|Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO|
|No. of episodes||
approx. 24 min. per episode
- "[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
Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO is an animated television series set in the Star Wars galaxy. It features the exploits of R2-D2 and C-3PO—the famous droid duo who have appeared in all six Star Wars feature films. Throughout the series, the droids face off against such threats as gangsters, pirates, Boba Fett, IG-88 and agents of the Galactic Empire. Over the course of their adventures, the duo 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—which is between the events depicted in the Star Wars films Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
The first season of Star Wars: Droids debuted on September 7, 1985 with the episode "The White Witch", and concluded on November 30, 1985 with "The Frozen Citadel". The season is divided up into three cycles (or groups) of episodes: "The Trigon One Cycle" (made up of four episodes), "The Mon Julpa Cycle" (made up of five episodes), and "The Adventures of Mungo Baobab Cycle" (made up of four episodes), respectively. Each cycle deals with the droid's adventures with different masters; At the beginning of each cycle, the droids usually run into their new masters in an accidental way, and at the end of each cycle, they are usually forced to leave their masters for one reason or another.
|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|
- Jan Austin as Auren Yomm Baobab
- Long John Baldry as Great Heep
- Donny Burns
- George Buza
- Graeme Campbell as Proto One, Terrinald Screed, Toda
- Milah Cheylov
- Rob Cowan as Thall Joben
- Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
- Jamie Dick
- Lesleh Donaldson as Kea Moll
- Don Francks as Jann Tosh, Boba Fett, Gir Kybo Ren-Cha
- Maurice Godin
- Marvin Goldhar
- Barry Green
- Graham Haley as C-3PO guide track
- Terri Hawkes
- Dan Hennessey as Jord Dusat (ep4), Uncle Gundy, Jyn Obah, Vinga and Yorpo Mog
- Pam Hyatt
- Taborah Johnson as Jessica Meade
- Michael Kirby
- Michael Lefebvre
- Peter MacNeill as Jord Dusat
- J. Gordon Masten
- Stephen Ouimette as Narrator
- Eric Peterson
- Ken Pogue
- Winston Rekert as Sise Fromm, Mungo Baobab
- Andrew Sabiston
- John Stocker as Vlix Oncard, Greej, Zatec-Cha, Sollag
- Cree Summer as Gerin
- Toby Tarnow
- Chris Wiggins as Mon Julpa
- Christopher Young
With Droids and Ewoks, executive producer George Lucas 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. The stories were inspired by the science fiction stories of Jean Giraud— specifically The Airtight Garage. 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.
Several episodes of the series were written by Ben Burtt. The series was produced by Nelvana on behalf of Lucasfilm and broadcast on ABC. 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. Following the original run of the complete series, the entire show was rebroadcast as part of The Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour the same year, along with its series counterpart, Star Wars: Ewoks. The series' opening theme—"Trouble Again"—was performed by Stewart Copeland of the band The Police and written by Copeland and Derek Holt. Brian Lemay is a layout artist known to have worked on the series.
C-3PO and R2-D2, the two main protagonists of this series, appeared on a Saturday morning preview show in 1985 on ABC entitled The ABC Saturday Sneak Peek and Fun Fit Test. The special was designed to promote their new show Star Wars: Droids. The host of the special was Tony Danza. While they were on stage, the chest from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo showed up, allowing for a brief, if non-canon, Star Wars/Hanna-Barbera crossover. After the show ended, all of the episodes were re-played along with new episodes of Star Wars: Ewoks as part of the Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour.
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.
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.
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 the original film complete 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.
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. Other Star Wars: Droids merchandise was also offered at Celebration IV; for instance, items from the Lucas Licensing archives were auctioned off. On June 4, 2007, a previously unreleased original Mungo Baobab prototype action figure for the original toy line was sold on an eBay auction for $4,075.
The series received its first home video release in England and Germany in 1988 through CBS/FOX 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. CBS/Fox Video also released the complete series on Region 2 VHS in the UK, and again with the exception of "Coby and the Starhunters". However, 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." 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.
- See also: List of C-canon elements in the films
Star Wars: Droids is set in the 19-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". Jann Tosh's wheel bike was retconned as a predeccesor to General Grievous's vehicle in Revenge of the Sith.
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..."
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ "A State of Nelvana"—Star Wars Insider 73, p. 36
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 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
- ↑ 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
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "A Star Wars CELibration"—Star Wars Insider 27
- ↑ http://www.starwars.com/collecting/shop/shopnews/news20070411.html
- ↑ Auctioning off the Galaxy... For a Great Cause! on StarWars.com
- ↑ Celebration IV Charity Auction on StarWars.com
- ↑ http://cgi.ebay.com/Star-Wars-Droids-Mungo-Baobab-PROTOTYPE-Figure_W0QQitemZ130118346418QQihZ003QQcategoryZ50279QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
- ↑ http://web.archive.org/web/20050310100228/www.starwars.com/community/askjc/rick/askjc20020626.html
- ↑ http://www.starwarz.com/tbone/index.php?categoryid=20&p2_articleid=121&p2_page=2
- ↑ 
- ↑ "CVI: The StarWars.com And Beyond Panel" - TheForce.Net
- Fox Home Entertainment's Star Wars: Droids site - at the Internet Archive
- Star Wars: Droids at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- "Star Wars: Droids Episode Guide" At TV Tome
- A history of home video releases of Star Wars: Droids
- "Star Wars: An Animated Galaxy Far, Far Away" - Article at Digitalmediafx.com