The Recon-PK series droids, colloquially known as rolo-droids or R-PKs, were an intelligence-gathering droid series developed by Naftrat Odarr of Cybot Galactica. A modified version of the standard PK-series worker droid, the Recon-PK had its locomotion altered, replacing the original's bipedal format with a single wheel. Also modified was the makeup of the droid's cranial unit, which was packed full of audio/visual sensor equipment.
The Recon-PK soon became popular amongst operatives and mercenaries. Eventually, a batch of the droids was shipped to the planet Tatooine, where they were used by the various Hutt crime lords residing there. The Hutts used them to monitor their slaves, helping to prevent any attempts at escape. The tables were, in time, turned on the Hutts, when the young slave Anakin Skywalker began reprogramming the droids, causing them to turn a blind eye to any new escape attempts.
Functions and capabilitiesEdit
With a cranial unit full of audio/visual sensors, the Recon-PK was highly adept at reconnaissance tasks. The droids were durable, so much so that they could withstand repeated exposure to the harsh conditions of Tatooine. As opposed to their predecessors, the bipedal PK-series worker droid, they featured a single-wheel locomotion. The droid's programming, though effective, was relatively simple, able to be reprogrammed by a child.
The financial success of the PK-series worker droid prompted its manufacturer, Cybot Galactica, to further the brand. In doing so, they employed former SoroSuub Corporation employee Naftrat Odarr, a research & design officer. Odarr, using the original PK as a starting point, began to modify the unit for reconnaissance purposes. The new unit was released, and through word-of-mouth, became popular amongst mercenaries, company executives, and bounty hunters.
Several units, through an under-the-table deal with the Hutts, found work on Tatooine, serving slave dealers and owners in the spaceport of Mos Espa. The slavers then used the small droids to monitor their property. The Recon-PKs did their job well, until one slave, six-year-old Anakin Skywalker, found one of the units stuck beneath a reclining dewback. Skywalker took the waylaid unit back to his residence to tinker with, and he was able to reprogram it. When he discovered its objective of spying on the slaves, the slave boy began to collect as many of the Recon-PKs as he could, and reprogrammed them, so that they would fail to report any pertient information on the actions of the slaves to their masters. As a result of Skywalker's modifications, seventeen slaves were able to escape Mos Espa over the years, until the boy was taken from Tatooine in 32 BBY by the Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn.
Recon-PK series droids in the galaxyEdit
Apart from seeing widespread use on Tatooine, at least one Recon-PK was present at a Circus Horrificus show on Nar Shaddaa in 22 BBY. The droid was shown on HoloNet News, fleeing from an escaped arqet.
Behind the scenesEdit
The "rolo-droids" first appeared, briefly, in George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. The design for the droids first came about simply because Lucas wanted a useless droid that would roll about on one wheel. It was later given a formal name and a canonical background by Neil Baker (under the alias "nob01") through StarWars.com's Hyperspace feature, "What's The Story?" While largely hewing to elements from The Phantom Menace, Baker also tied the droid to the Expanded Universe elements of Cybot Galactica from 1989's Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, and SoroSuub from the Imperial Sourcebook. The droids were later given an entry in 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
- Star Wars Episode I: I Am a Droid
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (First appearance)
- (Picture only)
- Fire Ring Race (Picture only)
- The Art of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- (First identified as Recon-PK series droid)