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At the beginning of Episode IV, Luke and Uncle Owen purchase C-3PO and R2-D2 from the Jawas. Well, whenever Uncle Owen talks with 3PO he mentions that he needs a droid that can understand the binary language of moisture vaporators (along with Bocce), but it's never mentioned what purpose R2 would serve...

Why would a Tatooine moisture farmer be in need of an astromech droid?

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  • Either the answer is "for general repairs" or if you want something more specific, I'm not sure there is an answer. Are you looking for a canon answer from Lucas or the like? – iandotkelly Mar 1 at 16:21
  • Uhh, it doesn't necessarily have to be canon and/or from Lucas himself, just a plausible line of reasoning as to why an R2 unit over some other kind of droid. Wasn't sure if there are examples in the SWU that illustrate the roles of an R2 unit w.r.t. farming. I mean, Luke and Uncle Owen were somewhat determined on getting an R2 unit given that the first one malfunctioned and instead of getting a different type of droid all together they still chose another R2 unit. – Charles Mar 1 at 16:38
  • Farming requires equipment, equipment required maintenance, and maintenance requires people or droids. This could be vaporators, transportation, other droids. R2 units are primarily for maintenance right? We see them used on ships to repair the ship in flight, but I'm sure they are not specific to that narrow role. – iandotkelly Mar 1 at 16:46
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    Uncle Owen has some vehicles that travel floating in the air, as you can see when Lukes moves around in Tatooine, therefore he may need and R2 unit to diagnose and repair these vehicles, none of this is explained in the movie. – DanielV Mar 1 at 17:34
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R2 units were known for their abilities of diagnostics and repairs. That would be important to anyone working with any type of machinery.

This is never expressly stated anywhere in any movie, and even the scene where R2 was purchased never really stated what Owen wanted with it.

However, this information is apparent by watching the overall original trilogy and seeing what R2's strengths and usage were.

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To diagnose and repair this vehicle, perhaps?

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I mean, they have this kind of vehicles that may need repair, therefore the need of an R2 unit

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