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WED-15-77

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"What's up there?"
[Treadwell burps a noncommittal reply]
"I know you don't know, you maniac. Where're my macrobinoculars?"
―Luke Skywalker and Treadwell, spotting a space battle above Tatooine[src]

WED-15-77, or simply Treadwell, was a WED-15 Treadwell repair droid that was built prior to the Clone Wars, serving moisture farmer Owen Lars on the planet Tatooine for more than twenty years. Treadwell often worked with Lars's nephew, Luke Skywalker, on the moisture vaporators of the family's farm. While working on a vaporator with Skywalker one day in 0 BBY, the droid suffered a meltdown, and Skywalker, eager to meet his friend Fixer at Tosche Station near the settlement of Anchorhead, abandoned the droid in the desert. Treadwell was subsequently taken by the scavengers of the desert.

BiographyEdit

"Come on, Treadwell, get yourself over to the landspeeder. I've gotta get into Anchorhead and tell Fixer about this!"
―Luke Skywalker, to Treadwell[src]
Treadwell-Luke-TJ

WED-15-77 helping Luke Skywalker.

WED-15-77, also known as Treadwell, was a WED-15 Treadwell repair droid that was produced by[3] Cybot Galactica, one of the two largest droid manufacturing companies in the galaxy.[4] Prior to the Clone Wars, which broke out in 22 BBY, the droid began to serve moisture farmer Owen Lars's family on the planet Tatooine. Treadwell worked with the protocol droid C-3PO at the Lars homestead until the Jedi Anakin Skywalker, who had built C-3PO as a child, visited the Lars family and took the protocol droid away.[7]

Treadwell continued to serve the Lars family for more than twenty years, into the time of the Galactic Civil War. Treadwell liked to work with Beru Lars, Owen's wife, who gave the droid the same simple and predictable jobs.[3] The droid often helped Lars's nephew, Luke Skywalker, in a variety of chores,[3] such as repairing moisture vaporators out in the desert. Early in the civil war, not much before Biggs Darklighter, a Tatooinian farmboy was about to leave for the Imperial Academy, Treadwell broke down. Skywalker took parts of the droid to Laze "Fixer" Loneozner,[8] one of his childhood friends, who worked as a mechanic near the settlement of Anchorhead.[9] However, Fixer had a week's backlog, and he couldn't begin working on the droid.[8] Finally, the Treadwell got repaired and returned to work. One day in 0 BBY, Lars asked Skywalker to service the vaporator units on the farm's south ridge with the help of Treadwell.[9]

During the work, Treadwell used an uninsulated manipulator and consequently received an electric shock. Not much later, Skywalker spotted a space battle above the planet. He ran to his landspeeder and called for the droid to follow him,[9] but Treadwell's engine exploded,[10] and the droid suffered a final meltdown.[3] For a moment Skywalker hesitated about leaving the droid behind, but since the vital components of Treadwell were shot, he left the smoking droid in the desert[1] and decided to pick him up on the way home.[9] He raced off to Tosche Station near Anchorhead to tell Fixer about the battle.[9] Treadwell, meanwhile, was taken by the scavengers of the desert and, as a result, was not there when Skywalker went to retrieve it.[1]

CharacteristicsEdit

"Treadwell, clamp these two leads together while I splice them."
[Treadwell maneuvering, still gobbling to itself]
"No, no, you idiot! Use your insulated arm!"
[An electronic shriek of surprise and distress. Circuitry sputters]
"Release! Release! Back off!"
―Luke Skywalker and Treadwell[src]

WED-15-77 was a typical class-five Treadwell repair droid with two rows of five treaded wheels on its base. The droid had a very small independent thought processor[6] but had enhanced binocular fine-focus vision, which helped it to spot circuitry damage. The droid's enhanced photoreceptors were mounted on a long, telescopic stalk,[5] which also held six arms,[1] including an equipment test arm and various manipulators,[5] at least one of which was insulated.[9] By 0 BBY, Treadwell's movements had become unsteady, and only three of its arms were functioning.[1]

Treadwell was capable of accomplishing even very specific tasks with close supervision, but it could not conduct complicated work on its own due to its limited intelligence.[5] It was a recalcitrant yet hardworking droid that preferred helping Beru Lars, since she gave the droid simple and predictable jobs.[3]

Behind the scenesEdit

Treadwell-bts

John Barry's production sketch of WED-15-77

WED-15-77 was designed in 1975 by production designer John Barry for use in the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.[11] The same droid model was also used for the droid WED-15-I662 and for another, unnamed Treadwell during the filming of the movie.[3] Barry's notes showed that the prop had one functioning arm and housed a radio controller in its treadwell base to allow for off-screen crew members to control it. Barry's sketch indicated that the model stood between four feet and four feet, six inches tall. Scenes featuring the droid were shot on location in Tunisia in March 1976.[11]

While A New Hope was in post-production, Treadwell became the first of the film's droid characters to receive a voice from sound designer Ben Burtt. To create the vocalizations, Burtt combined electronic noises with sounds of himself speaking fake baby talk. Although crew members likened the noises to those of a talking chicken, George Lucas approved the sound effects. The droid's voice served as a template for following droid characters, including R2-D2.[12] The droid made its first appearance in the December 1976 novelization of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,[1] ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster.[13] The droid was featured in a scene that was ultimately cut from the released version of A New Hope, but it appeared in various adaptations of the film, including the movie's novelization,[1] storybook,[14] radio drama,[9] and manga comic.[15] Treadwell also appeared in the 2002 film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, becoming one of the few characters to appear in both the original[16] and the prequel trilogy of Star Wars,[7] although its scene had been cut from A New Hope.[16]

WED-15-77's meltdown scene occurred before the appearance of a similarly-looking unidentified Treadwell in the film.[3] In the film's radio drama, however, WED-15-77 merely stopped moving rather than melting down, and Owen Lars mentioned at a later Jawa auction that he had "already got a Treadwell [and didn't] need another." This suggested that the unidentified droid was intended to be WED-15-77[9] and not another droid of the same line. However, the StarWars.com Databank confirmed WED-15-77's meltdown to be final and the droids to be separate characters.[3]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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