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15 Best Star Wars Droids Ever

by  in Lists, Movie News Comment
15 Best Star Wars Droids Ever

You can’t have a great “Star Wars” adventure without a good droid getting involved. Much like how earthlings have their smart phones, the galaxy far, far away is populated with an overwhelmingly amount of droids, all designed to do a number of tasks, ranging from destruction and murder to translation and navigation — and pretty much everything else in between.

RELATED: 15 Revelatory Scenes in New Rogue One Trailer

But these mechanical companions aren’t just sidekicks, and just because they aren’t human doesn’t mean they don’t have personalities. Sure, there are plenty of droids used as eye-catching props in the “Star Wars” trilogies, but the best droids are characters in their own right, as nuanced and captivating as Leia, Han, Vader and the rest. Considering just how many droids have been used in the current “Star Wars” canon, we thought it was time to come up with a definitive ranking of the best droids in “Star Wars.” Start calculating the odds that your favorite will come out on top.

15. 4-LOM

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First Appearance: “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)

There are plenty of droids that missed the cut in this list, which has to be pointed out because even though 4-LOM’s at the bottom, he’s still pretty cool. As one of the bounty hunters assembled on the bridge of the Star Destroyer Executor in “Empire Strikes Back,” 4-LOM is part of one of the most iconic scenes in the entire franchise. While his overall design is a little lacking (he’s not the only all-black protocol droid on this list), his incredibly creepy insect head makes him really stand out. It has to be noted that 4-LOM would rank higher on this list if he, you know, did anything in the film. His profile also might be higher if a mistake hadn’t erroneously labeled him by the name “Zuckuss” for years. But his correct name is short for “For Love Of Money,” and everyone can agree that’s a baller name for a bounty hunting droid.

14. R5-D4

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First Appearance: “Star Wars” (1977)

R5-D4 is one of the many astromech droids to appear in the franchise and on this list, but he’s still worth singling out for props and praise. For one thing, R5 has a cooler look, with his red-and-white color scheme and squared off head making him stand apart from a lot of other astromechs (particularly the most famous astromech). And unlike 4-LOM, R5 did make an impact in his film; if R5 hadn’t malfunctioned after Luke and Uncle Owen purchased him from the Jawas, then the moisture farmers wouldn’t have purchased R2-D2 — and the Death Star plans would have just ended up rattling around in a sandcrawler for who knows how long! Plus, his fiery death inspired his action figure to have a projectile missile in his head. Say what you will, but at least R5-D4 had a cool toy.

13. GNK power droid

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First Appearance: “Star Wars” (1977)

For a droid with surprisingly little screen time and no unique individual designation, this random GNK power droid — or “gonk” droid — sure has captured a lot of imaginations over the years. Maybe it’s because this is the one droid that is so obviously just a person wearing a big ol’ stack of Rubbermaid boxes? The simplicity of the design and the ease with which it can be replicated has a certain amount of DIY charm to it. Or maybe people still have a soft spot for Gonk because this droid is so easily impersonated thanks to its signature “gonk” gibberish — a language actually called “Gonkian”? “Gonk” is also a really entertaining word to say. So no, Gonk doesn’t do a whole lot in the movies, or say a whole lot besides its name, but its low budget nature speaks to what made 1977’s “Star Wars” so magical.

12. IG-88

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First Appearance: “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)

There were two droids present in that iconic bounty hunter scene in “Empire Strikes Back,” and IG-88 is easily the cooler of the two. While 4-LOM looks a bit like a cosplaying Threepio, IG-88 is unlike any other droid we’ve seen in the “Star Wars” franchise. As an assassin droid, IG-88 was literally made for murder. However, in a unique display of self-awareness, IG-88 struck out on his own to become an individual bounty hunter.

IG-88 was so successful as a bounty hunter that he got on Darth Vader‘s radar. IG-88 would no doubt be higher on this list if, like all the bounty hunters not named Boba Fett, he actually did anything in “Empire.” But IG-88 deserves respect just because of that menacing, spindly design and calculating, inhuman head. This is easily one of the creepiest droids in the “Star Wars” canon, thus making IG-88 instantly memorable.

11. K-2SO

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First Appearance: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016)

The newest droid on the block, K-2SO is a member of the cast of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” We still haven’t seen this droid in a full-length feature yet, but what we’ve seen from the trailers is enough to get us excited. K-2SO’s personality is unique compared to all the other droids we’ve heard speak; as a former Imperial security droid, K-2SO’s pretty cavalier about murder and destruction, all while maintaining a chipper tone.

Then there’s K-2SO’s design. Standing at near-Wookiee heights, this is the first droid that actually looks like it could easily bludgeon any attacker and win any hand-to-hand fight. Marry that aesthetic with Alan Tudyk’s charming voice and you have one truly odd droid. If K-2SO lives up to the intriguing nature of the trailers, it’s likely a future list could place this droid within the top 10.

