R5-D4, also called "Red" by Luke Skywalker, was a red and white-striped R5 astromech droid owned by a group of Jawas on Tatooine in the early days of the Galactic Civil War. Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, the Jawas attempted to sell him to Owen Lars, but the droid purposely malfunctioned his motivator, so that Lars could purchase R2-D2 in R5-D4's place. The droid survived an Imperial attack on the sandcrawler soon after, and went out to find the rebellion.
- "Come on, Red, let's go!"
- ―Luke Skywalker
The astromech droid known as R5-D4 was involved with the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Four years before the Battle of Yavin between the Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic, however, he fell into the possession of a group of Jawas on Tatooine, where they worked as junkers, and wiped the droid's memory.
During the Galactic Civil War, aboard the Jawa sandcrawler that carried him, R5-D4 first met the new arrival R2-D2, who was in the process of sabotaging him to ensure he would be the only remaining functional astromech that the Jawas had for sale. R5 bleated angrily, and R2 apologized explaining he was on an important mission and that the fate of the galaxy depended on his sale.
The sandcrawler then stopped at the moisture farm owned by the Lars family, including Owen Lars and his nephew, Luke Skywalker. Lars and Skywalker were interested in purchasing droids from the Jawas. The droids which included R5-D4 as well as R2-D2 and the protocol droid C-3PO were lined up for Lars to choose and he chose R5-D4 and C-3PO. As Lars talked to the Jawas about the purchase, Skywalker began leading C-3PO and R5-D4 towards his home, when R5-D4, understanding how important R2-D2's mission was, purposely self-destructed, his motivator malfunctioning. In his place, Lars instead purchased R2-D2, C-3PO's companion and, along with the protocol droid, secretly a member of the Rebel Alliance. Only powering his auditory receptors, R5 heard R2's farewell, thanking him for his sacrifice and that he would never forget him.
R5-D4 continued to play dead back in the sandcrawler, and was overlooked by stormtroopers who murdered the Jawas on their search for the stolen Death Star plans carried within R2-D2. Later, R5 recomposed himself and made a trek along the Jawas' trade route in hopes of finding a new owner and potentially finding the Rebellion.
R5-D4's malfunctioning led to Skywalker discovering a message within R2-D2 from Leia Organa, the Princess of Alderaan, which was soon delivered to Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi as per Organa's instruction to R2-D2. As a result of owning R2-D2 instead of R5-D4, Skywalker joined with Kenobi and soon destroyed the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin. He later trained as a Jedi Knight and ultimately redeemed his father, Darth Vader, who killed Emperor Sheev Palpatine and brought balance to the Force.
At some point, he would later find his new place within the Rebellion, just like his old friend R2-D2.
Behind the scenesEdit
After the character appeared in the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, R5-D4 was featured in a number of Star Wars Legends stories. One such story was Skippy the Jedi Droid, an Infinities story from the 1999 comic book anthology Star Wars Tales 1. The story posited that the character, nicknamed Skippy, could use the Force. After seeing a vision of Luke Skywalker's future, Skippy made it appear that his motivator malfunctioned so that Owen Lars could purchase R2-D2 and Skywalker could fulfill his destiny as a Jedi Knight.
Another storyline, first included in the 1989 roleplaying game sourcebook Galaxy Guide 1: A New Hope, had R5-D4 as an ordinary droid who was eventually purchased by Rebel Alliance historian and spy Voren Na'al. As part of the Rebel Alliance, R5-D4 helped Na'al spy on the Imperial forces on Tatooine and provided background information for official Alliance profiles for R2-D2 and C-3PO.
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- Star Wars: A New Hope junior novelization
- Episode IV: A New Hope Read-Along Storybook and CD (Appears in illustration only)
- Star Wars: A New Hope: Activity Book
- Star Wars: Heroes Path
- Star Wars Battlefront
- "Reirin"—From a Certain Point of View
- "The Red One"—From a Certain Point of View
- Star Wars: Card Trader (First identified as R5-D4)
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas (Picture only)