We love our Star Wars Droids, big and little, especially when they are funny or maybe cute. Moreso when they are funny AND cute — like R2-D2 and BB-8. Every live-action Star Wars movie (plus The Mandalorian) has at least one memorable Droid character tagging along with their human owners.
(Yes, Droids are considered property. This uncomfortable issue about agency and consent rarely comes up in Star Wars.)
Can you name the “Big Seven” Droids we know and love? Do you know what they were created to do?
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First things first. Why are they called Droids?
Unknown. There aren’t any androids in Star Wars. Androids are AI robot machines with flesh on the outside, like a Terminator, or Data from Star Trek…so what exactly are Droids? Every single one is in reality a plain old robot with AI (artificial intelligence) and some degree of EI (emotional intelligence). We never wonder about this. So…go with it. George Lucas must have liked the sound of the word.
Let’s discuss each main Droid with no further ado.
Note: Spoilers follow for all live-action Star Wars films and The Mandalorian
Protocol Droid, Human-Cyborg Relations
Job: Language Interpreter and Diplomatic Adviser, Ewok God
Owned By: Anakin Skywalker (his creator), Padme Amidala, Captain Antilles, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and finally, the Rebels/Resistance in general.
Seen In: Every Star Wars film but Solo. (Also, not in The Mandalorian.)
Notable: Knows Bocchi and 6 million other forms of communication. Not permitted to speak Sith by Senate decree. (We assume Palpatine made this law to keep Jedi out of Sith business.)
There are no true Cyborgs in Star Wars, unless you count Lando’s assistant on Bespin in the Empire Strikes Back. Also, those slaves in Solo who had their faces and brains shaved off and replaced with what I assume is a hard drive. This is too awful to contemplate, so let’s move on.
I’m case you didn’t know, a Cyborg is a human with augmented MI (machine intelligence).
So why does Threepio keep saying Human-Cyborg relations?
Job: General assistant and on-board flight mechanic for StarFighters.
Owned By: Padme, Anakin, Captain Antilles, Luke, and possibly Rey.
Seen In: Like C-3P0, every Star Wars film but Solo. (And The Mandalorian, right.)
Noteable: R2 is scrappy, spirited, opinionated, friendly, and helpful. He holds the distinction of having never been mind-wiped in the entire series. Only speaks Binary. Counterpart and companion to C-3P0.
Job: General assistant and on-board flight mechanic for StarFighters.
Seen In: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker
Owned By: Poe Dameron. He seems to share him with Rey at the end, but it’s made clear BB-8 belongs to Poe.
Notable: Actually cuter than R2-D2, but not as wise. Only speaks Binary. He seems to enjoy physical affection from his humans.
To sell cute toys and merchandise.
Does anyone know what this Droid is for? Seriously, this is all the information that even the Wookieepedia could find. If they don’t know what D-O is for, no one does. Feel free to make it up yourself.
Job: ?? He gets plugged in for information sharing at one point by the members of the Resistance, once he learns to trust them.
Seen In: Rise of Skywalker
Owned By: Ochi, Rey.
Notable: The smallest droid in the ‘verse, it’s entirely unclear what he does or why Ochi (A dangerous Sith Assassin) needed him. Abused in the past. Rey shows him compassion when he joins the new crew. Also, he speaks Galactic Basic in addition to Binary.
Navigational Droid, self-made from astromech and protocol parts
Job: Programs ships for Hyperspace lightspeed jumps. Droid Freedom Fighter. Possible lover to Lando. And why not? As she says, “it works.”
Seen In: Solo
Owned By: Lando Calrissian. Mental unit later absorbed into the navigational systems of the Millennium Falcon.
Notable: The only Droid self-identifying as female in Star Wars. Cares deeply about Droid rights. Frees the enslaved mining Droids on the Spice Planet of Kessel.
Imperial Security Droid
Job: Murder, mainly
Seen In: Rogue One
Owned By: The Empire, Cassian Andor
Notable: Extremely funny yet sociopathic buddy to Cassian.
7. IG-11 (AKA IG-88 for detail sticklers)
Job: Hunt and capture or kill targets for dubious clients.
Seen In: Briefly in The Empire Strikes Back, and several times in The Mandalorian.
Owned By: Not clear — the Bounty Hunters Guild? Eventually reprogrammed by the compassionate Ugnaught Kuiil, and assigned to Baby Yoda.
Notable: Bounty Hunter-turned Nanny Droid? A lethal fighting machine with a snuggly baby-carrier on-board? Yes!
Other Droids seen and sometimes heard:
Diagnostic Droid (A New Hope – talks Binary to Han on the roof of the Falcon in the Tatooine Landing Bay)
Mouse Droid (A New Hope: the tiny one that runs when Chewie roars at him on the Death Star. This makes Chewie very satisfied.)
The Gonk (A New Hope, Return of the Jedi)
Torture Droid (Return of the Jedi, at Jabba’s Palace)
Imperial Probe Droid (On Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back)
Surgical Droid (Heals Luke twice, in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi)
Imperial Interrogation Droid (A New Hope, in Leia’s prison cell)
All the unnamed Droids seen in the Jawa Transport Crawler (A New Hope — see above video)
Pit Droids (the weird little things in Watto’s workshop in The Phantom Menace)
And, finally, the Droids we really, really hate:
Too many ridiculous Soldier/Battle Droids (From the Prequels, especially The Phantom Menace)
Ultimately, there’s a whole Galaxy of other Droids seen in Star Wars. Tell me who I missed in the comments below.
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Join the conversation
Dan Gardner Administrator
No doubt about it. K-2SO is, by far, my favorite droid. Actually, he’s single handedly one of the best things about all of the Star Wars universe.
Jill Florio Administrator
Alan Tudyk’s K-2SO is the best thing about Rogue One (except for that thrilling Vader sequence w the data tape).
Which is my favorite Droid? R2 and BB-8, because I’m a sucker for cute, helpful, sweet Droids.
Most funny: K-2, L3, and the IG. Threepio is very funny in Rise of Skywalker, but it’s the first use of him with humor that worked.
D-O seems like a wasted opportunity. Cute. Sweet. Had touch issues, which was needed to see in Star Wars. (I’m uncomfortable with the slaving/abuse of any intelligence and Star Wars treats them with almost zero agency over 42 years.)
I was glad Threepio got a moment of pathos that wasn’t a joke in Rise of Skywalker.
K-2 is a gas! Extremely well written and voiced. I think he was Cassian’s only real friend in the Rebellion, which says a lot about Cassian. Maybe the Cassian show on Disney+ will feature their earlier days. But only if they get Alan.