|Chronological and political information|
R4-K5 was an R4-series astromech droid. The droid would accompany Darth Vader, formerly Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, on early missions for the Galactic Empire. Originally a Jedi-owned droid, R4-K5 was chosen by Vader for its dark hue, which reflected Vader's darkness.
In 19 BBY, at the height of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker, newly appointed Sith Lord Darth Vader, along with the stormtroopers of the 501st Legion, ransacked the Jedi Temple and killed most of the Jedi in residence on the orders of Palpatine. The Temple's hangar was one of the areas raided, and much of its equipment was destroyed. R4-K5, having been on station as a Jedi droid, survived the assault.
After Vader's injuries, earned at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar, forced him to don a black suit of armor, he also acquired a set of black Eta-2 Actis-class interceptors. Vader would pilot one of these craft in an attack on several runaway Jedi over Murkhana, assisted by the socketed R4-K5, who was stationed on the Imperial Star Destroyer Exactor along with the interceptor. R4-K5 was instrumental in helping Vader grasp the tactical situation, supplying him with information regarding the escape plan of the Jedi and alerting him to their imminent absconsion by way of a hyperdrive ring.
Vader, scarred and mentally tortured by the recent events in his life, did not share a camaraderie with R4-K5 as he had with his former astromech, R2-D2; rather, he simply regarded R4-K5 as another piece of machinery.
Behind the scenesEdit
R4-K5 made its first appearance in the novel Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno. Not referred to by designation, R4-K5 is initially described as an astromech with a black dome, and is mentioned twice more as "the astromech". The R4-K5 designation was provided by Hasbro.
R4-K5 is presented inconsistently in terms of color across sources; in The New Essential Chronology, the droid is seen as having a black dome, with a white body. The 2006 Hasbro toy featuring Vader's interceptor depicts R4-K5 with a purple body, while later figures of the droid display an all-black color scheme.
In the comic book arc Darth Vader and the Lost Command, Vader's now highly-modified interceptor features an astromech droid; however, it is depicted inconsistently between frames, and is not confirmed to be R4-K5.
- Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader (First appearance)