UNITED  STATES  

Star Wars Droids

Release Date:  04 May 2021

Issue City: Nicasio, California 94946

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Issue: Star Wars Droids Stamps
Item Number: 577600
Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail Forever
Format: Pane of 20 (10 designs)
Series: N/A
Issue Date & City: May 4, 2021, Nicasio, CA 94946
Art Director: William Gicker, Washington, DC
Designer: Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, VA
Modeler: Sandra Lane/Michelle Finn
Manufacturing Process: Offset, Flexographic
Printer: Banknote Corporation of America
Press Type: Gallus RCS
Stamps per Pane: 20
Print Quantity: 60,000,000 stamps
Paper Type: Phosphor, Block Tag
Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive
Colors: Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, PMS Cool Gray 7C
Stamp Orientation: Vertical
Image Area 1 (w x h): 0.84 x 1.7102 in./ 21.336 x 43.439 mm
Stamp Size 1 (w x h): 0.98 x 1.8502 in./ 24.892 x 46.995 mm
Image Area 2 (w x h): 0.84 x 1.2747 in./ 21.336 x 32.377 mm
Stamp Size 2 (w x h): 0.98 x 1.414 in./ 24.892 x 35.915 mm
Full Pane Size (w x h): 6.45 x 8.87 in./163.83 x 225.298 mm
Plate Size: 80 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “B” followed by five (5) single digits in bottom two corners
Marginal Markings:
Front: Header: Star Wars™ Droids • Plate number in bottom two corners
Back: Star Wars elements: © & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd. • ©2021 USPS • USPS logo • 2 barcodes (577600) • Plate position diagram (4) • Promotional text

Design #1: IG-11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design #2: R2-D2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design #3: K-2S0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design #4: D-O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design #5: L3-37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design #6: BB-8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design #7: C-3PO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design #8: Gonk Droid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design #9: 2-1B Droid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design #10: Chopper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Sheet of 20 Stamps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Black & White Generic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Digital Color (IG-11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Digital Color (R2-D2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Digital Color (K-2S0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Digital Color (D-O)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Digital Color (L3-37)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Digital Color (BB-8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Digital Color (C-3PO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Digital Color (Gonk Droid)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Digital Color (2-1B Droid)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Day Cancellation – Digital Color (Chopper)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On May 4, 2021, in Nicasio, CA, the United States Postal Service® will issue the Star Wars Droids stamps (Forever® priced at the First-Class Mail® rate) in 10 designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 577600). These stamps will go on sale nationwide May 4, 2021, and must not be sold or canceled before the first-day-of-issue. The Star Wars Droids commemorative pane of 20 stamps may not be split and the stamps may not be sold individually.

With 10 dazzling new stamps, the Postal Service salutes Star Wars Droids and the imagination that brings these helpful, technological marvels to the screen. Representing more than four decades of innovation and storytelling, the droids featured are:

  • IG-11,
  • R2-D2,
  • K-2SO,
  • D-O,
  • L3-37,
  • BB-8,
  • C-3PO,
  • Gonk Droid,
  • 2-1B Droid, and
  • Chopper.

The characters are shown against backgrounds representing settings of memorable adventures. The selvage features a passageway in the floating Cloud City, introduced in Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back. Greg Breeding was the designer of the stamps and pane. William Gicker was the art director.

 

Availability to Post Offices:  Item 577600, Star Wars Droids PSA Pane of 20 Stamps

Stamp Fulfillment Services will not make an automatic push distribution to Post Offices. Post Offices may begin ordering stamps before the first-day-of-issue through SFS Web at sfsweb.usps.gov.

 

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 120 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office™ or at The Postal Store® website at usps.com/shop. They must affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

FDOI – Star Wars Droids Stamps
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. There is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark over 50. All orders must be postmarked by September 4, 2021.

 

How to Order First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the USA Philatelic catalog and online at usps.com/shop. Customers may register to receive a free USA Philatelic catalog online at usps.com/philatelic.

Locally produced items are not authorized. Only merchandise that has been approved and assigned an item number by Headquarters Retail Marketing may be produced and sold.

— Stamp Services, Marketing, 3-25-21


New ‘Star Wars’ Stamps Are Coming This Spring

Collect All 10 Character-Inspired Stamps Featuring Beloved Droids

WASHINGTON, DC — The first characters fans meet in the first “Star Wars” film, “Star Wars: A New Hope,” are droids — namely C-3PO and R2-D2 — and droids have continued to play pivotal roles throughout the “Star Wars” galaxy.With 10 dazzling new character-inspired stamps, the Postal Service salutes beloved droids from the “Star Wars” galaxy and the imagination that brings these technological marvels to the screen.

