3:40pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Star Wars': A Guide to the Dangerous Droids of a Galaxy Far, Far Away
For some people, hearing new droid K-2SO casually mention killing in the new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer came as a surprise. Surely droids were much cuddlier and safer, considering the evidence of C-3PO or R2-D2 in earlier movies …?
The truth is, droids can be just as complicated — and dangerous to everyone around them — as humans or any other organic creature, and there's a long history of robots that really shouldn't be trusted throughout the almost 40-year history of the franchise. If K-2SO seemed a little scarier than you were expecting, wait until you meet the following automated problems-in-waiting.
RA-7 Protocol Droids
The first inkling fans had that not all droids in the Star Wars galaxy were good guys like R2-D2 came in the very first movie, when droids were seen at work in the Death Star. Were they just good workers who'd ended up with unfortunate employers? Not so much; later appearances in spinoff novels as well as episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels would suggest that these droids were purposefully built to be duplicitous and untrustworthy to all but their owners. Basically, they're bad news. From: Star Wars (1977)
All of the bounty hunters that answered Vader's call in The Empire Strikes Back were memorable in their own way, but IG-88 — the tall, silent, skinny robot who looked less deadly than likely to fall over in a strong wind — was one of the most striking. He made some later appearances in Expanded Universe (i.e., non-canonical) material that would suggest that he was deadly enough to earn an invitation from Vader, but he remains available to be recycled by anyone looking for a good antagonist for any new stories, big screen or small. Perhaps the Han Solo movie…? From: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Playing against type, R3 was a wonderful addition to first season of the Clone Wars animated series (He debuted in the sixth episode, "Downfall of a Droid") that was introduced as a replacement for a missing R2-D2, only for it to be revealed that he was, in fact, a double agent working for General Grievous and planning to undermine Anakin Skywalker's plans without anyone being any the wiser. As if the idea of an adorable, yet evil, droid wasn't enough, R3 was also responsible for this never-more-epic showdown:
From: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2014)
Technically, Mister Bones — Chuck Wendig's retro-fitted Battle Droid who debuted in the 2015 novel Star Wars: Aftermath — isn't a bad guy, per se. He's just an unstoppable killing machine that is given to somewhat illogical thinking and will stop at nothing to protect his master … even if that means falling into a murderous rage that hurts allies as well as enemies (and using his own limbs as weapons if they happen to be severed). All told, it's better to have him on your side than standing against you, but either way, it's not impossible that you'll end up worse for wear. From: Star Wars: Aftermath (2015)
0-0-0 (Triple Zero)
Imagine C-3PO, but with absolutely no morals whatsoever and a taste for torture. That's 0-0-0, the hilariously devious droid that assists in the secret plans of the dark lord of the Sith in Marvel's Darth Vader comic book series. Accompanied by the R2-D2-esque BT-1, he still has Threepio's good manners — he introduces himself by saying, "I'm a protocol droid specialized in etiquette, customs, translations and torture" — but they're just in service of something far more perverse. Thank writer Kieron Gillen for this all-too-wonderful addition to Star Wars canon. From: Star Wars: Darth Vader (2015)