- "I'm not much more than an interpreter, and not very good at telling stories."
A protocol droid was a type of droid designed to assist sentients in their relations with one another and were programmed mostly for etiquette, and were often used as translators between sentients or between sentients and computers. Protocol droids were generally designed to look like the sentients they would be serving; for example 3PO-series protocol droids were designed to look Humanoid.
They also possessed knowledge about various cultures and customs, in order to advise those for whom they are working, and also so that they themselves may behave in a diplomatic and culturally sensitive manner.
Protocol droids constructed around 4000 BBY (around the time of the Great Sith War and the Jedi Civil War) were frequently engineered with certain situational and behavioral shifts set to occur whenever another design-generation was reached. A number of these droids underwent radical changes with each new generation—for example, when a C7-model droid supplanted the C6 variety. Each numeric "jump" in sequence could have had wide-ranging changes in functionality and temperament during that historical period.
Cybot Galactica, the most famous and successful manufacturer of protocol droids, outfitted them with SyntheTech AA-1 VerboBrains to give protocol droids personalities with emotions and the ability to learn and grow very similar to organic beings. The 3PO unit possessed a TranLang III communications module that could reproduce over six million languages, as well as reproduce any sound it picked up. Linguistic modules were also used to improve their speech functions. Some models, such as the pricey E-3POs, also included the TechSpan I module, making it possible to interface with Imperial networks and undocumented technologies of Imperial subcontractors. To date, there are very few feminine-programmed protocol droids.
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