B1 battle droid

< B1 battle droid

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This article is about the basic Trade Federation infantry unit known as the "battle droid". You may be looking for other battle droids.
"Useless things. A greater danger to us than to Jedi."
General Grievous[src]

B1 battle droids were battle droids that made up the backbone of the Trade Federation Droid Army and the Separatist Droid Army. Often called "Clankers" by Galactic Republic clone troopers, they were the successor of both the HKB-3 hunter-killer droid.[source?] and the OOM-series battle droid.

B1s were perhaps the most numerous—and expendable—soldiers in galactic history, and, unlike most organic soldiers, they were capable of action in hostile environments such as underwater or in space. They were designed, for the most part, to defeat their enemies through sheer numbers, not through their ability to think (they were very vulnerable to tricks) and utilize combat skills (unlike clone troopers).

The B1 battle droid was frequently used as a soldier for the Trade Federation. In almost every battle involving the Trade Federation there were B1s.

Early battles involving the droids required a control mainframe for the droids to "think" from, but this was mostly removed post-Battle of Naboo after an attack destroyed the mainframe stationed there, resulting in all the droids on the planet shutting down.



"Roger, roger."
―Typical response of a B1 battle droid — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

Neimoidians were known to spread the false rumor that B1 battle droids' heads were designed to imitate the shape of a Neimoidian's skull after death.[7] In this way, they were intended to strike fear into an enemy's heart.[8] In addition, their bodies vaguely resembled those of the Geonosians.

B1 battle droids were physically identical to their direct predecessor, the OOM-series battle droid; unlike OOM models, however, they were not color-coded according to function, if any. However, some were painted with different colors to blend into a certain environment. They stood 1.91 meters tall with black sensors.[1]

B1s were usually slaved to a central control mainframe located on a remote starship or another well-defended facility. However, this could lead to massive failure if the central control mainframe was destroyed, such as during the Battle of Naboo, in which Anakin Skywalker destroyed the Droid Control Ship.[2] The monumental defeat at Naboo spurred interest in independent battle droids, and this technique gained ground following the battle and during the Clone Wars.


In extreme cases, the droids would deactivate the electromagnets that kept their limbs attached. During the Clone Wars, Galactic Republic clone troopers learned to aim at the hips, torsos, and arm joints of the B1s to quickly destroy them.

B1s were designed for cheap mass-production. As a result, they were very flimsy and vulnerable, but were capable of swarming an enemy with their hugely superior numbers. Other models, like the droideka, B2 super battle droid, grapple droid, and B1-A air battle droid, were more expensive and as a result less widely used but better soldiers.

Battle droids used E-5 blaster rifles, blaster pistols, and thermal detonators in combat.[3] They spoke in a high-pitched monotone. The voice varied between units around the time of the Battle of Naboo, and at some point during the Clone Wars their voices were uniformly changed to a more high-pitched version.[9]


Obi-Wan force pull

Obi-Wan Kenobi using Force pull against a B1 battle droid during the Invasion of Naboo.

"Ouch time."
Roos Tarpals, commenting on the battle droids' before the Battle of Grassy Plains[src]

B1 droids often employed sophisticated tactics in battle. Massed parade ranks or simple swarms were used, and they often displayed a concept of cover.[10] During the Clone Wars, however, there was the inevitable development of wartime, and B1 programming began to show some improvement. Nevertheless, their in-battle reactions were often slow, and such initiative as was shown was slight.[2] General Grievous, the commander of the droid army, hated battle droids for their weakness in comparison to the Republic's clone troopers.

Although they appeared to be weak, B1s were able to take down an enemy in hand-to-hand combat as seen in the Battle of Grassy Plains where battle droids were able to take Gungan soldiers one-on-one.[2]

Although the earlier generations were entirely dependent on Central Control Computers, post-Naboo models featured a great degree of independence and personality.[11] Many older droids that were originally reliant on Control Computers developed personality quirks and a tendency to excessively comment on their situations.[12] Some older models of B-1 battle droids were pushed to the limit of their programming when they were assigned new duties which led to certain units talking endlessly in an attempt to handle the data overflow that had strained their old logic modules.[13]

File:B1 lineup.jpg


B1s were used by a variety of governments and armed forces. Even smugglers were known to use them, but in smaller amounts compared to the galactic armies of the commerce guilds.[14]

Invasion of Naboo

File:B1 STAP ST.jpg

B1 battle droids were used extensively during the Invasion of Naboo by Viceroy Nute Gunray. Although the droids were statistically flimsy, with overwhelming numbers they were able to subdue the Naboo and maintain surface control of the planet. The Trade Federation invasion force which held Naboo until the Battle of Naboo was mostly composed of B1s, droidekas and other mechanized vehicles such as AATs, MTTs, STAPs, and PACs.

Upon their arrival to the Trade Federation blockade of the planet, Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn highlighted weaknesses of the droids. These technical shortcomings, including a slow reaction time, weapon inaccuracy, and straight-forward tactics, stemmed from the nature of the Trade Federation quantity-over-quality production of B1s.

