- "You sound strange. Is something wrong with your vocabulator?"
- ―A BX-series droid commando
A vocabulator, also known as a vocoder, was a speech synthesizer that was fitted to almost all types of droids that were intended to interact with sentient beings. Some droids, such as HK-series assassin droids and protocol droids—which were commonly fluent in many galactic languages—could use their vocabulators to mimic or impersonate the voices of other beings or creatures.
The Tranlang III Vocabulator was one such model that was used in the 3PO-series protocol droid, granting models of this line fluency in over six million forms of communication. This model of vocoder also saw use in governmental droids.
Droids lacking a vocabulator could resort to external translator units.
Vocoders could also be fitted as cyborg attachments for organic beings that had suffered injuries that cost them their ability to speak. Darth Malak was equipped with a vocoder attachment that served to replace his severed jaw, as was Darth Vader almost 4,000 years later. In Vader's case, the vocoder served to enhance what little speaking ability he had left after his vocal cords were scorched on Mustafar.
Behind the scenesEdit
There is a real-world electronic device called a vocoder with communication and musical uses. This bears no resemblance to the Star Wars device.
Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back spells the device "vocodor."
In theory, vocabulators appear in any work that has a speaking droid. The list below includes only works specifically mentioning a vocabulator or vocoder.
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe (Also as "speech synthesizer" and "vocoder")
- Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game (As "speaker")
- The Star Wars Sourcebook (As "vocabulator speech unit")
- The Star Wars Rules Companion (As "vocabulator speech/sound unit")
- Rebel Alliance Sourcebook (As "Vocabulator speech/sound system")
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- Death Star Technical Companion (As "vocabulator speech/sound system")
- Cracken's Rebel Field Guide (As "vox-synth box")
- Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition (As "vocabulator speech/sound system")
- Dark Force Rising Sourcebook
- Wanted by Cracken
- Star Wars Gamemaster Handbook
- Dark Empire Sourcebook
- Star Wars Technical Journal of the Planet Tatooine
- The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook
- Death Star Technical Companion, Second Edition
- Han Solo and the Corporate Sector Sourcebook
- Galaxy Guide 10: Bounty Hunters
- The Last Command Sourcebook
- Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, Second Edition
- Galaxy Guide 6: Tramp Freighters, Second Edition
- Star Wars Sourcebook, Second Edition
- Galaxy Guide 11: Criminal Organizations
- Star Wars Technical Journal
- Star Wars: The Power of the Force (1995)
- Galladinium's Fantastic Technology
- Shadows of the Empire Sourcebook
- Shadows of the Empire Planets Guide
- Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids
- C-3PO: Tales of the Golden Droid
- Bartyn's Landing"—Star Wars Gamer 7 "
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition Core Rulebook
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Rebellion Era Campaign Guide
- Scavenger's Guide to Droids
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
- (as "vocodor")
- Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide (as "vocoder")
- Strongholds of Resistance