I've been thinking a lot about stories lately, on the nature of the brain as a storytelling machine. More on that later, but one point that I've been considering is that, just as an infinite number of curves can be drawn through any finite set of points, so an infinite number of stories can be told through any finite set of events.
And then a few weeks ago, along came this lovely example, in which the Star Wars movies are re-interpreted with R2D2 and Chewbacca as prime agents of the Rebel Alliance. I love it!
A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope
Reconsidering Star Wars IV in the light of I-III
If we accept all the Star Wars films as the same canon, then a lot that happens in the original films has to be reinterpreted in the light of the prequels. As we now know, the rebel Alliance was founded by Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Bail Organa. What can readily be deduced is that their first recruit, who soon became their top field agent, was R2-D2.
As Star Wars opens, R2 is rushing the Death Star plans to the Rebellion. R2, not Leia. The plans are always in R2. What Leia puts into him in the early scene is only her own holographic message to Kenobi. Leia's own mission, as she says in the holographic message, is to pick up Obi-Wan and take him to Alderaan - or so she thinks. Actually, her father just wants her to meet Kenobi, which up to this point she never has. There's a reason for that.
Obi-Wan has spent the last 20 years in the Tattoine desert, keeping watch over Luke Skywalker and trying to decide on one of the three available options: A) If Luke shows no significant access to the Force, then leave him alone in obscurity B) If Luke shows real Force ability, then consider recruiting him as a Jedi. The rebellion needs Jedi. Now. But, if Luke shows any signs of turning out like his father, then C) sneak into his house one fine night and chop his head off. With great regret but it'll save a lot of trouble later on. Knowing this to be the case, Bail Organa (perhaps at the insistence of his wife) has found excuses not to send Leia to Ben for assessment of Jedi potential, largely for fear of option C.
... In his home-built hotrod aircraft, with no formal fighter pilot training and no decent instrumentation, Luke can regularly score centre-hits on 2-metre targets in complicated zero-altitude maneouvres. Until he attends the briefing on Yavin, Luke has no way of knowing that hardened combat pilots would consider that nearly impossible. To him it's easy. Obi-Wan, who saw Anakin's performance in the Pod Race, is nervous.
Much of Obi-Wan's behaviour in this film, and Yoda's in the next, can best be understood if they are frankly scared to death of what Luke might become. (Ben is also scared that he himself will make all the same mistakes he made with Anakin.)
20 years earlier, Chewbacca was second in command of the defence of his planet. He's there in the tactical conferences and there on the front lines and is a personal friend of Yoda's. When he needed reliable people to join the embryonic Alliance, who else would Yoda turn to but his old friend from Kashykk? Given his background, there is no way that Chewie would spend the crucial years of the rebellion as the second-in-command to (sorry Han) a low-level smuggler. Unless it's his cover. In fact, Chewie is a top-line spy and flies what is in many ways the Rebellion's best ship.