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Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO

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Star Wars: Droids:
The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO
Production information
Format

Animated

Episode count

13

Run time

≈24 min. per episode

Network(s)

ABC Television Network

First aired

September 7, 1985

Last aired

June 7, 1986

Attribution information
Creator(s)

George Lucas

Writer(s)
Director(s)
Executive producer(s)
Starring

Anthony Daniels

Chronological information
Era

Rise of the Empire era

Timeline

15 BBY[1]

"[George Lucas] thought that the best characters to use would be the ones who weren't so heavily tied into the movies' plots, such as R2-D2 and C-3PO. They're the running characters in the Star Wars universe. The droids would be a natural for animation because they could go all over the universe and get involved with all sorts of creatures and worlds that didn't necessarily have Luke Skywalker, the Empire or any of those elements. The only constants would be Artoo and Threepio."
Droids associate producer and story editor Paul Dini in 1988[src]

Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO is an animated television series that features the exploits of the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 who, over the course of their adventures, often find themselves in the company of new masters—and in new dangerous and difficult situations as a result. The series is set in 15 BBY—between the events depicted in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

DevelopmentEdit

"I've always been interested in animation. And, again, it's a chance to experiment with ideas and new people and Star Wars characters. The Star Wars world is much easier to deal with in animation. You can be much more flexible in development of ideas. I've put off doing it for years because I didn't have the time."
―George Lucas, in Starlog 100[src]

During production of The Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978, director David Acomba showed George Lucas a recent film made by Clive A. Smith's animation company Nelvana. This convinced Lucas to hire the company to produce the animated segment for that film. Lucas was pleased with their work, and in 1984, he again hired them to work on the two animated series he was developing, Droids and Ewoks. These two subjects were chosen because they would appeal to young audiences and because, as the future of the film franchise was uncertain, they would be the least likely characters to conflict with the stories of the feature films.[2] With these two shows, Lucas (who served as executive producer) hoped to raise the standards for Saturday morning animation; he wanted the animation and voice acting to be better than the average shows of the time. Pre-production began in May of 1984. During this time Lucas met with the two series' producers, directors and writers, who collaborated on story ideas.[3] The stories were inspired by the science fiction stories of Jean Giraud— specifically The Airtight Garage.[2] Lucas laid out his basic ideas for the series, but wasn't involved with day-to-day matters. As the episodes were being worked on, rough cuts were screened for him. The series was under strict broadcast standards, and there were limitations as to what could be shown or dealt with in the episodes.[3] ABC's Standards and Practices Board issued a series of restrictions on the shows:[2]

  • Blasters must not look like guns
  • Fires can only be started by magical creatures
  • Physical contact must never include punching and hitting, just pushing and shoving
  • Never strike a character on the head
  • Always have characters wear seat belts in a landspeeder

Writer Paul Dini commented on this in a 2004 interview: "...we were dealing with a regime at the network that just wanted safe children's programming. Every time we wanted to stretch it a little bit, they would kick up a fuss over it".[4] The Korean company Hanho Heung-Up struggled with the show's designs, which often encompassed up to 24,000 cels per episode. As a result, Clive Smith moved to Korea for eight months in order to assist the company. Smith estimated that each hour-long pair of Droids and Ewoks episodes cost approximately $500,000 to $600,000 to produce.[2] The opening theme—"Trouble Again"—was performed by Stewart Copeland of the band The Police and written by Copeland and Derek Holt,[3][2] and the show's "new wave" score was created by Patricia Cullen and David Shaw.[2]

ReleaseEdit

In September 1985, ABC aired a preview special for the Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour special entitled The ABC Saturday Sneak Peek and Fun Fit Test w/ Tony Danza, C-3PO and R2-D2. In the special, Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton teaches gymnastics to Danza and the droids.[2] The series lasted one season and was made up of 13 regular episodes in 1985. There was also a two-part TV special entitled The Great Heep in 1986. The first season was then rebroadcast with the second season of Ewoks.

In the early and mid 1990s, beginning in 1994, the US Sci-Fi Channel ran episodes of the series, along with those of its counterpart, Star Wars: Ewoks, on its "Cartoon Quest" and "Animation Station" blocks of programming.[5]

MerchandisingEdit

DroidsStarlog

Promotional image for the series

In 1985, Kenner produced a toy line based on the series, including action figures, ship models, and other items. Random House also published a series of children's books based on various episodes of the series. An LP record and a cassette featuring music from the show were released in France.[6]

In 1986, Marvel Comics' Star Comics imprint published a Droids comic book, which was based on the cartoon series. The comic also had the name Star Wars: Droids. The comic series took place about 10-6 BBY, unlike the TV series which was placed around 15 BBY. The bimonthly series ran for a year, ending with issue #8. Significant issues include #4, which crossed over with the Ewoks comics series, and # 6-8, whose story was titled "Star Wars According to the Droids", retelling Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope with new scenes told from the perspective of the droids. It is of note that the series was drawn by comic legend John Romita. Dark Horse Comics also ran a couple of Droids mini-series in 1994 and 1995.