The "primitive" Gungan Grand Army and the bulk of the Trade Federation invasion force ultimately fought openly in the Battle of Grassy Plains. Although the uneven nature of the terrain and innovative tactics of the Gungans initially posed a problem, the overwhelming supply of B1s and other machines on the battlefield proved to be the trump card.

The turning point and saving grace of the Battle of Naboo proved to be the destruction of the Droid Control Ship by Anakin Skywalker. After the Central Control Computer of the droid army was destroyed, all mechanized units on the Grassy Plains reset and became inanimate, harmless constructions.[2]


Upon the closure of the Naboo crisis, the Galactic Republic passed legislation that prohibited the Trade Federation's use of droid armies and the development of military hardware. The Trade Federation, however, relocated its military research and production centers to extra-Republican territories, like Geonosis.

During this time, the Trade Federation began to recuperate from Republic ordinance and the incredible financial loss from the Naboo fiasco. Existing models of battle droids were improved and new generations of soldiers were developed, such as the Super Battle Droid.[7]

The B1s, however, were retooled and refitted. Learning from the destruction of the Droid Control Ship above Naboo, the Trade Federation upgraded B1s with on-board independent intelligence centers that could operate without a master signal.[1] The spherical centers of the Droid Control Ships were also redesigned to operate on land, which proved to be easier to defend.

Clone Wars

File:B1s Christophsis.jpg
"You expect victory over Jedi, but all you give me to fight them is battle droids!"
―General Grievous, to Count Dooku[src]

After the Trade Federation joined the Confederacy of Independent Systems, they became a majority of the Separatist Droid Army. B1s would be the Confederacy's most common soldiers, with alleged quintillions churned out on countless CIS factory worlds.[15] However, their uselessness frustrated Confederate commanders, such as General Grievous.[16] The battle droids earned the nickname by clone troopers of "clankers."[17]

They participated in many battles including, but not limited to, the First Battle of Geonosis, Battle of Muunilinst,[3] Battle of Cato Neimoidia,[18] Battle of Coruscant, and Battle of Kashyyyk.[3]' They were also used to eradicate the Nightsisters clan on Dathomir.[19] Training models were even used on Kamino for the practice tests of Clone cadets.

Following the execution of the Separatist Council by Darth Sidious's new apprentice, Darth Vader, most, if not all, of the B1s were de-activated. However, some would be re-activated to serve in the various Confederate Remnants, such as the one controlled by Geonosian Gizor Dellso.[3]

During the Clone Wars, ARC Prudii Skirata spoke to and managed to "convince" an important Separatist metallurgist to give him vital clues on the metallurgic structure of droids. By adding 5% extra carvanium to the droids via the main factory computer at Olanet, these droids crumbled when hit with any weapon. The sabotage acts were so successful that the kill ratio for Clone Troopers was raised from 1:20 droids to 1:50 droids during the first year of the Clone Wars.[20]

Post–Clone Wars

"Send a message to the ships of the Trade Federation: All droid units must shut down immediately."
Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[src]

Soon after Order 66, surviving Jedi Olee Starstone and Roan Shryne fled to Jaguada, a former Separatist base. Attempting to contact Jedi on Coruscant, they accidentally activated the droid guards. Vader discovered their position, and sent troops from the planet to destroy them. The Jedi used the activated droids to serve as a rear-guard against the troopers.[21]

During the rise of the Empire, some B1s were reactivated and reprogrammed for use as security droids.[22]

At some point before 12 BBY, Gizor Dellso re-activated a droid army on Mustafar. Shortly after this, the 501st Legion quickly destroyed the army and Dellso in the Battle of Mustafar.

B1 Advanced Battle Droid

A variant of the B1 frequently encountered by Delta Squad

During the Galactic Civil War, B1s left over from the Clone Wars were discovered on Geonosis by Rebel pilot Wedge Antilles after crash landing in his X-wing. Several stormtroopers that had landed on the planet in escape pods managed to destroy many droids by using E-web blasters, but they ultimately fell to the battle droids' overwhelming blaster fire.[23]

Other B1s that weren't deactivated were used in the Death Watch bunker, known crash sites on Tatooine, Separatist holdouts, Stone Wall Labs and Borvo's Vault on Naboo, and even on Kashyyyk.[6]Osaji Uhares repaired some and used them as his bodyguards on Centares.[24]

Some of these droids were used by Black Sun pirates in the Death Watch bunker.[6] The Jawa warlord Wittin used one on a Single Trooper Aerial Platform to compete in Jabba Desilijic Tiure's demolition games.[25]

The IG-97 droid beared a close resemblance to the original B-1 battle droid, although being developed by Holowan Mechanicals after plans by Phlut Design Systems who had been working for the InterGalactic Banking Clan.

Impact on galactic society

Toy versions of the B1 battle droid were known to have been manufactured, as Jango Fett's cloned son Boba Fett had some of his own during his youth on Kamino.[26]

The extensive use of B1s by the Confederacy also contributed to the general distrust of droids in galactic society during the Imperial Period.[7]

Notable units

Design variations

Behind the scenes


Master Qui-Gon, more to say, have you?

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B1 battle droids first appeared in 1999 with the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.


Non-canon appearances


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Notes and references

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