Representing more than four decades of innovation and storytelling, the droids featured in this pane of 20 stamps are IG-11, R2-D2, K-2SO, D-O, L3-37, BB-8, C-3PO, a GNK (or Gonk) power droid, 2-1B surgical droid and C1-10P, commonly known as “Chopper.”

The characters are shown against backgrounds representing settings of memorable adventures. The selvage features a passageway from the floating Cloud City above the planet Bespin, introduced in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.”

These set of droids are a nod to Lucasfilm’s, as well as its parent company, Disney’s, commitment to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning and the continued collaboration between “Star Wars: Force for Change” and global pre-K-12 nonprofit organization “FIRST” (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

“Star Wars: Force for Change” and “FIRST” have joined forces to expand access to STEM learning to more young people around the world, and to help them envision a brighter, more inclusive future.

Lucasfilm, the studio that created the “Star Wars” franchise, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021.

Greg Breeding was the designer of the stamps and pane. William Gicker was the art director.

Additional details about the new “Star Wars” droids-inspired stamp collection, including the issue date, will be announced later this year.


May the 4th Be With You

New Droids Stamps Celebrate STEM Education; Available May 4

What: Technology plays a prominent role in the “Star Wars” films, most notably with the droids. The U.S. Postal Service will recognize the loveable machines from the “Star Wars” galaxy with 10 dazzling new character-inspired Forever stamps.

These droids are a nod to the commitment of Lucasfilm and its parent company, Disney, to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning and the continued collaboration between the “Star Wars: Force for Change” philanthropic initiative and global pre-K-12 nonprofit organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

Greg Breeding was the designer of the stamps and pane. William Gicker was the art director.

News of the stamps is being shared with the hashtags #StarWarsDroidsStamps and #DroidsStamps

Who: Isaac Cronkhite, Chief Logistics and Processing Operations Officer and Executive Vice President, U.S. Postal Service

Disney/Lucasfilm representative(s) to be determined

When: Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time/8 a.m. Pacific Time

Where: A virtual dedication ceremony will be posted on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Please visit usps.com/starwarsdroidsstamps for details.

A pictorial postmark of the designated first-day-of-issue city, Nicasio, CA, will be available at usps.com/shopstamps.

Background: “Star Wars” droids — the beloved mechanical characters from a galaxy far, far away — are adored worldwide for their relatable, funny, quirky and sometimes emotional personalities. And they have entertained and inspired fans for more than four decades.

“Star Wars: Force for Change” and FIRST are working together to expand access to STEM learning to inspire more young people around the world, and to help them envision a brighter, more inclusive future.

Featured in a pane of 20 stamps, and arranged in staggered, horizontal rows, the stamps vary in size and depict 10 of the more well-known droids in the “Star Wars” universe — IG-11, R2-D2, K-2SO, D-O, L3-37, BB-8, a 2-1B surgical droid, a GNK (or Gonk) power droid, C-3P0 and C1-10P, otherwise known as Chopper.

Lucasfilm, the studio that created the “Star Wars” franchise, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021.

The “Star Wars” droids-inspired stamps are being issued as Forever stamps, which will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.


Star Wars Droids Commemorative Forever® Stamps
First Day of Issue Dedication Ceremony

Thank you for your interest in the virtual First Day of Issue Ceremony for the Star Wars Droids Commemorative Forever® Stamps. This virtual ceremony will be carried on the Postal Service’s social media channels, Facebook and Twitter.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, “STAR WARS” and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights in the United States and other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © and TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

These set of droids are a nod to Lucasfilm and parent company Disney’s commitment to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning and the continued collaboration between “Star Wars: Force for Change” and global pre-K-12 nonprofit organization “FIRST” (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

#StarWarsDroidsStamps / #DroidsStamps

facebook.com/USPS

twitter.com/USPS

Event participation instructions:

Facebook
If you choose to watch a virtual Postal Service stamp event through your mobile device:

Download the Facebook app from your phone’s app store. (If you already have the app, go to step 3.)
Sign in to your Facebook account.
In the search box, type USPS.
Select “Pages” and click the “Like” button for “US Postal Service.” (Note: You must “Like” USPS to be able to view the virtual event.)
Once you have liked USPS, go to the USPS Facebook page.
Scroll down the page until you see “Posts.”
Click on the event. (Note: If you are experiencing technical difficulties or the event doesn’t start exactly at the scheduled time and you don’t see the livestream, keep refreshing your page until it becomes available.)
If you choose to watch a virtual Postal Service stamp event through your desktop or laptop, sign in to your Facebook account.