A Droids computer game, known as Droids: Escape from Aaron, was released in 1988 for the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC home computers.

In 2007, Gentle Giant released an animated maquette of Boba Fett based on Fett's appearance in the series. It was a Celebration exclusive; out of the 1000 produced, 700 were sold at Celebration IV, while the remianing 300 were sold at Celebration Europe.[7] Also at Celebration IV, Droids merchandise was auctioned off from the Lucas Licensing archives.[8] [9] [10]

In 2010, StarWars.com celebrated the 25th anniversary of both Droids and Ewoks by featuring a series of articles about the collectibles available from each series.[11]

Home videoEdit

The series received its first home video release in England and Germany in 1988 through CBS/Fox Video and featured twelve of the episodes, omitting episode nine, "Coby and the Starhunters". In 1990, J2 Communications released The Star Wars Trilogy Animated Collection. The collection consisted of three VHS tapes; one tape contained one episode, while the other two tapes contained two episodes each—with one of those repeating the episode from the single-episode tape. Each tape began with a Star Wars Animated Classics trailer promoting the "Special Double Length Edition" volumes. However, for the single volume tapes, the white box covers were shown, but differing content was advertised.[5] All thirteen episodes including The Great Heep were released on Region 1 VHS in Mexico through CBS/FOX.

On June 26, 2002, prequel trilogy producer Rick McCallum responded to a question about a complete DVD release on StarWars.com's now defunct "Ask the Jedi Council" feature, in which he said "I hope so. Definitely. At some point after we're finished with Episode III, we'd really like to make all of that material available to our fans on DVD. Unfortunately, we won't be even thinking of making any firm plans until we're finished with this trilogy."[12] He also expressed this privately to Paul Ens.[13] However, in 2005, at McCallum's Celebration III "Spectacular", he and Lucasfilm's Vice President of marketing Jim Ward dodged questions about a complete DVD release of the series.[14]

At the Celebration VI "StarWars.com and Beyond" panel, it was mentioned that both Droids and Ewoks may be streamed on StarWars.com in the future.[15]

ContinuityEdit

Droids is set in the nineteen-year period between the rise of the Galactic Empire in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. However, the series contains several elements that could be considered continuity errors. For example, in Revenge of the Sith, the droids are entrusted to Raymus Antilles. In A New Hope, C-3PO says that Antilles was his "last master". However, in the Droids series, the droids have numerous masters before Captain Antilles. Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide gives an official explanation for this continuity issue, mentioning that the droids were "accidentally separated" from Antilles, which is when the Droids cartoon happens, "before returning to Captain Antilles' ship, the Tantive IV". This explanation was further detailed when Corla Metonae's backstory was developed by Billy Buehler (AKA The2ndQuest) for Hyperspace's What's The Story? feature, according to which, she was the person responsible for this separation. The circumstances behind the separation were further elaborated on in the StarWars.com blog series The Droids Re-Animated, which specifically cited that an unexpected raid on the Tantive IV by the pirate group Lok Revenants forced them to abandon the escape pods they had jettisoned during a routine test, which R2-D2 and C-3PO had been inside at the time.

The Star Wars prequel trilogy films contain many elements which appear to reference and/or resemble elements from the Star Wars: Droids animated series. However, these may have simply been unused concepts that Lucas allowed to be inserted into the series, and then reused the concepts for the prequel films. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace shows a Toong and mentions Tund—the species' second homeworld, both of which first appeared in the novel series The Lando Calrissian Adventures. In "A Race to the Finish", the droids end up at a race known as the "Boonta Race". A similar name was used for the podrace in The Phantom Menace, known as the "Boonta Eve Classic". The swamp planet of Bogden is a planet visited by the droids in the series. In Attack of the Clones, Jango Fett says that he was "recruited by a man called Tyranus on one of the moons of Bogden".[16] Jann Tosh's wheel bike was retconned as a predeccesor to General Grievous's vehicle in Revenge of the Sith.[17]

The Expanded Universe has also incorporated various elements from the series. The Shadows of the Empire soundtrack contains liner notes with the lyrics of "Dha Werda Verda," written by Ben Burtt. The lyrics contain references to the planet Roon from the series. Admiral Screed appears in HoloNet News and Star Wars: Rebellion.

In Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire, pressing Alt-v and then typing "ovres" will turn on theatre mode, where R2-D2, Darth Vader and C-3PO watch the cutscenes and comment MST3K-style. At one point, they imitate Rookie One, saying "Let's see what's on the telly. It's the Ewoks/Droids cartoon hour! I loved that show! Especially that episode where R2 joined that cult.... and began talking like a hippie..."

