Battle droids are fictional, robotic combat units in the Star Wars franchise. Though developed earlier, battle droids served the Droid Army as frontline units in the Nemoidian-led Trade Federation Army and for Count Dooku's Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars era. They were mass-produced on Confederate planets such as Geonosis, and some units survived into the Galactic Civil War and Legacy era.
Battle droids were originally made by Trade Federation Viceroy, Nute Gunray, to prevent pirate attacks. When he was contacted by Darth Sidious, he attacked the peaceful planet of Naboo. The droids easily overwhelmed Naboo's military forces and occupied the planet.
Concept and creation
Battle droids are used as an easily controlled alternative to human soldiers. The tall, thin B1 model (which is usually commanded in battle by an OOM-series commander droid) resembles the Nemoidian or Geonosian races who designed the droids. They are known to "suffer programming glitches that manifest as personality quirks".
Battle droids are designed to win through overwhelming numbers, even though a small group of battle droids can be destroyed by a Jedi Knight. Many droids can defeat many Jedi, as seen in the Geonosian arena battle in Attack of the Clones.
Battle droids were originally portrayed as being controlled by a large central computer, usually located on a heavily defended starship. If the central computer is destroyed, all battle droids under its control would cease to function. This occurred during the Battle of Naboo in The Phantom Menace, when Anakin Skywalker destroyed the Droid Control Ship. The defeat spurred interest in creating independent droids, and this technique was put into action following the defeat. To combat this new strategy, the Trade Federation programmed a short list of commands for the droid to complete if their command system was destroyed.
History of the Droid Army
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones revealed that there were battle droid factories on the planet Geonosis and other Outer Rim planets. As depicted in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, there are similar factories on the planets Mustafar and Mygeeto.
Super battle droids were bulkier, stronger and smarter versions of the droids, which were created for combat after the Battle of Naboo, and brought more firepower against the Jedi. In Revenge of the Sith, all battle droid units were ordered deactivated by Emperor Palpatine in order to create his empire. Many of the clones died during the wars and were replaced by stormtroopers, the ground force of the Galactic Empire. Gizor Delso, a Geonosian Separatist who survived Darth Vader's slaughter, designed a third kind of battle droid during an uprising, but the plans were destroyed by Imperial stormtroopers.
After the war, most battle droids were dysfunctional, with the exception of Kalani, a super tactical droid who retained a working army of B1-Battle Droids and Droidekas on the planet Agamar for years after the end of the war. In addition, Temmin "Snap" Wexley had a modified B1-Battle Droid named Mister Bones who served as his bodyguard during the events of the Aftermath trilogy.
Advanced droid models
Known sometimes as Droid Snipers, these droids feature a red shoulder or camo markings. They are programmed to hunt the enemy's commanders or leaders, using accurized Sniper Rifles. They are rarely seen in the films, but are common in the non canon Battlefront Series and the Clone Wars animated series.
Built in the Cathedral Factories of Charros IV, vulture droids, also known as Variable Geometry Self-Propelled Battle Droids, Mark I or Vulture-class starfighters, were first used by the Trade Federation, then by the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The vulture was the successor of the earlier Scarab-class droid starfighter, though the Vulture did not entirely replace the Scarab for at least 10 years, around the time of the First Battle of Geonosis. The vulture droid is a walker unit that can convert to a flight mode, allowing it to navigate space much like a starfighter.
In fighter mode they utilize blasters concealed within their wings. The wings unfold into four spider-like legs in walking mode. They are large units and, like many other battle droids, they attack through numbers and, like other Trade Federation droids, they are controlled remotely by a central computer. The Vulture droid forms the staple fighter unit of the CIS navy. At first they had a brown and tan color scheme (Episode I), then wore blue CIS markings (Episode III, Star Wars: The Clone Wars).
In Star Wars: Battlefront, vultures are designed as vehicles for the games's space battles, and variants have a second head and a wider body. Anakin Skywalker, in Episode I, briefly mentions that, if a starfighter rotates on itself, pursuer vulture droids are confused.
Used in the Battle for Geonosis, the Hailfire Droid is an artillery droid designed for fast travel over rough terrain. It uses two large hoop-like wheels to navigate terrain, and is armed with shoulder-mounted rocket launchers. The 32 rockets can be identified by the thick black exhaust they leave behind. They are among the most destructive droids used in the CIS army, but have the distinct weakness of having a low ammunition capability, because they use projectile weapons rather than blasters or lasers. Whenever the droid exhausts its munitions it must retreat with only a small front laser to defend itself. After the rise of the Galactic Empire, Hailfire Droids were reprogrammed by the Rebellion to fight the evil empire during the Galactic Civil War.