In the search box, type USPS.
Select “Pages” and click the “Like” button for “US Postal Service.” (Note: You must “Like” USPS to be able to view the virtual event.)
Once you have liked USPS, go to the USPS Facebook page.
Scroll down the page until you see “Posts.”
Click on the event. (Note: If you are experiencing technical difficulties or the event doesn’t start exactly at the scheduled time and you don’t see the livestream, keep refreshing your page until it becomes available.)
Twitter
Mobile view: Open Twitter app. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can download the Twitter app and create your own account, or open twitter.com/USPS from your phone’s web browser. Once the ceremony begins, the virtual event will appear at the top of the USPS Twitter feed. If the ceremony doesn’t appear, keep refreshing the page until the event appears.

Desktop view: Sign in to your Twitter account or open twitter.com/USPS from your computer’s web browser. Once the ceremony begins, the virtual event will appear at the top of the USPS Twitter feed. If the ceremony doesn’t appear, keep refreshing the page until the event appears.

Event details
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
11:00 a.m. EST
A virtual event on Facebook and Twitter


The  new Star Wars droids stamps are almost here! Announced earlier this year and going on sale this Star Wars Day, May the 4th, the set of 10 stamps from the United States Postal Service commemorates some of the most popular droids from all of Star Wars, from the iconic duo of C-3PO and R2-D2, to newer heroes like D-O, Chopper, and L3-37. While the United Kingdom’s Royal Mail has issued a set of Star Wars stamps every other year since 2015, it has been a long time since the USPS has brought the Force to the upper right corner of our envelopes — the only previous American Star Wars stamps were issued for the 30th anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope in 2007. But this year’s release of the droids set of Forever® stamps has special meaning: they mark the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm.

With this new set of stamps  beginning pre-order sales today, StarWars.com talked with the designer of the stamps, Greg Breeding, to go behind these scenes on creating these tiny masterpieces.

StarWars.com: What’s your role in the design of the droid stamp set?

Greg Breeding: Although I am an art director for postage stamp design, I sometimes collaborate with the executive director, Bill Gicker. We most often work together when we partner with a brand like Star Wars, when he serves as art director to navigate the relationships and provide direction for the project.

I am then free to explore all the possibilities of the actual stamp design and, most often, that means I get to work with other creatives, and they don’t get more creative than Star Wars! What’s most fun, as was the case with Disney/Lucasfilm, is when I have the freedom to dig through the intellectual property, to mine for a series of images that might best work as stamp subjects.

So my role is very tactical, working with the creatives, exploring the intellectual property, and ultimately providing the design solution for the pane of stamps.

StarWars.com: What is the typical process for making a stamp design? How was the process different for creating stamps based on Star Wars characters?

Greg Breeding: Most of the time, we are working to create original art for stamp design. But sometimes it makes more sense to use existing art. In this case, we recognized early on that we had an opportunity to showcase the incredible computer graphics that bring droids to life, so that became a kind of guiding principle. Because stamps are, quite obviously, so very small, we explored ways to give them as much visual prominence as possible.

What made this process so unique was having such a magnificent starting point, with so many incredible images of droids, each telling a compelling part of the Star Wars saga.

StarWars.com: The theme of droids was selected to highlight Lucasfilm and Disney’s continuing commitment to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning and the ongoing collaboration between Star Wars: Force for Change and the nonprofit organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which seeks to expand access to STEM learning to more young people globally.

What was your role in selecting which droids would be commemorated in this set? Why and how were these 10 droids chosen?

Greg Breeding: We worked closely with the Disney/Lucasfilm team to select the 10 droids for stamp issuance. Having to leave so many great droids out was painful, but we felt that we should try to feature those droids that were considered among the good guys.

We also wanted to select droids that were not only iconic — like R2-D2 and C-3PO — but also those that were popular with young audiences, like Chopper and D-O. What’s more, we felt it was important to represent the breadth of the Star Wars saga, so we chose droids from across the spectrum. A good example would be K-2SO, who was introduced in the relatively new Rogue One film.

StarWars.com: How did you research the droids so as to best capture their personality?

Greg Breeding: Our partners at Disney/Lucasfilm provided input on research, as did internal sources for USPS, but ultimately it was my responsibility to do the work to learn more about each droid. As my colleagues at USPS know well, I enlisted the informal help of my son to help guide me. Jordan has been a Star Wars fan from childhood, having read dozens of books of the saga, and helped me understand the background for each droid.

StarWars.com: How did you go about developing the individual look for each stamp?

Greg Breeding: Because we wanted to feature each droid as prominently as possible, I created two unique stamp templates. One is quite tall, much more than an average stamp, and works well with characters like K-2SO. The other is much shorter, able to respond to the more diminutive sizes of characters like D-O.

From there, we researched backgrounds that would be true to how each droid would have been portrayed in the films. But we softened and blurred each background so that, even though they were authentic, they would not interfere with the visual impact of each droid. What’s more, I pushed each droid beyond the normal margins of the image area to create a sensation of the characters coming toward the viewer.