EpisodesEdit

Episode Image Title Original Airdate Prod. #
1. "The White Witch" September 7, 1985 D1
2. "Escape Into Terror" September 14, 1985 D2
3. "The Trigon Unleashed" September 21, 1985 D3
4. "A Race to the Finish" September 28, 1985 D4
5. "The Lost Prince" October 5, 1985 D5
6. "The New King" October 12, 1985 D6
7. "The Pirates of Tarnoonga" October 19, 1985 D7
8. "The Revenge of Kybo Ren" October 26, 1985 D8
9. "Coby and the Starhunters" November 2, 1985 D13
10. "Tail of the Roon Comets" November 9, 1985 D9
11. "The Roon Games" November 16, 1985 D10
12. "Across the Roon Sea" November 23, 1985 D11
13. "The Frozen Citadel" November 30, 1985 D12
TV special The Great Heep June 7, 1986 D14

CreditsEdit

BibliographyEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

Wiki-shrinkable
Wookieepedia has 23 images related to Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO.
  1. SWInsider small "A State of Nelvana"—Star Wars Insider 73, p. 36
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 SWInsider small "A Star Wars CELibration"—Star Wars Insider 27
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bantha Tracks 29 ("Miki Herman Talks TV")
  4. Blaschke, Jayme Lynn (August 14, 2004). An Interview with Paul Dini. revolutionsf.com.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Droids and Ewoks: A Home Video History. rebelscum.com.
  6. SWicon Droids et Ewoks de Marchandises on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  7. SWicon Classic Animation Boba Fett Maquette a Celebration Exclusive on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  8. SWicon Collector Panels and More at Celebration IV on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  9. SWicon Celebration IV Charity Auction on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  10. SWicon Auctioning off the Galaxy... For a Great Cause! on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  11. SWicon 25 Years of Collecting Droids and Ewoks! on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  12. SWicon Ewoks on DVD? on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  13. Tambone, Lou (February 27, 2004). Interview with Paul Ens. starwarz.com.
  14. Rick McCallum on Star Wars: Episode III. comingsoon.net (April 22, 2005).
  15. Barrick, Mike (August 24, 2012). CVI: The StarWars.com And Beyond Panel. TheForce.Net.
  16. Star Wars Blog "From Boonta to Baobab: Droids and the Star Wars Prequels," The Official Star Wars Blog
  17. Databank title Wheel bike in the Databank (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  18. 18.00 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04 18.05 18.06 18.07 18.08 18.09 18.10 18.11 18.12 18.13 18.14 18.15 18.16 18.17 18.18 18.19 18.20 18.21 18.22 Erickson, Hal. Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949–2003. 2nd ed. Vol. I: The Shows A–L. 2 vols. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., Inc., Publishers, 2005, p. 307
  19. Erickson, Hal. Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949–2003. 2nd ed. Vol. I: The Shows A–L. 2 vols. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., Inc., Publishers, 2005, p. 306–307

External linksEdit


Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO
Episodes
Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour
"The White Witch" · "Escape Into Terror" · "The Trigon Unleashed" · "A Race to the Finish"
"The Lost Prince" · "The New King" · "The Pirates of Tarnoonga" · "The Revenge of Kybo Ren" · "Coby and the Starhunters"
"Tail of the Roon Comets" · "The Roon Games" · "Across the Roon Sea" · "The Frozen Citadel"
The Great Heep
Films
Star Wars Animated Adventures: Droids
The Pirates and the Prince · Treasure of the Hidden Planet
Books
Droid Adventure series
The Lost Prince · The White Witch · The Pirates of Tarnoonga · Escape from the Monster Ship
Dragon Books series
The White Witch · The Trigon Unleashed · Escape Into Terror · A Race to the Finish
The Droid Colouring Book of the Future
Comics
Marvel: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · Omnibus
Dark Horse
The Kalarba Adventures: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · Artoo's Day Out · Special · Trade paperback
Rebellion: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · Trade paperback
Season of Revolt: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4
Apple Jacks · The Protocol Offensive · Omnibus
MyComyc
Neutralizing Trigon I · Kea Kidnapped · The Stolen Ship · Sabotaged Droid
Troublesome Outing · The Secret Disk · The Cloud
Multimedia
Toy line · Card game · Video game · "In Trouble Again" · "The Droids Re-Animated"
[edit]
The Star Wars Saga
Episodes
I: The Phantom Menace · II: Attack of the Clones · III: Revenge of the Sith
IV: A New Hope · V: The Empire Strikes Back · VI: Return of the Jedi
VII · VIII · IX
Spin-off films
Legends:
The Holiday Special · Caravan of Courage · The Battle for Endor
The Great Heep · The Haunted Village · The Pirates and the Prince
Tales from the Endor Woods · Treasure of the Hidden Planet
Canon:
The Clone Wars · Rebels: Spark of Rebellion · Gareth Edwards spinoff
Lawrence Kasdan spinoff · Simon Kinberg spinoff · Josh Trank spinoff
Television series
Droids · Ewoks · Clone Wars · The Clone Wars
Rebels · Detours · Underworld
Other media
Audio dramas · Books · Comics · Games · Star Tours I, II · Fan films
Shadows of the Empire · Clone Wars · The Force Unleashed · The Old Republic
[edit]

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