This was my second “silenced” troop of the weekend and the one that bothered me the most. While I can laugh the astromechs laryngitis off, or make jokes about him constantly finding new ways to disappoint me with his behaviour at events, having him at a troop with his soundboard out of action was like he was only half there. The droid can roll about, spin his dome with his lights flashing, but without any way for him to “communicate” with the public his presence is greatly diminished.
I felt it particularly when trying to interact with one particular little girl in a purple GAP sweatshirt that afternoon. Several times she and her family came past where we stood and on each occasion she stopped to wave to the droid and converse with him, but beyond a shake of his dome he was entirely reticent. Even when she moved off each time and he made to follow her, gloriously prompting and wagged finger and command to “stay”, the inability to command a well timed sad beep ruined the event for me. Certainly if it wasn’t already the remote at fault for his failure to perform, it’s a cert that my frustrated, repeated and increasingly hard prodding at the buttons just to try to get a single squeak out at that point has surely busted it too.
Just like Elmo for ruining Sesame Street forever, you’re dead to me now R2. Dead.