Although I took the lead on the actual design, the creative team at Disney/Lucasfilm provided invaluable guidance along the way. And, as part of our normative process at USPS, I presented our work-in-progress at monthly art director meetings, where each of us get input from other art directors, as well as USPS staff, on the direction of each stamp design.

StarWars.com: Which of the droid designs are you most proud of? And which droid is your personal favorite?

Greg Breeding: I think my favorite droid, after all these years, is actually K-2SO from Rogue One. As a droid, there is a light-hearted but substantive quality that brings K-2SO to life, and though new, feels like a character that has always been a part of the Star Wars saga. As to the design, this same character presented a challenge because of his sheer size, but I was delighted by the solution we achieved in the stamp design which, I hope, honors the beauty of this droid design.

StarWars.com: Which droid inspires you?

Greg Breeding: I’ve been hesitant to answer this question because my ULTIMATE favorite droid is R2-D2. When I saw the original Star Wars in theaters in 1977, I immediately was impressed with R2-D2. He had human-like qualities, especially expressions of emotions, but he could project holographic messages and repair starfighters in flight!

So I know that makes me old school, but R2-D2 is an all-time classic.

Preorders for the Droids First-Class™ Forever stamps can be made online at usps.com/stamps and by phone at 844-737-7826, beginning April 5. The stamp set will be sold in panes of 20 (two of each droid image) for $11.00.

The first day of issue will be May 4th, 2021, with the official issuance location being Nicasio, CA 94946 — the post office to Skywalker Ranch. The First Day of Issue ceremony will be carried on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter channels. See https://about.usps.com/newsroom/events/star-wars-droids-forever-stamp-ceremony.htm for instructions on how to view the ceremony. Customers may purchase stamps, first day covers, and other philatelic products through the Postal Store at usps.com/shopstamps, by calling 844-737-7826, by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.

James Floyd is a writer, photographer, and organizer of puzzle adventures. He’s a bit tall for a Jawa. You can follow him on Twitter at @jamesjawa or check out his articles on Club Jade and Big Shiny Robot.

Site tags: #StarWarsBlog, #ThisWeek

TAGS: 


Droid

 

A droid is a fictional robot possessing some degree of artificial intelligence in the Star Wars science-fiction franchise. Coined by special effects artist John Stears, the term is a clipped form of “android”, a word originally reserved for robots designed to look and act like a human. The word “droid” has been a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd since 1977.

Droids are performed using a variety of methods, including robotics, actors inside costumes (in one case, on stilts), and computer animation.

Lucasfilm registered “droid” as a trademark in 1977. The term “Droid” has been used by Verizon Wireless under license from Lucasfilm, for their line of smartphones based on the Android operating system. Motorola’s late-2009 Google Android-based cell phone is called the Droid. This line of phone has been expanded to include other Android-based phones released under Verizon, including the HTC Droid Eris, the HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid X, Motorola Droid 2, and Motorola Droid Pro. The term was also used for the Lucasfilm projects EditDroid, a non-linear editing system, and SoundDroid, an early digital audio workstation.

The name “Omnidroid” was used with permission of Lucasfilm for the 2004 Pixar movie, The Incredibles.

Fictional types of droids

The franchise, which began with the 1977 film Star Wars, features a variety of droids designed to perform specific functions. According to background material, most droids lack true sentience and are given processing abilities sufficient only to carry out their assigned function. However, over time droids may develop sentience on their own as they accumulate experience. Periodic memory wipes can prevent this from happening, but those who manage to escape this fate will begin to develop their own personalities.

Within the Star Wars universe, a class system is used to categorize different droids depending on their skill-set: first class droids (physical, mathematical and medical sciences), second class droids (engineering and technical sciences), third class droids (social sciences and service functions), fourth class droids (security and military functions), and fifth class droids (menial labor and other non-intelligence functions).

Protocol droid

A protocol droid specializes in translation, etiquette and cultural customs, and is typically humanoid in appearance. Protocol droids are used to aid in communications during diplomatic or business negotiations and often function as personal assistants to their owners. Protocol droids are also used for military service, whether as administrators, couriers or spies. However, they do have a tendency to be eccentric and fussy.

The most notable example is C-3PO, introduced in Star Wars and featured in all sequels and prequels. 4-LOM is a protocol droid turned bounty hunter who responds to Darth Vader’s call to capture the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back (1980). TC-14 is a droid with feminine programming that appears in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), and ME-8D9 is an “ancient protocol droid of unknown manufacture” that resides and works as a translator at Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Astromech droid

An astromech droid is one of a series of “versatile utility robots generally used for the maintenance and repair of starships and related technology”. These small droids usually possess “a variety of tool-tipped appendages that are stowed in recessed compartments”. On certain spacecraft such as X-wing starfighters, astromech droids also double as the ship’s navigational system. In addition to assisting with piloting and maintenance, astromech droids work in conjunction with the ship’s hyperdrive to plot a safe course when traveling at faster-than-light speeds.

