The NR-5 series repair droid, also known as the NR-5 maintenance droid or Imperial maintenance droid, was a knockoff of Cybot Galactica's WED Treadwell repair droid manufactured by Kalibac Industries during the Galactic Civil War. Despite heavy accusations of stealing the WED's design, it proved hugely popular with technicians and freighter captains alike and was more reliable, if more expensive, than its competitor, even seeing use in the Imperial Navy. However, sales of the NR-5 dropped considerably when Industrial Automaton introduced its R4-series agromech droid, though the NR-5 generally did a better job than the R4 in the clean environments of starships and many remained in use well into the New Jedi Order era.
- "The manipulator arms are stronger, and their personality matrices don't have short attention spans like the WEDS. The tread base is a bit more narrow, allowing it access to some ares the WED droids can't enter. The visual receptors are mounted on a much longer and more adjustable arm, which give it greater ability to poke around in tight spots to find problems with your ship."
- ―Platt Okeefe compares NR-5s and WEDs, in the Smuggler's Handbook
A general maintenance and repair droid that could handle many starship repair tasks, the fifth-degree NR-5 series repair droid was a knockoff of the WED Treadwell repair droid, the very droid it was designed to compete with and bore a striking resemblance to. Designed by Kalibac Industries to address most maintenance issues aboard commercial and military vessels, it was small and unobtrusive, standing only 0.7 meters in height and able to fit into most repair bays without modifications. It addition, the NR-5's tread bases was a bit more narrow, allowing it access to some areas that WED droid could not enter and traverse all but the most constricted access ducts with relative ease. The NR-5's two heavy tracks kept it remarkably stable, its three manipulator arms, stronger than those of a WED, made it handy, and its square head and round body were often seen as cute. The NR-5 was equipped with a telescopic heavy grasper arm, fine manipulator arm, and general purpose appendage, with which it was ambidextrous, as well as three tools mounts, an integrated arc welder, and built-in repair tools. Its sophisticated visual sensor system, with Human range, ultraviolet, infrared, and low-light capabilities, were mounted on a much longer and more adjustable arm than a WED, which gave it greater ability to poke around in tight spaces to find problems with ships. The NR-5 was also equipped with a wide-band comm receptor, a diagnostics package, and a secondary battery. The only problem with the series was that the droid was not particularly sturdy. Though they worked fine in the clean environment of a starship, NR-5s often did not do to well working outdoors in the harsh conditions of many Outer Rim worlds and needed continual maintenance.
Intelligent and skilled enough to carry out a wide variety of tasks, but not so curious as to get itself into trouble, NR-5s' simple personality matrices did not have short attention spans like WEDs. Equipped with a Kalibac Industries Mechro-II droid brain, they were famous for their determination, which could be both a boon and a liability. Some NR-5s refused to leave their jobs until they were been completed. In addition, they were not particularly bright or personable and were also cautious. Their vocabulators were capable of communicating in both Basic and Binary, as well as four unassigned languages, and could read and write in the former.
Produced by Kalibac Industries during the Galactic Civil War, the awkward NR-5 was considered the perfect maintenance droid when first introduced in the year 2 BBY for 2,200 credits new. However, the company was heavily accused of stealing the design of Cybot Galactica's cheaper, if less reliable, WED Treadwell unit when it released the droid to market. Despite the allegations being well founded, KI insisted that the NR-5 was their response to the impact of their chief competitor, Industrial Automaton, and their competing R2-series astromech droid. It found popularity among shipboard technicians who needed addition assistance in starship maintenance and individuals who needed additional technical help they could count on. In addition, while the NR-5 lacked astrogation and piloting skills, it was also substantially cheaper than an R2 unit, making it a good choice for budget conscious freighter captains. Within a year of its release, a small company of outlaw techs know as "Tredwall" stole the droid's design and produced a cheap, faulty imitation that worked for about ten hours before completely frying all its circuits. The NR-5 was virtually ignored throughout the Outer Rim Territories after Industrial Automaton introduced its R4-series agromech droid, causing sales of the former to drop considerably. Still, in gentle conditions the NR-5 generally did a better job than the R4 and was commonly regarded as more effective on planets with milder climates, and many remained in use well into the New Jedi Order era.
By 0 ABY, NR-5 series repair droids were assigned to the Imperial Navy's Perlemian Haul convoy, including the slightly modified Temple-class heavy freighter M226, and, though largely simple-minded and harmless, were programmed to raise an alarm in the event they spotted unauthorized individuals in their area of activity. Though they had only simple programmings, they were smart enough to recognize that armed indivduals lacking unifroms were out of place, especially if they happened to be crawling around a ship's maintenance ducts. If such an encounter took place, an NR-5 would attempt to escape without making too much of a fuss. If confronted violently, it would defend itself using its heavy grasper arm, as well as its integrated arc welder.
Behind the scenesEdit
The NR-5 series repair droid was designed and submitted to West End Games as the NR-5 maintenance droid by Greg Dove as part of "The Fantastic Technology Contest," a contest sponsored by the Role Playing Game Association Network, placing 17th out of about 75 entries. As a result, it was included in Galladinium's Fantastic Technology, a Star Wars Legends supplement written by Rick D. Stuart for Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game and released on June 1, 1995, where it was depicted in an illustration by Christina Wald. The NR-5 first appeared in the eighteenth installment of Star Wars Missions, Star Wars Missions 18: Rogue Squadron to the Rescue, written by Ryder Windham and released on February 1, 1999. It was first identified as the NR-5 series repair droid in Arms & Equipment Guide, a sourcebook written by Jeff Grubb and Owen K.C. Stephens for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game and released on October 1, 2002.
- Star Wars Missions 18: Rogue Squadron to the Rescue (First appearance)
- (First identified as Imperial maintenance droid)
- Galladinium's Fantastic Technology (First mentioned) (First identified as NR-5 maintenance droid)
- Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids
- Platt's Smugglers Guide
- Arms & Equipment Guide (First identified as NR-5 series repair droid)
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (As "NR-5")
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 1.14 1.15
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 Arms & Equipment Guide
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 392 ("NR-5")
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Platt's Smugglers Guide
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 According to The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, the NR-5 series repair droid was produced by Kalibac Industries during the Galactic Civil War, whose beginning was dated to 2 BBY by The Essential Atlas. In addition, according to Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids, Tredwall marketed an NR knockoff in 2 BBY, when genuine NR-5s were available for purchase. As a result, it can be assumed that the NR-5 was introduced in 2 BBY.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Galladinium's Fantastic Technology
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The New Essential Guide to Droids
- ↑ Star Wars Missions 18: Rogue Squadron to the Rescue