10. Battle Droid

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First Appearance: “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” (1999)

Like the polarizing Ewoks, your opinion of the Battle Droids probably depends on exactly how old you were when you first saw “The Phantom Menace.” These guys are somehow even more ineffectual than stormtroopers and their reliance on catch phrases (like “Roger Roger”) could be seen as a turnoff. On the other hand, if you’ve watched the “Star Wars: Clone Wars” cartoon, then you know that these guys are cannon fodder, but crazy entertaining cannon fodder.

When the Battle Droids are used for physical comedy instead of menace, they actually work really well and prove themselves to be way more entertaining than stormtroopers ever were. So don’t look at battle droids as threatening; look at them as what they truly are — the slapstick comics of the “Star Wars” universe.

9. 0-0-0 & BT-1

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First Appearance: “Darth Vader” #3 (2015)

Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca‘s “Darth Vader” series from Marvel Comics introduced a combo of droids so inseparable that it would be cruel to split them up on this list. Speaking of cruelty, there are no crueler droids on this list than Beetee and Triple-Zero. Beetee’s a “blastomech” prototype designed to look like a standard astromech droid, but packed with dozens of bazookas/lasers/etc. Similarly, Triple-Zero may look like an ordinary protocol droid, pre-shiny finish, but he’s actually programmed for torture (in addition to etiquette).

These droids were switched on by the tech genius and rogue archaeologist Doctor Aphra and handed over to Darth Vader to use in his personal missions. The two proved themselves to be loyal to murder over anything else, and only ended up on Doctor Aphra’s side due to some loopholes in their programming. Still, no matter who’s in charge of them, they’re content… as long as they’re killing.

8. Droideka

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First Appearance: “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” (1999)

However ineffectual the battle droids may be, droidekas were as deadly. Of course the flipside is that these destroyer droids have zilch in the way of personality or catch phrases. Still, droidekas are one of the few actually threatening droids in the “Star Wars” films — and they have a design that sets them apart from every other menace. To start, these things don’t just walk into battle, they roll and then pop open, guns a-blazing. Whereas battle droids were easily disposed of, destroyer droids come equipped with actual shields that protect them from return fire. Droidekas also play defense and offense simultaneously, making them a unique problem for their adversaries to solve, including jedi, who are often (though not permanently) stymied by their effective design. If you’re able to deflect blaster fire while shooting lasers like a droideka, then you don’t really need to compensate with pratfalls and “Roger Rogers.”

7. Probe Droid

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First Appearance: “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)

The Imperial probe droid easily glides into the top 10, pretty much solely because of its design. Yes, it also plays a pivotal role in “Empire Strikes Back,” as this is the probe droid that alerts the Empire to the Rebel’s Hoth headquarters. It also took part in a quick snow-covered shoot-out with Han and Chewbacca before hitting a self destruct. But what’s really memorable about this droid is its ink-black, squid-like design. With dangling appendages and a hamburger-shaped head covered in lenses and “eyes,” this is another adversarial droid with an unsettling image. The sight of this thing gliding along would fit right in with a horror movie. On top of all that, the probe droid — like the aforementioned Gonk — is equally quotable. Of course, quoting the probe droid depends on how you hear its chirping alien, warbling signal. “Admira-pass-ko, admira-pass-ko”? Sure, just go with that.

6. 2-1B

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First Appearance: “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)

After talking about a string of murder droids, let’s turn our attention to the good doctor himself, 2-1B. Forget Threepio and Artoo, no droid probably did as much for Luke Skywalker than 2-1B. “Empire Strikes Back” is bookended with scenes of Luke getting absolutely wrecked, both by a marauding wampa and his own father. In both instances, there’s 2-1B to the rescue, equipped with a bacta tank and a spare hand to replace the one the young Jedi lost in battle.

With his expertise in medicine and on-point bedside manner, 2-1B’s the real hero of “Empire Strikes Back” — at least from a certain point of view. At the same time, 2-1B’s also a great example of the importance of color in “Star Wars.” With his sharp cheekbones, hollowed out eyes, spindly appendages and translucent ribcage, 2-1B could easily look like a creepy metal skeleton. But that cool blue-and-silver color scheme makes him look like the friendly droid he is.

5. EV-9D9

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First Appearance: “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi” (1983)

On the polar opposite end of the droid spectrum lies EV-9D9, Jabba’s supervisor droid that worked in the crime lord’s palace on Tatooine. EV-9D9, or Eve for short, is notable because she’s the only droid on this list with feminine programming. She’s also notable for her job, which involved the punishment and torture of misbehaving and malfunctioning droids.

