Print 43 comment(s) - last by Mojo the Monke.. on Aug 11 at 8:38 PM

Star Wars' R2-D2  (Source: Lucasfilm/Pixel Tale)

The Motorola Droid 2 has been officially announced.  (Source: Verizon via Engadget)
Verizon's gets another super-powered smart phone

T-Mobile has the Samsung Vibrant smartphone (granted, soon all carriers will).  Sprint has the HTC EVO 4G.  Now Verizon is keeping up with the Jones and unleashing another high end Android 2.2 smartphone to the masses.

The new phone is the Droid 2 from Motorola.  It's pretty much been the worst kept secret in the world, as smartphones often are.  To recap what was previously known and now confirmed, the phone packs a 3.7-inch color touchscreen, slide-out keyboard, 3G hotspot/tethering capability, 8 GB of build in flash memory, an SD expansion capable of holding up to a 32 GB card, a 5 MP camera capable of "DVD-quality" video, and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) connectivity to share pics and movies.

The phone runs on Android 2.2, which features a Davlik JIT compiler and Flash 10.1, among other improvements.

A handful of details remain unconfirmed -- processor speed (rumored to be 1 GHz) and the amount of memory (rumored to be 512 MB).

The phone goes on pre-order tomorrow, August 11 for $199.99 for customers with new contracts or full upgrade privileges.  It will hit stores August 12 -- this Thursday.  Customers can opt to purchase Verizon's 3G Mobile HotSpot service for $20/month.  The service allows up to 5 devices to connect via Wi-Fi to the phone's hotspot.  Just beware -- Verizon has a 5 GB monthly data cap and tethering will rapidly drain your battery.

Talk/text plans for the phone start at $39.99 and the email/web data plans start at $29.99, so you will pay a base rate of at least $69.98 monthly with the Droid 2, before taxes and fees are tacked on.

Some may not know it but Verizon licenses the "Droid" trademark from George Lucas's production company Lucasfilm.  Verizon officially embraced that tie for the first time, announcing a limited edition R2-D2 phone.

Verizon writes in the press release:

In honor of the iconic Astromech Droid from the Star Wars™ Saga, Verizon Wireless will offer a limited-edition R2-D2 version of the DROID 2, available only online in September. The special version of the phone will feature exclusive Star Wars content and external hardware designed to look like the trusty Droid from the film saga. Visitors to the upcoming Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando, Fla., can see a preview of the limited edition phone and sign up to receive alerts when the phone is ready for sale.

Features-wise the phone seems to fall a bit short of the $199.99 (with contract) Droid X, also by Motorola, which packs a 8 MP camera, 4.3-inch screen, and otherwise similar stats.  The only downsides are that the Droid X is keyboard-less and won't get Android 2.2 until September

The HTC Incredible also seemingly packs a superior camera to the Droid 2, weighing in at 8 MP (it has a similar 3.7-inch screen size).  Of course, as the iPhone 4 shows, the megapixel count isn't always telling of image quality, a lot of it is the image processing hardware and physical size of the sensor.  And the HTC phone's 1 GHz Snapdragon processor is generally slower than the 1 GHz OMAP processor the Droid 2 is rumored to have.

Regardless of the outstanding details -- the camera, the processor, and the memory -- the Droid 2 seems destined to be among Verizon's high end Android handsets.  It cements the company's firm commitment to Android as the smartphone leader of the future.

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RE: Geek alert
By acer905 on 8/10/2010 12:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
Actually he was R2 in all 6 movies.

RE: Geek alert
By Reflex on 8/10/2010 12:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
There were only three movies. And some lame fan fiction in the late 90's and early 2000's.

RE: Geek alert
By acer905 on 8/10/2010 12:45:18 PM , Rating: 4
I tend to not bury my head in the sand. Like it or hate it, Lucas is responsible for all 6. Also, the Matrix does have sequels.

