SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for "Doctor Aphra" #4, which is on sale now.
The latest addition to Marvel's line of Star Wars comics has not shown any hesitation when it comes to venturing into the franchise's under explored territory. In the first four issues of "Doctor Aphra," the series from Kieron Gillen and Kev Walker starring an "ethically broken" archaeologist, we've seen a return to Yavin 4 in the aftermath of "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" as well as more exploration of the Star Wars universe's ancient origins. The latest issue, "Doctor Aphra" #4, doesn't shy away from fleshing out the Star Wars universe either -- although it does so this time in a rather humorous way.
Along with Doctor Aphra, the new Star Wars series is packed with other anti-heroes from the Marvel Comics line. Along for the ride are a pair of murder droids designated BT-1 and 0-0-0 -- basically bizarro versions of the Rebels' own R2-D2 and C-3PO. Instead of being programmed to help people, these two are programmed to interrogate, torture and just generally blow people up. The one thing they do have in common with their do-gooder counterparts? They're also the comic relief.
"Doctor Aphra" #4 kicks off with Aphra and her ragtag group of ne'er do wells cornered by Imperial troops in a Massassi temple on Yavin 4. Considering that Aphra cut ties with the Empire back when she faked her own death at the hands of Darth Vader, she really doesn't want to get found out and found alive. The archaeological mission goes south when the team are cornered by stormtroopers and they have to make a quick getaway.
That's when BT-1 does something that no astromech-style droid has ever done before. And it's wild.
Yep -- a pair of handles and little platforms pop out of Beetee's side legs, turning him from a blastomech into a full-blown scooter. This allows for Triple Zero to hop on and, yes, ride him like a Segway.
Whether or not this capability is unique to blastomech droids -- of which BT-1 is the prototype -- remains unclear. Artoo Detoo certainly never displayed this feature in any of his previous appearances on film, but the little droid did have a number of abilities retroactively added to him in the prequel trilogy. Most notable of all of those features are his rockets boosters, which he used in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" and "Episode III - Revenge of the Sith." That caused some confusion amongst fans, as the ability to fly would have come in handy in a number of moments in the original trilogy of films.
Additionally, Artoo possesses a holoprojector, a life-form scanner, a periscope, a fire extinguisher, a small saw and a few other minor utility devices. He's yet to display BT-1's Segway ability, although who knows what could happen in "Episode VIII"...
The adventures of BT-1 and 0-0-0 continue in "Doctor Aphra" #5, which arrives in stores on March 8.