The way that Eve barked orders at Artoo and Threepio, cutting off the protocol droid before he could answer any question and calling the astromech “feisty,” you kinda got the impression that she really loved her job. And while Eve has the same spindly frame as a droid like 2-1B, her harsh bronze and rusty color scheme makes her way less friendly looking. EV-9D9’s one scene in “Return of the Jedi” is filled with snark and sadism, meaning she actually comes across way more evil than a lot of the other “evil” droids on this list.

4. C1-10P

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First Appearance: “Star Wars Rebels” (2014)

C1-10P, nicknamed Chopper, is the resident droid member of the Ghost crew, an assemblage of freedom fighters and early members of the galactic Rebellion. But unlike the other astromechs employed by the Rebellion, Chopper’s a bit of a jerk. Okay, that’s an understatement. While this droid always does what’s right eventually, he will protest with aggressive barks and burps the instant he feels slightly undervalued or annoyed. Unlike the other astromechs, he even has two tiny grabber arms, which he uses to repair the Ghost ship or wave around sassily. Yes, Chopper is an astromech droid that puts his “hands” on his “hips” when he’s angry.

But while he may seem fiercely independent and ferociously indifferent to others, he’s really covering up the devotion he feels to his owner Hera and possibly even the tragedies he saw when he was paired with a Republic Navy Y-wing during the Clone Wars. Chopper’s attitude and nuanced personality easily make him a top-five droid.

3. C-3PO

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First Appearance: “Star Wars” (1977)

Threepio may be one of the more polarizing characters in the “Star Wars” universe. He’s fussy, whiny, cowardly and pretty much everyone around him treats him with contempt. But come on, that’s what makes this protocol droid one of the greatest in the entire “Star Wars” franchise. For one thing, he has the very first line spoken in any “Star Wars” film. Yes, it was him going on about how he and Artoo will be “destroyed for sure,” but Threepio still helped guide audiences into the “Star Wars” universe by taking the lead in the first half of 1977’s “A New Hope.”

The questions he asks are ones the audience would ask, and the information he rattles off is usually needed exposition. When he gets too annoying, the film uses him as a comedic punching bag (“Shut him up or shut him down!”). Plus, you can’t argue with the fact that he played a pivotal role in keeping the Rebels from becoming Ewok food in “Return of the Jedi.” Just generally, if ol’ Goldenrod wasn’t around, who would make sense of all the alien languages for the gang? Love him or hate him, Threepio’s an integral part of the team and one of the most iconic characters in the franchise.

2. BB-8

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First Appearance: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015)

It is hard creating meaningful new characters in a franchise as beloved and long-lasting as “Star Wars.” Fans naturally gravitate to the characters they already know or met as a child. Nostalgia’s a hard thing to overcome when trying to make new characters stick. That’s partially why BB-8 is so absolutely remarkable. As soon as fans saw the orange and white astromech variant rolling through the sands of Jakku in the very first “Force Awakens” teaser, they knew this character was something special.

First, BB-8’s design is unlike anything else on this list; while he bears a resemblance to traditional astromechs, his rolling design is so simple yet so surprising that it immediately catches your eye. Remember how shocked everyone was to see BB-8 roll out on stage, proving that he’s a practical droid and not a CG trick? That’s part of BB-8’s fun. On top of that, he has a warm and inviting personality, coming across in his relationship with Rey and Poe as kind of a plucky housecat.

That outgoing and friendly personality has made him a natural favorite of today’s young generation of “Star Wars” fans. Kids. Love. BB-8. It’s about time we welcomed him into the pantheon of Most Loved “Star Wars” Characters.

1. R2-D2

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First Appearance: “Star Wars” (1977)

Deciding between Threepio, Beebee and Artoo was tough, as all three are integral players in the “Star Wars” franchise. When it comes down to it, though, Artoo Detoo has the edge. For one thing, he’s stealthily one of the most important characters in the entire franchise. No, he’s not a Skywalker, but this little guy played a major role in 1977’s “Star Wars” and 1999’s “The Phantom Menace” — and every other “Star Wars” film in between.

He’s wily, snarky, sassy, courageous and mischievous; his personality seems to contain depth that the other droids on this list just don’t have. He delivers Death Star plans, fixes spaceships in the middle of dogfights, hot-wires everything in sight, serves drinks, keeps secrets, plays tug of war with Jedi masters and — most importantly — perseveres. Even with his presumably foul mouth of bleeps and bloops (C-3PO is constantly smacking his chrome dome for being rude), Artoo still manages to be adorable. Yeah, he was the BB-8 before BB-8 was BB-8. He also gets points for being the only “Star Wars” character to get a personalized Christmas carol sung by a young Jon Bon Jovi. Artoo Detoo, you’re the greatest droid ever.

Which Star Wars droids are at the top of your list? Let us know in the comments!

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