is LOST!

R2-D2 is LOST! is a children’s book published by Disney Lucasfilm Press, an imprint of Disney Book Group, written by Caitlin Kennedy and illustrated by Brian Kesinger. The story follows R2-D2 as he returns to the planet moon of Endor, and subsequently gets lost in the forest.

The book begins with the classic Star Wars opening text “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . .” to instantly grab you, and remind you of that familiar universe. As the droids set down on the planet, they are cautiously watched by the Ewoks, who are trying to get a good look at who has landed in their back yard.

Once the natives recognize C-3PO, they immediately start doting on him, as he resumes his status as a god in the eyes of the Ewoks. C-3PO launches into an explanation of why he is being treated this way to BB-8. The newer droid, BB-8, serves as a good representation for the younger reader as an entry point into Star Wars, whereas C-3PO captures the attention of an older reader who may have seen the original films. It’s an intelligent approach that really works for the purposes of the story.

Rather quickly, R2-D2 becomes frustrated as he witnesses his counterpart lauded as a deity for no other reason than simply existing. Ignoring the warnings of his golden friend, R2 rolls off into the forest seeking some time alone. As the droid continues on through Endor, he passes by some familiar and now abandoned, scenery from Return of the Jedi. Eventually, he encounters a lost Ewok child who he must return to the village. The only problem, R2 currently has no idea where he is, and his scanner is broken: R2-D2 is LOST!

R2-D2 is LOST!

It’s humorous to see the juxtaposition develop from this point on in the book, as R2 now has to become the responsible entity as the young Ewok dashes off to have fun, unaware of his consequences and accidentally placing himself in danger. For a young reader who may initially see themselves as R2-D2, this serves as a brilliant paradigm in which to reinforce the point of perspective. R2 shifts from being “the carefree child” to the “parent figure”. Eventually, R2 successfully returns the child to the village and looks visibly exhausted.

This is a really fun book, and Kesinger’s artwork is brilliant. He is able to translate a variety of emotions onto the ‘face’ of R2 in lieu of being able to verbally emote these feelings. The background scenery successfully captures the look and feel of Endor as we knew it during Return of the Jedi. Visually this book is on point and should engage with fans of Star Wars of all ages.

Kennedy has written a nice story but I have one major gripe. The book is marketed towards an age group of six to eight years old. Having children in this age range myself, and having read the book to them, it felt lacking in actual text. There just wasn’t enough there for them to really keep them engaged for the length of the book. Visually it’s brilliant, but I had higher expectations for the story. This feels like more of a pre-kindergarten to Kindergarten age story.

Overall it’s a lovely book, and it visually delivers on everything you’d want to see from a Star Wars story. The text though, it feels lacking with a lot of pages containing little or nothing to read. It’s nice, but I’m not sure it has that value for a child in the age range it’s marketed for to encourage multiple reads. For the artwork alone, however, I still think it’s worth picking up!

R2-D2 is LOST! is available on Disney and in shops now.

Rating: 3.5/5

Star Wars: R2-D2 is LOST!
3.5

TL;DR

Overall it’s a lovely book, and it visually delivers on everything you’d want to see from a Star Wars story. The text though, it feels lacking with a lot of pages containing little or nothing to read. It’s nice, but I’m not sure it has that value for a child in the age range it’s marketed for to encourage multiple reads. For the artwork alone, however, I still think it’s worth picking up!