Genetech Corporation was a medical research company and droid manufacturer. Founded during the time of the Galactic Republic, Genetech Corporation pioneered the use of droids to automate their operations, resulting in thousands of job losses but creating a healthy profit for the company. Genetech's decision to create their own droid labour force contributed to the growing anti-droid sentiment, especially in the Outer Rim Territories. After Genetech's reputation took a hit when an anti-viral serum did not meet expectations, the Corporation funnelled its efforts into building droids for the commercial market, most notably in the administrative and supervisory fields.
Genetech Corporation was a large company initially specializing in pharmaceutical research and development before retooling and entering the droid production market. While not as expansive as the likes of Cybot Galactica or Industrial Automaton, Genetech was considered to be one of the biggest and oldest droid manufacturers in the galaxy.
Genetech Corporation began as a pharmaceutical production company during the years of the Galactic Republic. When the usage of droids became widespread, Genetech's board authorized the acquisition of a small droid manufacturing facility, and began to build their own droids to automate a large percentage of their operations, mainly among its holdings in the Outer Rim Territories. The resulting replacement of organic workers by droids increased the Corporation's profits immensely by reducing employee payment overheads through the firing of thousands of assembly line workers. The move was highly controversial, and was one of the causes of anti-droid sentiment in the Republic, especially in the outlying areas of the Outer Rim.
A virulent hive virus hit Genetech Corporation's reputation when its anti-viral serum—which had been much promoted by the company—failed to meet expectations, leaving Genetech stock at an all-time low. Genetech had, however, channelled earlier profits into buying several more droid manufacturing facilities to augment the original one. After several years, along with several legal battles that ended lucratively for Genetech, the Corporation retooled itself and began manufacturing and selling droids aimed at the medical market. Genetech's successful entry into the droid market translated into huge profits for the company, and they became one of the galaxy's largest droid manufacturers by the time of the Galactic Civil War. Initially starting out producing medical droids, the Corporation soon branched into the accounting, administration, and book-keeping droid markets.
Noted for their successful supervisory and administrative droid lines, Genetech foundered when it produced the PIP/2 systems control droid. Genetech market research believed that they had found a new niche to exploit when they noted that the operation of control boards were still mainly handled by organic operators. Although a few units were completely automated through the use of artificial intelligence and microprocessors, many control boards were designed with switchboards and button key input controls. Various factors, ranging from cost, to security, and even convenience, were cited for the reason that this was the case. Manual input control boards were found in a variety of systems and locations, including air traffic control and municipal services. The organic operators manning these systems were often overworked which in turn led to mistakes that the were costly to correct. Genetech decided to design and market a specialist droid to fill the niche; admittedly, the niche was a small gap in the market, but the competitive nature of the galactic droid market meant that any possible business opportunity had to be taken seriously.
The PIP/2 was rushed into production with a huge investment, despite the fact that it was targeting a small market. Before long, cost overruns and logistical delays conspired to make Genetech's financial year a disaster unless the PIP/2 sold in record numbers. The PIP/2 failed spectacularly; advertized as "glitch-proof," the units developed multiple problems and were easily overwhelmed by excessive visual and auditory stimuli, causing them to push the wrong controls in a vain effort to keep up with the emerging problem or shutting down altogether. Genetech responded quickly, recalling as many droids as possible and patching them to perform perfectly. However, the damage was done. With the droid's reputation tarnished, few companies were willing to gamble using them. The PIP/2 continued production for two years until discontinued, forcing Genetech to temporarily refocus on its medical supply market until the public memory of the PIP/2 failure receded. The venture left Genetech in the red for several years.
At some point after the formation of the Galactic Empire, Genetech became embroiled in legal battles with the similarly named Geentech, a small medisensor manufacturing company which had entered the medical droid market with the successful 2-1B surgical droid. Genetech claimed that Geentech's name infringed on several Genetech copyrights. With little interference from Imperial Court officials, Genetech tied Geentech up in expensive copyright litigation. Bankrupted, Geentech was run out of business by the larger corporation, and rumors circulated that Genetech had offered the Galactic Empire large discounts and trade inducements in exchange for a result that favored them. Genetech then acquired Geentech's assets cheaply, apart from the 2-1B surgical droid which was part owned and produced by Industrial Automaton.