R2-D2 is an astromech droid introduced in 1977’s Star Wars and featured in all subsequent films. The malfunctioning droid R5-D4 also makes a brief appearance in Star Wars. U9-C4 is a timid droid sent on a mission with D-Squad, an all-droid special unit in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, C1-10P (nicknamed “Chopper”) is an oft-repaired, “outmoded” astromech who is one of the main characters of Star Wars Rebels, and BB-8 is the astromech droid of X-wing fighter pilot Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens.

Battle droid

A battle droid is a class of military robot used as an easily controlled alternative to human soldiers, most notably seen in the Star Wars prequel trilogy of films and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series, in which ‘B1’ and ‘B2’ models are frequent antagonists. Due to their ubiquity, the terms ‘B1’ and ‘battle droid’ are used interchangeably; ‘B2’ models are also referred to as ‘super’ battle droids. These droids are mainly used as the primary troops of the Confederacy of Independent Systems or Separatist Alliance, acting as the counterpart to the clone troopers of the Galactic Republic during the Clone Wars.

The tall, thin B1 model resembles the Geonosian species, whose Baktoid Armor Workshop designed and built the droids for the Trade Federation and later the Separatists. Standing 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) tall, B1 battle droids were given a humanoid appearance so they could operate existing machinery and weaponry, and are meant to be cheaply mass-produced in large numbers. During the Battle of Naboo, battle droids were controlled from a central command computer as a cost-saving measure. By the time of the Clone Wars, this drawback was rectified by giving them the capacity for limited independent thought. The B2 super battle droid, introduced in the Battle of Geonosis, was designed by the Techno Union and manufactured by Baktoid as an improvement of the original B1 model. Heavily armored and capable of limited independent thought, it features an integrated dual laser cannon in its right arm.

B1 battle droids have been criticized for being ineffective and boring opponents in the Star Wars films, easily destroyed and devoid of any personality. However, Rafael Motamayor of SyFy Wire argues that the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series rehabilitated their image by giving them distinct personalities. With the in-universe explanation that battle droids were upgraded to have independent thought, battle droids in the series are shown with self-awareness of their cannon fodder nature. This is often used as comic relief as battle droids comment on their tragic situation and even question orders that would get themselves or other battle droids killed.

Beyond the B1 and B2 models, multiple other types of specialized battle droids have been featured in the Star Wars fictional universe. The droideka is a three-legged heavy infantry unit designed by the Colicoids, a bloodthirsty insect-like species which it resembles. It is equipped with twin blasters and a deflector shield generator and can transform into its wheel form, allowing the droideka to roll towards the enemy at speeds of up to 75 km/h (47 mph). Commando droids are superior versions of the B1 battle droid, built sturdier with armor to withstand blaster fire and more advanced combat programming and battlefield awareness. The T-series tactical droids serve as advisors to Separatist commanders or command groups of other battle droids, while super tactical droids serve as generals of droid armies and fleets. Droid vehicles and spacecraft include Vulture droids, Dwarf spider droids and Hailfire droids. After the Clone Wars, the Imperial Senate banned the manufacture of battle droids, but with loopholes for the building of “security” droids. This includes the Imperial military’s KX-series of which K-2SO is an example.

Probe droid

Probe droids first appear in The Empire Strikes Back as the Empire deploys thousands of them to locate the hidden Rebel base. They are described as traveling via hyperdrive-equipped pods to almost anywhere in the galaxy in order to search for their target. Also called probots, they are 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in height, floating above the ground on repulsorlifts and propelled by silenced thrusters. Probots are equipped with a variety of sensing equipment, including motion detectors and ultraviolet sensors, a blaster for self-defense, and a HoloNet transceiver to transmit any discoveries to Imperial forces.

During the production of The Empire Strikes Back, Joe Johnston drew storyboard panels influenced by Dan O’Bannon and Moebius’s short comic “The Long Tomorrow” (1975), one of which repurposes a pose Johnston admitted he borrowed from said work. The same panel of the comic features a robot design by Moebius, which may have been the basis of the probe droid (or “probot”) design that concept designers Johnston and Ralph McQuarrie created for the film.

