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Droid Counterparts Fathead

R2-D2 and C-3PO, astromech and protocol droid, played a significant role in the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War.

Droids, less commonly known as robots, were mechanical beings that possessed artificial intelligence. They were used in a variety of roles and environments, often those considered too menial or too dangerous for other species, but also in fields that required extensive specialization and knowledge.

HistoryEdit

For millennia, droids served in galactic society alongside organic beings.[1] Droids existed as far back as the earliest days of the Jedi Order,[2] which was founded over 5,000 years before the Clone Wars.[3] One such ancient droid, Professor Huyang, served the Jedi for several millennia.[2] As a result of this ancient coexistence with living beings, the galaxy often had an uneven relationship between organics and mechanicals. Records of uprisings and clashes between droids and their organic overlords became increasingly common as droids slowly became more important in galactic society.[1]

During the pan-galactic conflict known as the Clone Wars, the Confederacy of Independent Systems used a variety of battle droids in its fight against the Galactic Republic. This mass-use of droids in combat cemented the idea of the "droid as an existential threat to biological life" narrative in the minds of the fearful and bigoted.[1] Ultimately, the Republic won the war and was replaced by an authoritarian Galactic Empire. Under the new regime, many people in the galaxy were afraid or otherwise distrustful of droids, due to their bad memories of the war.[4]

DefinitionEdit

Droids were mechanical constructs designed to assist organic lifeforms in various tasks. Depending on the nature of the work they performed, they possessed various degrees of artificial intelligence.[5]

Droids came in all sizes and shapes, and many of them resembled humanoid organics, possessing an upright posture, two arms, two legs, hands, feet, one thorax, a neck, and a head.[6] The B1 battle droids were designed to resemble their insectoid Geonosian creators.[7] Likewise, the Colicoids designed the three-legged droidekas in their image.[8] Some droids, like the LOM-series unit, were made to resemble the organics they served.[5]

Contrary to organics, who were born and healed slowly,[9] droids were easily built en masse, were less fragile, and could be repaired easily.[10] They also did not have to learn skills (such as calculation abilities), as they were directly programmed with them. Most droids possessed a form of self awareness, with advanced models even having emotions such as fear for their existence.[9] They did not need to sleep, although they could be deactivated as a form of sleep and had occasional maintenance cycles.[11]

Because they were not technically alive, droids were "dead" to the Force,[10] an energy field that connected all living things in the galaxy.[12] (The reprogrammed protocol unit Triple-Zero, however, theorized that the Force might flow through a droid equipped with a special engine driven by human blood.)[10]

Droids were usually completely obedient and precise, and normally followed their proprietors' orders.[12] Some droids, however, served as bounty hunters, operating independently, without a master.[13]

By gathering experiences, droids gradually began to develop a distinct personality and a form of consciousness. To avoid that, most droid owners performed regular memory wipes on their properties.[6]

Classes of droidsEdit

Droids could be entrusted with a multitude of tasks, ranging from running elementary diagnostics to performing complicated medical procedures, or sending communications to flying starships.[5] Depending on their function, droids were grouped into at least five "classes." For example, medical droids were part of class one, while security droids belonged to class four, and construction droids to class five.[14]

Behind the scenesEdit

The word droid is derived from android which means "man-like." Of course the term is erroneously used for "second degree" droids that have nothing common with Humanoids. Droid is the exclusive name for every robotic entity in Star Wars. However, C-3PO and R2-D2 were referred to as "robots" on one occasion in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

The word droid was stylized as 'droid in the novelization of Star Wars: A New Hope, the apostrophe indicating that droid was a shortened form of the word android. In subsequently published novels, the apostrophe was not used.

Early Star Wars Legends material sometimes spelled droid with an apostrophe ('droid), short for android.

TrademarkEdit

George Lucas holds a trademark on the term "droid." The miniature 'mech combat wargame BattleTech was originally released under the name BattleDroids, but was renamed due to trademark issues with Lucasfilm.

Pixar Animation Studios' film The Incredibles (2004) contains a reference to Lucasfilm's droid with the large weapon of destruction, the Omnidroid; an apparently unrelated killer droid of the same name also appears in Star Wars Galaxies. The credits of the film give a nod to Lucasfilm.

From Mickey News [1] (25 November 2004):

For some viewers that feeling lasts through the closing credits, where a notice that the term "Omnidroid" was used by permission of Lucasfilm Ltd. has prompted some fans to speculate that The Incredibles offers a sneak peak at a character from the next Star Wars film.
"No. No, no, no," Bird [Brad Bird, director of The Incredibles] says with a laugh, when asked if the secret weapon has a secret of its own. "I like that they think that, but it's more the term 'droid' is Lucas and we made the term Omnidroid (and then got the OK as a courtesy). So, no, there's no sneak. But God bless those fans. They're crazy."

The term "Droid" has been licensed by Verizon Wireless for their line of smartphones based on the Android operating system. Motorola's late-2009 Google Android-based cell phone is called the Droid and this line of phone has been expanded to include other Android-based phones released under Verizon. The term is used under license from Lucasfilm.[15]

AppearancesEdit

Non-Canon Appearances

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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