The 2JTJ personal navigation droid was designed to assist the newly blind to navigate their surroundings. Eighty percent of the units sold were to medical concerns such as hospitals and rehab centers, while the remainder were bought by individuals. In either case, they were used to assist partially sighted and blind individuals recover and adapt to their new situation, or to assist them in their daily lives. Genetech also found success in marketing the droid to non-Human races, such as the Miraluka and Sljee who often found their own alternative senses overwhelmed in large megalopolises such as Coruscant.
3D-4X administrative droidEdit
In response to Cybot Galactica's dominance over the protocol droid market, Genetech produced the 3D-4X administrative droid. Realizing that they could not compete to the new industry standard set by the 3PO-series protocol droid and their AA-1 VerboBrain, Genetech designed a limited function protocol droid that was geared towards systems administration rather than diplomacy. Produced on Mechis III, the 3D-4X series were employed as personal assistants to businessbeings who required an aide capable of being both an administrator and with the ability to take initiative. Highly intelligent, 3D-4X units were often used as primary trade negotiators.
A2 Accounting/Business UnitEdit
A successor to Genetech's earlier A1 series business droid, the A2 Accounting/Business Unit was a hemi-spherically shaped droid designed to operate as a personal account manager and negotiator. Unfortunately for Genetech, the SkillWare engineers failed to work out bugs in the A2's personality module which resulted in them being poor negotiators. However, the A2 series was skilled at determining relative market values and were efficient accountants. A2 series units cost 8,000 credits to buy new, and were found all over the Corporate Sector and in financial institutions in the Core Worlds.
PIP/2 systems control droidEdit
Although a failure for Genetech, the PIP/2, once patched, performed its job admirably. Designed to operate control boards meant to be operated by organic beings prone to making mistakes through overwork and anxiety, the PIP/2 had optical sensors installed three-hundred and sixty degrees around their heads, making them capable of watching the entire control board at once. The droid's eight limbs could operate the control panel with more speed and dexterity than an organic operator. Unfortunately, the PIP/2 never recovered from its shambolic inception, and only a few of these droids were in operation until late in the Galactic Civil War.
Behind the scenesEdit
Genetech was first mentioned in the first edition of Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, published by West End Games in 1996. The mention was in reference to the 2-1B surgical droid; however, The Star Wars Sourcebook published in 1987 had asserted that the 2-1B line had been manufactured by the similarly named "Geentech." A year later, Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids addressed the confusion, with the two similarly named companies being independent entities involved in a copyright legal battle over the similar name. However, Star Wars: Behind the Magic still listed Genetech as the creator of the 2-1B when it was released in 1998. Genetech garnered mentions in Lords of the Expanse, released in 1997, and the roleplaying game adventure Tasariq: The Crystal Planet, included in Star Wars Adventure Journal 15.
The Essential Guide to Droids, published in 1999, provided more information on Genetech's history, as did "Look Sir, Droids!," an article in 2001's Star Wars Gamer 3. Genetech received mentions in three articles in The Official Star Wars Fact File dealing with the 2-1B medical droid, the PIP/2 systems control droid, and the 3D-4Z administrative droid between 2002 and 2004. Also in 2004, The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology mentioned the company in a list of major manufacturers, and 2006's The New Essential Guide to Droids provided an overview of the company. Genetech received several mentions in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, published in 2008, despite not receiving its own entry. In 2009, Genetech was first mentioned in an in-universe narrative in The Clone Wars: Secret Missions 1: Breakout Squad, while 2010's Galaxy of Intrigue also mentioned the company.
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, Second Edition (First mentioned)
- Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids
- Lords of the Expanse
- "Tasariq: The Crystal Planet"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- The Essential Guide to Droids
- Look Sir, Droids!"—Star Wars Gamer 3 "
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 1 (MED2, 2-1B Medical Droid)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 9 (MAN2, Droid Manufacturers)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 109 (SYS1-2, PIP/2 Systems Control Droid)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 120 (ADM1-2, 3D-4X Administrative Droid)
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Galaxy of Intrigue
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 The New Essential Guide to Droids
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 The Essential Guide to Droids
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Look Sir, Droids!"—Star Wars Gamer 3 "
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Official Star Wars Fact File 109 (SYS1-2, PIP/2 Systems Control Droid)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 The Official Star Wars Fact File 1 (MED2, 2-1B Medical Droid)
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 329 ("Geentech")