Just like the Vulture Droid, this droid is considered a vehicle in the Battlefront series.
The droidekas (a name composed of "droid" and the Colicoid suffix "-eka", meaning "hireling" or "drone"), or destroyer droid heavy infantry units are seen in the prequel films. These droids can transform, appearing first in a "wheel" state allowing rapid movements and easy storage, then unfold into insect-like attack-robots with a slow three-legged gait. In their walking state, droidekas have powerful twin blasters on each of their arms, extreme accuracy at close range, and a personal shield generator. The droidekas used their shield generators in the prequel movies The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith to protect themselves. These shields make the droidekas very valuable assets on the battlefield, as they are highly resistant to small arms fire including their own (although not strong enough to resist vehicle- or starfighter-mounted cannons). Due to their built-in shields and the strength of their blasters, the droidekas give some Jedi Knights pause. The droidekas sometimes have limited speech abilities (In the script and novel-version of Episode I, the Destroyer Droids that attack Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi inside the Droid Control Ship are shown to have spoken, although this is not evident during the actual movie) and their gender would be male or female depending on their programmings, similar to the battle droids. They were deployed on Naboo, as well as Geonosis and Coruscant, and are mainly the property of the Trade Federation and the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
Destroyer droids actually come in two series: Heavy Units (shielded) and Infantry Units. Infantry Units are not produced with shields because tactically their shields can be of hindrance to their own infantry trying to fire at the enemy, and also to drastically reduce cost. 40 Infantry Type droidekas can be transported in the Open Chamber type MTT. The droideka can fire up to 240 dual blasts a minute (with a built-in blaster coolant system) making it virtually impossible for enemy infantry to defeat a squad of them in good time (even if they aren't shielded). However, if the droidekas' opponents "circle" around them or are immediately in front of and between the blasters the droideka will not be able to hit them. In The Phantom Menace, when the droids are first seen, they drop their shields as they pursue the fleeing Jedi. This was either because the shield was a hindrance to movement, or because they were attacking a fleeing enemy that was no longer a direct threat, thereby conserving energy. In one episode of The Clone Wars, some Droidekas were able to fire while rolling.
According to the Star Wars expanded universe, the original design was developed by the insectoid people of Colla IV, who were displeased by the limitations of Baktoid Combat Automata's basic battle droids, and chiefly manufactured there. The Colicoids prefer to have their droidekas free-thinking unlike the Trade Federations methods of controlling the droid via ship computer, so most droidekas who are native to Colla IV are free-thinking. The Trade Federation, and presumably the Confederacy, used trading in rare meats as a way to ease bargaining with the ravenously carnivorous Colicoids, and were able to get special rates on these special infantry droids. Before the Federation's defeat at Battle of Naboo, these droids were usually slaved to a central computer, although this technique fell out of favor in the aftermath of this battle. Although the droids are not shown in masses in the films (mainly Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith), they were still mass-produced (in comparable numbers to Super Battle Droids) with full specifications. A droideka made a rare post-prequel era appearance in Survivor's Quest, where it proved a formidable opponent for Luke Skywalker and his wife, Mara Jade. The Expanded universe media also revealed that the droideka is illegal by Republic codes.
The elite MagnaGuard is a droid built to specifications provided by General Grievous. They appear to come in at least two varieties. Some simply project energy or electrical fields from both ends, and some have the added ability to shoot mini-missiles from either end. The missiles come from a missile launcher called a Bulldog CRC. They are unique among droids as they have reflexes "operating at almost the speed of light". Nute Gunray, the head of the Trade Federation, claims that these droids cost a fortune to make unlike any droid created from the past. These droids were used during the end of the Clone Wars. On Kashyyyk, Delta Squad had to battle these droids, learning that they had remarkable acrobatic ability and superb stamina, also considerable durability as it took many shots from a DC-17 to take one down. These droids were later used by the Galactic Empire to hunt down Jedi.
