The Variable Geometry Self-Propelled Battle Droid, Mark I, also known as the Vulture-class starfighter or more simply as the vulture droid, was a model of droid starfighter utilized by the Trade Federation and later the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Constructed in the cathedral factories of Xi Char, their creation through precision manufacturing was considered an act of religious worship.
With the effectiveness of droid starfighters debated in strategic circles for generations, vulture droids were as such capable of extreme maneuvers that could crush even the sturdiest organic pilot, but lacked the resourcefulness and cunning that living pilots brought into combat. Nonetheless, a lack of life-support systems allowed more room for armaments and fuel, and the lack of an organic pilot removed any moral responsibility for its destruction.
Like the ground forces made up of battle droids, vulture droids were remote controlled by a control ship, but as time passed were able to operate with limited independence due to the installation of artificial intelligence. They were also known to be able to communicate with each other by chattering. While not in flight, vulture droids could transform into walking mode to patrol the surface or provide support during battles, and was specifically designed to fill both space and ground-based roles.
The design of the vulture droid formed the basis for producing the hyena-class bomber, another type of automated droid starfighter used by the Separatist Alliance. Vulture droids were not considered as smart as tri-fighters and hyena bombers, and relied on speed and overwhelming numbers in combat scenarios.
Invasion of NabooEdit
- "Fighters, straight ahead."
- ―Bravo Leader's Ric Olié during the Battle of Naboo
Approximately 32 BBY, vulture droids were deployed with the rest of the droid forces by the Trade Federation to seize Naboo. During the space battle over the planet, vulture droids were controlled by a Droid Control Ship, made out of a modified Lucrehulk-class LH-3210 cargo freighter, and engaged Bravo Flight's N-1 starfighters. All of the droid starfighters were deactivated when Anakin Skywalker destroyed their control ship, the Saak'ak.
During the Clone Wars, many vulture droids were painted with the blue and white hexagonal markings that symbolized the Separatist Alliance. They fought in numerous battles such as the Battle of Coruscant.
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Set: 75073 Vulture Droid)
- Ultimate Star Wars (First identified as Variable Geometry Self-Propelled Battle Droid, Mark I and Vulture-class starfighter)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
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