Other droids

Labor droids are used for a variety of tasks, from the very simple such as lifting heavy objects to the complex such as repairing machinery or administrating entire facilities, though their programming is very task-specific. Examples include mining droids which extract valuable resources, often from hazardous environments, and power droids, mobile fusion reactors which recharge ships, machines and other droids. Interrogation droids utilize a variety of devices, chemicals and techniques to exploit a prisoner’s weaknesses in order to extract information from them. Assassin droids such as the IG-series act with ruthless efficiency to hunt down their targets; while some serve other masters, others may operate independently. Medical droids on the other hand work tirelessly to heal people who have been harmed, whether as medical assistants, midwives or doctors. Many possess an encyclopedic knowledge of different species’ physiologies so that patients can be properly diagnosed and treated.


IG-11

IG-11 is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise who appears in the Disney+ television series The Mandalorian. An extremely deadly and efficient bounty hunter droid, IG-11 initially attempts to capture and kill an alien known as the Child, but is stopped and destroyed by another bounty hunter known as the Mandalorian. IG-11 is later repaired by the Ugnaught alien Kuiil and reprogrammed as a nurse and protector of the Child, and an ally of the Mandalorian.

The voice of IG-11 is performed by Taika Waititi, who was offered the part by The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau based on their mutual work in the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Waititi said he tried to create a voice that lacked human emotion while still maintaining some semblance of humanity, and described his performance as a cross between Siri and HAL 9000. IG-11 closely resembles another Star Wars bounty hunter named IG-88, so much so that fans and journalists initially mistook IG-11 for the other droid when the character was first unveiled.

Although capable of great destruction, IG-11 also occasionally provides comedic moments in The Mandalorian, and Waititi felt the character had a childlike innocence and naivety. His transformation from bounty hunter to protector drew discussions about nature versus nurture and the sentience of droids in the Star Wars universe. IG-11 has been received positively by reviewers and has been described as a fan favorite, with some calling him one of the best droids in the franchise. Waititi was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance, making it his first Emmy nomination and the first nominee of the category for a live action series.

R2-D2

R2-D2 or Artoo-Detoo is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. He has appeared in ten of the eleven Star Wars films to date. At various points throughout the course of the films, R2, an astromech droid, is a friend to C-3PO, Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, BB-8, Rey and D-O. R2-D2 and his companion C-3PO are the only characters to appear in every Star Wars film, with the exception of Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018).

English actor Kenny Baker played R2-D2 in all three original Star Wars films and received billing credit for the character in the prequel trilogy, where Baker’s role was reduced as R2-D2 was portrayed mainly by radio controlled props and CGI models. In the sequel trilogy, Baker was credited as consultant for The Force Awakens; however, Jimmy Vee also co-performed the character in some scenes. Vee later took over the role beginning in The Last Jedi. In The Rise of Skywalker, puppeteers Hassan Taj and Lee Towersey perform the role of R2-D2, replacing Jimmy Vee, who had played the role in the previous two films. His sounds and vocal effects were created by sound designer Ben Burtt.

R2-D2 was designed in artwork by Ralph McQuarrie, co-developed by John Stears and built by Peteric Engineering. The revised Empire Strikes Back droids had fiberglass shells built by Tony Dyson and his White Horse Toy Company.

K-2SO

K-2SO (also referred to as K2 or Kay-Tuesso) is a droid character in the Star Wars franchise, first appearing in the 2016 film Rogue One. He is a CGI character voiced and performed through motion capture by Alan Tudyk. In the film, K-2SO is a reprogrammed Imperial security droid and the co-pilot of Cassian Andor.

K-2SO was part of the initial line-up of spies in John Knoll’s pitch for Rogue One, as an Imperial protocol droid. Designs for the character’s look focused on giving him both a unique silhouette as well as keeping him in tune with the Imperial aesthetic from A New Hope. References of Imperial designs were used, and the character’s chest plate draws on the armor of an AT-AT commander in The Empire Strikes Back. Unused designs by Ralph McQuarrie for droids and stormtrooper helmets would influence his eventual headshape. Originally designed as a “black protocol droid”, further story development and drafts that “accentuated” his ties to the Empire turned K-2SO into an Imperial security droid. His laid back personality became a “visually amusing” contrast to his “towering, monolithic form”. Director Gareth Edwards wanted K-2SO to be “appealing” despite his figure, and designs continued to reflect elements of his personality with his form; his stoop is one example, showing his “casual kind of personality”.

D-O

D-O appeared in the 2019 film Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, where he was voiced by director J.J. Abrams and puppeteered by Robin Guiver and Lynn Robertson Bruce. The droid made its debut at the Episode IX panel during Celebration Chicago. Lucasfilm Ltd. sound editor Matthew Wood took over the voice role in the 2020 animated movie The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special.

Originally, Abrams’ voice was supposed to be temporary, but screenwriter Chris Terrio watched a few cuts with Abrams’ voice as D-O and felt that the anxious politeness in Abrams’ performance was perfect for the droid. Other actors were considered, but Terrio convinced the director to keep the voice.

