Star Wars Robots

Star Wars Robots

C3P0 and R2D2 in Happy Times!

Star Wars Robots. No doubt, the best known film robots of all time have got to be those two from the ultimate sci-fi classic space opera, Star Wars (though technically speaking, all robotic entities in Star Wars are exclusively referred to as droids). The words droid and robot mean generally the same thing, but the official definition of a droid is “a mechanical being with a self-aware consciousness, distinguishable from a computer by having a self-contained method of locomotion.”

Star Wars’ Cybot Galactica Design Team Operations Manual describes a star wars robot or to be more exact, a "'droid" as “a mechanical and/or electronic construct designed and put into service to assist organic life." Indeed, in the Galactic Empire where the sci-fi phenomenon is set, these robotic droids can be seen everywhere, obediently serving their owners, who are usually humans or humanoid creatures.

In the series, droids are presented as generally obedient, mathematically precise machines capable of great memory recall, which make them suitable for many jobs. Many of the less advanced models, however, completely lack independent thought, rendering them nothing more than basic and sometimes quite ineffective servants.

On one hand they are easy to control, on the other, they are aren’t completely autonomous, leading their designers to face one glaring paradox—make the droids highly intelligent and risk rebellion, or keep the droids dependent and highly ineffectual.

Some important droid models shown in the movie are assassin droids, meant to kill specific targets, astromech droids, mobile multi-role droids for use in hyperspace navigation, battle droids with low artificial intelligence for combat, medical droids, torture droids, pilot droids, and of course, protocol droids, for use in diplomatic affairs. Two of these droids are world-renown and very much loved, R2-D2, an astromech droid and C-3PO, a protocol droid.

Manufactured by Industrial Automaton, R2-D2 is a spunky and adventurous R2 series astromech. He has a cylindrical frame containing sensors, several arms, and extendable tools that could be used for a variety of functions, such as starship repair, flight, and hologram projections. R2-D2 is built to walk on two legs or roll across the ground using a third leg. Due to its excellent design, this model series is one of the most sought after droids in the galaxy.

In the filming of the original Star Wars, two R2D2 models were used, one that could walk on three legs and controlled by remote and another one worn by British actor Kenny Baker. The rest were stunt models that manipulated by puppet strings or wires. R2-D2's voice effects were created by sound designer Ben Burtt with an ARP 2600 analog music synthesizer. He also used his own vocalizations for additional texture. Artoo as he is sometimes called is one of the best loved of all the Star Wars robots.

Star Wars robot C-3PO is a humanoid protocol droid designed especially to interact with organics or sentients, beings with the ability to speak, reason and use tools. C-3PO was programmed mainly for etiquette and protocol, assisting with the customs and translations of different cultures so that intergalactic meetings could run smoothly, hence his fluency in over six million forms of communication. With his fussy and worry-prone personality, he is the complete opposite of R2-D2, making the two of them a delight to watch onscreen.

The protocol droid was ably played by Anthony Daniels. in all Star Wars films. In Episode I, a skeletal C-3PO model was controlled by a puppeteer and Daniels provided the voice-over. The puppeteer was later digitally removed in post-production. For Episode II, Daniels took over puppeteering duties, but these scenes were deleted and replaced with his voice-overs. For subsequent episodes, Daniels wore the suit during principal photography and also provided the voice-over. Daniels said more than once that although uncomfortable in the suite, especially when filming on the deserts of Tunisia, he loved playing the part. And about post-Star Wars events, "It’s been a bit of a privilege to be able to be a part of so many things."

Like many Star Wars fans, R2-D2 is one of my favorite Star Wars robots of all time. With all those tools packed in him he seems just about the perfect little assistant. He doesn’t speak the human language, but the bleeps and chirps he emits seem to convey perfectly what he wants to say. As a result of this robotic spunk and resourcefulness, R2-D2 is a hero an average of three times per episode. Comparatively, C-3PO seems the overly fussy, annoying nanny, and I admit I like R2-D2’s laidback attitude much better. I’d have to say though that I find C-3PO’s back story much more interesting, having been rebuilt piece by piece by a young Anakin Skywalker. In this context he becomes less irritating and more endearing. In any case, Star Wars wouldn’t be Star Wars without either of them: Two ordinary astromech and protocol droids designed simply to serve their owners, and ultimately end up saving the galaxy countless times.

Star Wars Robots : Official Starwars Site

Now there were hundreds of other Star Wars robots in the series, but R2D2 and C3PO were the stars and the best loved of all.