MagnaGuards were also seen in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and during the Battle of Coruscant, they fought Obi-Wan and Anakin on the bridge of the Invisible Hand. Later on, four of them attacked Obi-Wan at Utapau but were defeated before they could strike a blow when Obi-Wan used the Force to drop part of the roof on them. Throughout the Clone Wars, one can conclude that MagnaGuards were superior to any infantry droid ever made because of their superior duranium armor, their ability to "feel" what surrounded them, backup processors, and their ability to wield a variety of deadly weapons as well as fight like the Jedi. Unlike the other droids, MagnaGuards can still fight if their head is cut off, thanks to a third eye centered in their stomachs. Their colors are alabaster, blue, red and a very rare grey, which are never seen in the movies but are mentioned in the Expanded Universe media; alabaster directly serve General Grievous, blues act as saboteurs, reds are elite soldiers, and the purpose of the grey are shown in Star Wars Battlefront 2 as infantry soldiers. In this video game, MagnaGuards also carry handheld rocket launchers called Bulldog RLR's, radiation launchers that appear to fire grenades or mortars, a recon droid that can be deployed, and a powerful neuro-poison than can kill surrounding enemy units.
The Cortosis Battle Droid is an improved version of the Super Battle Droid, armored with its namesake, a rare mineral only found on the planet Dxun. Being difficult for Jedi to destroy (Cortosis shorts out lightsabers), they were rushed into mass production during the Clone Wars. It fell to Anakin to destroy the factory that produced them, and during this mission, he discovered a critical weakness in their design; a small gap that ran vertically in their torso armor. After his success, no more Cortosis Battle Droids were produced.
Buzz droids are a small spider like droid used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Buzz Droids deal damage by latching onto enemy starships and use cutting tools to break through the hull to disable or destroy the ship. They are deployed inside of missiles that instead of carrying explosive ordnance, carry numerous Buzz Droids. These missiles can be fired by droid Tri-Fighters or Vulture Droids. They are used during the Clone Wars and appear only in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith during the battle of Coruscant.
Grapple droids resemble larger versions of the Super Battle Droid (SBD). They are more heavily armored than the SBD, and about 1.5 times the height. They lack standard blasters, but instead have electrically charged blades over their hands. When crossed over the droid's torso, these blades provide considerable defense against lightsaber attacks. Grapple droids either attack with the blades, or grab their opponent and try to crush him/her in their arms.
B2 Super battle droid
The B2 Super battle droid is an improved version of the B1 battle droid that was designed by geonosian Poggle the Lesser for the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS). It was first seen in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones , on Geonosis (in the arena). Unlike B1 battle droids, B2 Super battle droids do not carry blasters. Instead, they have twin blasters built into their wrists (and sometimes a rocket launcher in place of the left forearm). They had much stronger armor than the normal B1 battle droids and were used throughout the Clone Wars to fight for their independence against the Galactic Republic. In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series, the droids had more of a circular appearance to the chestplate armor and could also be found in a B2-RP (or simply put a Rocket Super Battle Droid) model in episodes like Jedi Crash and The Unknown. In the Republic Commando video game, they appear to be much more powerful than in any other media, being at least five times a bigger threat than B1 Battle Droids. They've been seen carrying an anti-grenade energy shield, having powerful armor and fast melee attacks and always armed with both chargeable rockets and burst-fire blasters with their only weakness being their slow movement speed.
T-series Tactical Droid
The T-series was a model of tactical droids manufactured by Baktoid Combat Automata. They served as advisor and generals in the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars, and showed extreme loyalty to Count Dooku. Designed to create winning battle strategies throughout the earlier parts of the Clone Wars, using programmed with knowledge of Jedi tactics and detailed dossiers of Republic generals. This information became useful when TX-20 utilized prisoners as "living shields", calculating that Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi would never risk civilian casualties. Known to be arrogant, disrespectful, selfish, and time-oriented, they routinely sacrificed a large number of their own troops for a victory. They possessed strong self-preservation; one T-series droid even left Separatist General Wat Tambor on Ryloth after the Republic Military captured the main city.
Super Tactical Droid
Super Tactical Droids were a model of Battle Droid used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars, introduced around 20 BBY. Super Tactical Droids were programmed as logistics and intelligence behind the Separatist Droid Army's attacks. They commanded the battlefield as generals and tacticians, and unlike OOM Commander Droids, were able to calculate battle plans and create war strategies. As upgrades from previous regular Tactical Droids, Super Tactical Droids were also able to wield blasters accurately and were powerful in melee combat. They were considered the superior counterparts of standard Tactical Droids, compiling all available information and using it to formulate the most efficient plan of attack. Like them, they were merciless, considered human emotions to be a weakness, and believed humans were inferior to them for the same reason. However, unlike the T-series tactical droids, they were identified by given names rather than numbers. At least one of their Super Tactical Droids (General Kalani) managed to avoid the army-wide shutdown command, as seen in the episode 'The Last Battle' from season 3 of Star Wars Rebels.
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