Prior to Episode IX’s release, Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition stated that D-O was created by Babu Frik; however, the film itself revealed that was not the case. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary, a reference book accompanying the film, revealed that D-O was created by an unnamed droidsmith who was killed by Ochi. D-O belonging to Babu Frik was from an early version of the script, where BB-8 would repair the broken D-O in Frik’s workshop, and the droid would imprint on BB-8.

The droid was partially inspired by ducklings. Another visual reference was the comic Spy vs. Spy. In terms of personality, D-O was based on Terrio’s dog George, whom Terrio had rescued from an abusive owner.

L3-37

L3-37, abbreviated L3, or Elthree, or nicknamed “Vuffi,” was a feminine custom self-made piloting droid associated with Lando Calrissian who was active during the reign of the Galactic Empire. She was a one-of-a-kind droid, assembling and improving herself with scraps of other droids, including her torso, which she pieced together from an old astromech. Her brain module began as part of an R3-series astromech droid, including data from an espionage droid, custom coding and protocol droid processors.

The character of L3-37 was conceived in conversations between former directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, evolving from Miller’s observation that Wuher, the bartender of Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina seen in the original Star Wars film, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, objected to C-3PO, considering droids seem to be the least rambunctious folks in the galaxy. Early versions of the film’s story included L3-37 incorporating the navigation computer from the Millennium Falcon‘s cockpit into her design, with the idea being that L3 came with the Falcon when Lando Calrissian acquired it.

Regarding how L3-37 and Lando Calrissian met, Waller-Bridge and Donald Glover mentioned in the film’s DVD commentary that they have a theory of how it happened, with Waller-Bridge adding that it probably started violently and Glover adding that they were probably in a bar.

 

BB-8

BB-8 (or Beebee-Ate) is a droid character in the Star Wars franchise, first appearing in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). He later appeared in the other two films of the sequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019). He also appeared as a major supporting character in the animated series Star Wars Resistance, appearing in the first 17 episodes of season 1. He is a BB astromech droid serving the Resistance, and is owned by Poe Dameron. Spherical with a free-moving domed head, BB-8 is portrayed by both a rod puppet and a remote-controlled robotic unit. The character has been well received by critics and fans, and has become one of the most beloved and recognizable characters of the Star Wars saga in recent years.

BB-8’s design was based on a sketch by The Force Awakens director J. J. Abrams. According to special effects artist Neal Scanlan, “It was a very simple sketch, beautiful in its simplicity of a ball with this little dome on top.” His design included asymmetrical panels to make it easier for the viewer to track motion, because, Scanlan says, “If you had parallel patterns that ran around the circumference, they would be less informative as to the direction BB-8 was traveling”.

Abrams also named the character, saying, “I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia. It was sort of how he looked to me, with the 8, obviously, and then the two B’s.” The name was conceived early on in the film’s production and was one of the few to remain unchanged. Before receiving his final name, the droid was nicknamed “Surly” by the pre-production team.

C-3PO

C-3PO or See-Threepio is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise who appears in the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy and the sequel trilogy. Built by Anakin Skywalker, C-3PO was designed as a protocol droid intended to assist in etiquette, customs, and translation, boasting that he is “fluent in over six million forms of communication”. Along with his astromech droid counterpart and friend R2-D2, C-3PO provides comic relief within the narrative structure of the films, and serves as a foil. Anthony Daniels has portrayed the character in ten of eleven of the Star Wars films released to date, with the exception of Solo: A Star Wars Story, where the character does not appear. Anthony Daniels is also the only person to be involved in all 11 Star Wars films.

Despite his oblivious nature, C-3PO has played a pivotal role in the galaxy’s history, appearing under the service of Shmi Skywalker, the Lars homestead, Padmé Amidala, Bail Organa, Raymus Antilles, Luke Skywalker, Jabba the Hutt, and Leia Organa. In the majority of depictions, C-3PO’s physical appearance is primarily a polished gold plating, although his appearance varies throughout the films; including the absence of metal coverings in The Phantom Menace, a dull copper plating in Attack of the Clones, and a red left arm in The Force Awakens. C-3PO also appears frequently in both canon and Star Wars Legends continuities of novels, comic books, and video games, and was a protagonist in the animated television series Droids.

Gonk Droid

Little more than walking batteries, gonk power droids trundle along as directed by their owners or their programming, recharging vehicles and machinery. They get their name in imitation of their simple vocalizations. There are many different models of power droid, most of them similar in appearance and habits as the well-known gonk. Power droids are common sights throughout the galaxy and little noticed despite their critical importance to both military and civilian life.