RE: Geek alert
By mcnabney on 8/10/2010 1:32:39 PM , Rating: 2
When Matrix and Star Wars sequels are concerned, keeping your head in the sand might actually be a good thing.

RE: Geek alert
By Reflex on 8/10/2010 2:49:46 PM , Rating: 1
Yup. I'm not aware of any Matrix sequels either. Its not burying my head in the sand, its refusing to allow garbage to ruin something I enjoyed. I have no obligation to acknowledge movies I dislike.

Heck, Quantum of Solace never happened either. Stricken from the record as it should be. Makes my movie collection much better.

RE: Geek alert
By Whedonic on 8/10/2010 5:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
No! That's not true! That's impossible! *Throws self down airshaft*

RE: Geek alert
By Smilin on 8/10/2010 2:01:36 PM , Rating: 3
The whole story is R2D2s. He's the one telling it. He's the only character in all 6.

RE: Geek alert
By Proxes on 8/10/2010 3:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
And C-3PO.

RE: Geek alert
By Smilin on 8/10/2010 3:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
True but he wasn't assembled in ep1.

RE: Geek alert
By troysavary on 8/10/2010 5:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. Anakin is in all 6, he's just Vader in 3 of them. Obi-Wan is also in all 6, but is a ghost in two movies.

RE: Geek alert
By bodar on 8/11/2010 12:02:38 AM , Rating: 3
George Lucas has acknowledged the influence of The Hidden Fortress on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, particularly in the technique of telling the story from the points of view of the film's lowliest characters, C-3PO and R2-D2.[2] Kurosawa's use of frame wipes (sometimes cleverly hidden by motion within the frame) as a transition device also influenced Star Wars.

Actually, he's got something there. I saw it in a "making of" special for the Star Wars 30th anniversary or something. Lucas is on video saying this.

RE: Geek alert
By Reclaimer77 on 8/11/2010 12:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
The whole story is R2D2s. He's the one telling it. He's the only character in all 6.

Sorry but R2D2 is most certainly NOT the protagonist in any of the movies. Especially 1-3, where the biggest problem is the lack of any protagonists the audience can identify with. But that's just one of many problems the ill-fated prequels had. Truth be told, it was utterly ridiculous even having R2 and C3PO in the prequels. There was no reason for it, and like most things in the prequels, makes absolutely no sense. It was just more stupid fan service with totally NO payoff. There is ZERO indication in the orgiginal trillogy that those droids were part of a bigger story in the past. Vader clearly would remember them, but it's pretty obvious he's never seen them before in his life.

You would think that as much as C3PO runs his mouth, he would have mentioned SOMETHING about the past in the original trilogy as well. Like "oh yeah, Vader, that guy built me!!" Something? Anything? Once again Lucas seems to think he can stupidly "tie in" everything together into the original. No matter how poorly the pieces fit, how illogical it is, and how much suspension of disbelief is required from the audience.

Also having young Anakin building them himself presents another plot hole. So a slave kid built his slave mom a freaking protocol droid!? Yeah no doubt a droid who translates languages would be a HUGE help in doing backbreaking slave labor..ummm, right.

To say the whole "story" is R2D2, who has NO internal conflicts what-so-ever because he's a droid, shows a serious lack of understanding story structure and plots. R2D2 is there to provide comedic relief, and also help with plot supposition. Because when you have to explain things to a droid, you are really explaining them to the audience without being overly obvious.

RE: Geek alert
By bodar on 8/11/2010 3:23:47 PM , Rating: 3
Their memories were wiped at the end of Ep 3, so they didn't know jack about Vader. The part of the retcon that doesn't fit with the original trilogy is that Obiwan doesn't seem to recognize them in Ep 4. I don't recall Vader ever meeting the droids in person for him to "remember" them. Would be great though:

"No. I am your Maker."

The story is told through the droids perspective, but yeah, the movies are ultimately the story of the fall and redemption of Anakin.

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