How does Rogue Ones new killer droid stand up against Star Wars

first_imgOur first look at the droid that Alan Tudyk will be playing in this December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars story has leaked out onto the internet this week. What was just a shadowy figure behind Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso in the first Rogue One trailer now has a designation call sign and a droid type to fit into Star Wars canon and — surprise! — he’s Imperial.In honor of K-250, our newest dangerous droid, let’s take a tour though the many not-nice bots that populate the Star Wars universe. And to make it even more confusing, let’s go in real-world chronological order, not canonical order.A New Hope: Death Star, RA-7 protocol droidThis guy is sometimes referred to as an “insect droid” because of his headpiece. The RA-7 model was canonically more popular during the Clone War era, but after the rise of the Empire many Imperial officers adopted RA-7 units as assistants and servants. There were so many on the Death Star, they came to be known as “Death Star Droids.” The most prominent RA-7 unit in the Star Wars plot is AP-5 who recently showed up in season two of Star Wars: Rebels and previously helped the Republic on Ryloth in Star Wars: Clone Wars. RA-7 units weren’t deadly on their own, but were conscripted into deadly service. Also: they look creepy.The Empire Strikes Back: Bounty hunter, IG-88To make a bounty hunter droid for The Empire Strikes Back, the Star Wars production crew took a prop from the Mos Eisley cantina set, painted it black, and made it the head of their new droid, IG-88. In the old Legends continuity, IG-88 had a rich history as a primary rival of Boba Fett, as well as appearing as a boss in the N64 game Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. (He was much more important than that, but I lost a few afternoons trying to kill IG-88 with Dash Rendar in various ways). With the new Star Wars canon erasing the majority of his appearances, this IG model sentinel droid gone bad is now just one of the bounty hunters in Empire Strikes Back.Return of the Jedi: Supervisor and interrogator droid EV-9d9This droid, referred two as both “Eve” and “9d9” interchangeably, shows up in Jabba’s palace as some sort of leader of the droid lords. Assigning C-3PO and R2-D2 to various duties within Jabba’s palace, that falls under normal “supervisor” droid programming. The Eve we come across in Return of the Jedi, however, is a reprogrammed moisture vapor mechanic that now loves torture and dismemberment of other droids. That’s from the Wookiepedia, though Eve’s shop of droid torture that we see in the movie does support that reading. Droid on droid violence, man. It’s no good.Prequel trilogy: The battle droid, B1If anyone had a problem with Stormtroopers in the original trilogy being poor shots and generally inept Stormtroopers, they only needed to wait until 1999’s The Phantom Menace to see why the Empire decided to go with humans in bucket helmets instead of droids. Technically, battle droids were outlawed after the Clone Wars, but that didn’t stop them from being the primary lightsaber fodder for three movies. These droids are made to be transported, deployed and die in great numbers, so they’re not great for battle as individual units.Prequel trilogy: The super battle droid, B2For the second battle droid unit, the B2, the armor and firepower were given severe overhauls and upgrades. Unlike the B1, which was controlled from a central command system (how Anakin could shut them all down by blowing up the Trade Federation command ship), the B2 had limited independence and could operate without a constant signal. Unfortunately, they weren’t given a protocol droid’s processing power, so they’re just dumb brutes. Like all droid army units, the strength of battle droids is in numbers.Prequel trilogy: Destroyer droid, DroidekaThe Droidekas seem intimidating when they first appear in The Phantom Menace to roll around and blast at Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Compared to the other BD models, they are much more deadly. They can operate autonomously, though they don’t have a lot of processing power. Not only can the droids roll at speeds up to 46 miles per hour, but when they unroll they have blasters and a powerful shield that can deflect most blasters and side-arms. They are Clone Era droids, though, so they have weaknesses like not being able to see behind them and letting stationary objects (like mines) through their shields.Knights of the Old Republic: Assassin droid, HK-47The HK in the designation stands for “hunter killer,” and unlike the droids from the prequel trilogy, the HK units were given the minds of protocol droids with the programming of assassins. The HK-24 model was popular during the Mandalorian War, almost 4,000 years before A New Hope. After the war, Darth Revan created a custom HK droid called HK-47, the sassy, meatbag-hating member of your party in the Knights of the Old Republic video game. Everything from KOTOR has become non-canon, but for a brief moment, HK-47 had an Expanded Universe story where he was resurrected during the events of the original trilogy and tried to build a new droid army. He remains the best.Star Wars: Aftermath: Modified battle droid, Mr. BonesIf you read Chuck Wendig’s novel that takes place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, you were introduced to a young boy named Temmin Wexly (who would grow into “Snap” Wexley, Resistance Pilot, played by Greg Grunberg in TFA). The young Wexly found a scrapped B1 battle droid and proceeded to modify it. Half of its head has been replaced with a telescoping red eye, and the tip of the remaining half has been filed into a beak like on a bird of prey. Young Snap painted the whole thing black and red and strapped animal bones to the body, as well as replacing one arm with a vibroblade. Temmin calls him “Mr. Bones,” and he’s the best battle droid in canon. The B1’s limited processing power means Mr. Bones is a little insane, gleefully humming or buzzing a song to himself as he attacks anyone Temmin tells him to.Marvel’s Darth Vader comics: Evil C-3PO and R2-D2, 000 and BT-1Don’t worry, HK-47 fans, the new Star Wars canon has you covered in the Darth Vader comics. In Marvel’s Darth Vader #3, we are introduced to Triple Zero (000) and BT-1, the evil parallels to C-3PO and R2-D2. Triple Zero is a protocol droid who has been painted black and knows as many torture techniques as C-3PO knows languages, and his companion BT-1 is like if R2-D2 had weapons built into him instead of various gadgets. They’re a dark comedy duo, as 000 is always looking forward to the next time he can torture a human to death.Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Enforcer droid, K-250The newest addition to the Star Wars danger droid canon, is K-250, an enforcer droid who is played by Alan Tudyk in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Design wise, K-250’s body looks like a B2 battle droid mixed with some of the custom design on a Stormtrooper. They share the same back-piece design (though who knows what it is). The hips have been made thicker and have been reinforced, probably so this droid can run and jump unlike his B2 forefathers. The head looks similar to an EV-9d9 head, but a bit more streamlined and with more defined eyes in a humanoid placement. The small peeks we’ve seen of K-250 thus far don’t say anything about how autonomous it is, but considering this is an Imperial droid on the side of the Rebels, expect a free-thinking droid or a reprogrammed blunt object. It’s going to be one or the other.Find out why K-250 is on the Rebel’s side this December.last_img read more