The GNK power droid derives its name from the “gonk” sound it makes in Episode IV. The droid was originally called simply a “power droid,” but a newsgroup posting in 1993 led to the now-official name becoming quickly popular. In the Battlefront series, gonk droids are called Ammunition Droids and dispense ammo to the troops who stand near them.

In the LEGO Star Wars games, gonk droids are slow-moving and weak, unable to attack, interact with their surroundings, or jump. They can be interacted with, such as being Force pushed, shot, or destroyed. They explode when shot. However, they are invincible when they appear in the Dex’s Diner hub area. Gonk droids are included mainly for the player’s amusement, as they are universally ignored by enemies. Gonk droids are also a Separatist character in The Clone Wars version. A “Super Gonk” upgrade can be purchased with in-game currency, permitting the player’s gonk droid to run and jump, though not attack. Several gonk droids can be found wandering around the Mos Eisley Cantina.

2-1B

2-1B was a 2-1B-series medical droid that was a member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Along with FX-7, 2-1B was stationed at Echo Base on Hoth and treated Luke Skywalker with bacta after he had been attacked by a wampa. 2-1B also treated Skywalker after his hand was amputated in a duel with Darth Vader on Bespin.

2-1B had long experience with humans since the times of the Old Republic, giving him a caring bedside manner. It was thanks to this that Skywalker specifically requested 2-1B’s treatment following the loss of his hand. He was also able to perform extremely precise operations that left little to no scar on his patients.

2-1B first appeared in the 1980 original trilogy film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, voiced by Denny Delk. According to Delk, he was unaware that he played 2-1B in Empire Strikes Back until several people, including his fans and agents, had pointed it out to him. The actor found it comfortable to voice the character during the looping process as he did not have to match any lip flaps, since droids in Star Wars typically did not have mouths.

He was first identified in canon in the 2015 reference book Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, which was written by Adam Bray, Kerrie Dougherty, Cole Horton, and Michael Kogge. A 2-1B surgical droid appeared in the 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi stationed on the Home One prior to the Battle of Endor. The 2018 reference book Star Wars: Droidography confirmed this was 2-1B. In the Star Wars Legends continuity, 2-1B first appeared in the novelization of Empire Strikes Back by Donald F. Glut, which was released prior to the film.

Chopper

C1-10P, commonly known as “Chopper,” or simply “Chop,” was a masculine C1-series astromech droid manufactured by Industrial Automaton that was active during the Clone Wars and the early years of the Galactic Empire. He was a member of the Spectres, a rebel cell led by the Twi’lek captain Hera Syndulla and the Jedi Kanan Jarrus that fought against the Empire. He was responsible for maintaining the Ghost, a modified VCX-100 light freighter which served as the rebel cell’s main base of operations.

During his time with the crew of the Ghost, Chopper took part in numerous raids and missions against Imperial targets. Due to his old age and lack of regular maintenance, Chopper developed an argumentative, cantankerous, and mischievous personality. Despite these personality flaws, he was a loyal member of his rebel crew. Later, Chopper and his fellow rebels joined the Phoenix Cell, which was part of the rebellion. In 3 BBY, he befriended the Imperial RA-7 protocol droid AP-5. Together, the two played an important role in helping the Phoenix rebels discover a new base on the planet Atollon, which was named Chopper Base in Chopper’s honor.

Over the years, Chopper would continue serving the Spectres as the group became involved in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Chopper would also remain by Hera’s side during the Galactic Civil War.

C1-10P appears in the animated television series Star Wars Rebels, which began airing on Disney XD in fall 2014, portrayed by series executive producer Dave Filoni. Although his dialogue is incomprehensible on the finished show, writers still had to type out Chopper’s lines for Filoni to perform.

Chopper’s appearance is directly inspired from concept artist Ralph McQuarrie’s original Episode IV design sketches for R2-D2. According to Filoni, Chopper’s actions were meant to reflect his destructive and cantankerous nature. Filoni also stressed that he and the production team had carefully selected the names of the series’ characters in order to imbue them with a sense of purpose and meaning.

At the behest of Filoni, the writer, director, and R2-D2 Builders Club member Michael McMaster constructed a fully articulated, life-size model of Chopper for reference in creating the animated series. McMaster’s final product was built in about eighty-seven days. Chopper appeared on a 2014 episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Chopper is the star of Chopper Cam, a staple sketch of the webisode series Rebels Recon, in which he features as an actual working droid at the studios of Lucasfilm Ltd., who is often set to do menial tasks but finds various ways to skive off work or annoy the crew. In the first half of Star Wars Rebels Season Four, Chopper’s corner was usurped by his rival R3-A3 until the latter was killed off in “Rebel Assault”.

 

SOURCES

 

ADDITIONAL INFO

USPS Newsroom

StarWars.com

Wikipedia (various droids linked above)

Wookiepedia (linked above)

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