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RA-7 protocol droid

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"I can't believe I'm the same model as that Imperial drone."
―AP-5, on PZ-7[src]

The RA-7 protocol droid, nicknamed the "Death Star droid" due to its use aboard the first Death Star, was a model of protocol droid manufactured by Arakyd Industries. Produced specially for the Galactic Empire, RA-7s were almost always used as spies.

CharacteristicsEdit

RA-7militarybase

An RA-7 in the Republic Center for Military Operations

"There are some credits in it for you if you bring me the head of an Imperial RA-7 protocol droid. The optics on those are supposed to be magnificent."
Sevox, to Zarro[src]

RA-7 protocol droid were distinguished by their insectoid heads,[2] which were equipped with broadband photoreceptors featuring an antiglare coating.[4] Units in existence[5] by the year 22 BBY[14] had body plating identical to that of Cybot Galactica's 3PO unit and the TC-series protocol droid.[5] However, this was eventually discontinued in favor of unique plating[6] equipped with an interface connection port[4] by 19 BBY.[14] RA-7s stood 1.7 meters in height[3] and were able to function as translators.[15] Unlike most protocol droids, RA-7s had unpleasant personalities and were almost always used as spies.[1]

RA-7 protocol droids in the galaxyEdit

"RA-7s are Death Star droids."
"Um...well, yes, that's what some call them, though many RA-7s find it a derogatory term. Only a small percentage of that model actually worked on the Death Star."
Caluan Ematt and C-3PO[src]

An RA-7 designated 4-A7 was used as a spy droid by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars.[5]

An RA-7 designated AP-5 served as an analyst droid for the Galactic Republic during the Ryloth campaign. Later, he became an inventory droid for the Galactic Empire before defecting to the rebellion after having his restraining bolt removed by the rebel astromech droid C1-10P.[10]

Arakyd Industries later produced RA-7s specially for the Empire.[1] Due to their use aboard the first Death Star, some called RA-7s "Death Star droids," though many of them found it a derogatory term as only a small percentage of the model actually worked on the battle station.[13]

Behind the scenesEdit

"A lot of the other bits of the costume were See-Threepio concept work that wasn't used."
―Brian Muir[src]

The RA-7 protocol droid was created for the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. The costume built for the film was taken directly from an "elevator scene" production painting and other pencil quick sketches Ralph McQuarrie had done of the character. Two versions of the RA-7 were seen in the film: it first appeared in the Jawa sandcrawler with a reflective Steinart finish (3B6-RA-7) and a quick repaint allowed the same costume to be used later in the Death Star with a black finish (5D6-RA-7). Its torso as it appeared in the production painting would later inspire the design of the 2-1B surgical droid.[16]

The RA-7's head was sculpted by by Brian Muir and, with its large, insect-like eyes and bulbous cranium, it was one of his favorite designs from A New Hope. The torso of the character was almost exactly like McQuarrie's designs, though it may have been done as concept art for C-3PO's costume. It eventually had shoulder epaulets installed, with a functional joint identical to C-3PO's. The arms and legs were likewise similar to C-3PO's, though the aluminium arms lacked the elbow pistons and other detailing. The fiberglass legs were stripped of their sculpted detail lines to give this protocol droid a slightly different appearance. The costume's hands were simple hands were simple gloves with metal-colored pltes applied to them, to give them a mechanical look.[16]

For the RA-7 protocol droid's appearance in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, barring its head, its animation model,[5] whose geometry was later updated by Chris Glenn to better match its design in A New Hope,[17] was identical to that of C-3PO.[5] In Star Wars Rebels animated series, its design and proportions better match early McQuarrie's sketches of the droid, particularly its rounded shoulders.[18]

AppearancesEdit

RA-7 concept art

Early McQuarrie pencil sketches of the RA-7 protocol droid

Non-canon appearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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