7 droids every Star Wars fan should know

Star Wars joins Puzzle & Dragons – Sith and Jedi Battle through Exclusive Dungeons. Image courtesy GungHo Online Entertainment.
Star Wars joins Puzzle & Dragons – Sith and Jedi Battle through Exclusive Dungeons. Image courtesy GungHo Online Entertainment. /

Back when I was a new Star Wars fan, one of the most difficult aspects for me to keep track of was the large assortment of droids. For anyone who is just entering the fandom, there are many details in this universe that can seem hard to follow.

Whether you want to learn how to tell each droid type apart or are just looking for a refresher, here is a little deep dive on seven different Star Wars droids.

Astromech Droids

Astromechs are a diverse group of droids whose main purpose is to repair ships and act as a co-pilot. They are equipped with a variety of tools including a computer interface, holographic projector, and retractable arms. Certain types of astromechs are also capable of flight. Unlike many other droid types, astromech droids communicate using beeps and whistles in a language called binary.

One of the most common astromech types is the R-series droid, like R2-D2. Like his R-series kin, R2-D2 is able to hold his own in many dangerous situations, from fixing a ship in the middle of a battle to doing a bit of fighting himself. R2 is very smart and courageous, earning him the love and respect of not only his friends, but many Star Wars fans.

The C-series of astromechs is similar to the R-series, except they are an older model with a boxier shape. The most famous droid of this group is Chopper from Rebels, a member of the Ghost crew rebelling on the planet Lothal. Even though Chopper only speaks in binary, his cranky attitude reads loud and clear to all who meet him. Unlike most droids, he doesn’t seem to care about being liked. Even with all of his mischief, he always helps his friends when they needed him.

Finally, BB-8 represents the BB-series category of astromechs. BB-series droids have a spherical shape with a domed head. This allows them to roll around on a variety of landscapes without the limitations of other astromech shapes. In locations where they are unable to roll, the BB droids can launch cables to pull themselves to their destination. BB-8 was a character in the sequel trilogy who is energetic and loyal, acting in many ways like a child. His addition to the sequels was a highlight of the movies.

Protocol Droids

Protocol droids are a vital part of relations between many species in the galaxy. Wherever differences in language and culture can divide groups, the protocol droids are there to help form connections between even the most unlikely of creatures. Protocol droids are especially useful for diplomats and government officials. Everyone from Jabba the Hutt to the Rebel Alliance uses protocol droids. In addition to helping with communication, protocol droids are also used for information on etiquette and event planning.

Protocol droids typically have humanoid forms with the 3PO-series being the most common type we have seen. These droids are fluent in over 6 million forms of communication. Though, with their inflexible arms and hands, forms of sign language were likely not included in that list.

Another type of protocol droid used is the RA-7 series, which is distinguished from other droids by its bug-like head. While this droid can be used as a protocol droid, this model has also served as inventory droids, analysts, and spies.

Of course, C-3PO is the most well-known protocol droid, as well as one of the most identifiable droids in all of Star Wars. This character, along with his companion R2-D2, has made appearances in the majority of Star Wars movies and shows.

He was built by a young Anakin Skywalker and eventually ended up in the service of Leia Organa. Over that time, C-3PO came to develop a somewhat whiny personality, susceptible to excessive worrying and rigid thinking. Despite his frequent reservations, he proves a loyal and dependable friend. Though his memory is wiped more than once, he never loses his polite and caring nature.

Battle Droids

Before I was a Star Wars fan, I always called these droids the “Roger, Roger” droids. Battle droids, perhaps the most recognizable droids of the Clone Wars, are known for giving this response to any orders presented to them. Although they are portrayed as cold, yet largely ineffectual, killers in the prequel movies, the battle droids in the animated shows are silly comic relief characters bumbling around in confusion.

The humor, which is usually of the slapstick variety, never ceases to amuse me. The animated droids are so lively and talkative that it is always a bit of a shock for me to return to the prequel movies. The animated battle droids have given us some of the most relatable moments, from hating their jobs to excitement over promotions to their confusion when they are outsmarted.

The humanoid design of the battle droids allows them to operate machinery that humans and other beings could also use, and they are cheaply made. However, with aim as bad as a Stormtrooper’s and very little armor, the droids are only truly effective in large numbers. Even on their best days, the Jedi can usually slice right through a battalion of the battle droids, though they do provide more of a challenge to those without lightsabers and a deep connection to The Force.

After the Clone Wars, many of the remaining battle droids were reprogramed and used for protection around the galaxy, leading to surprise appearances of these droids in Rebels and The Bad Batch. While they might not be the most effective droids in the fight, their personalities and strength in numbers add an important element to many conflicts in the Star Wars universe.

Super Battle Droids

(Photo: https://www.starwars.com/databank/super-battle-droid)

More powerful than the regular battle droids, super battle droids also have a stronger armor and a blaster cannon embedded in their right arms. Though their form is still a humanoid shape, they have a much larger and sturdier torso that protects their processing units. These droids are capable of taking multiple hits and can even continue to attack if they have lost their legs. Although they are capable of speech, with a voice much lower than the battle droids, they do so rarely, even in the animated shows.

The super battle droids were created after the Battle of Naboo, when the Separatists realized they needed a more powerful droid. With the creation of this droid, the manufacturers also eliminated the need for a Droid Control Ship, whose destruction had been so instrumental in their defeat on Naboo.

Instead, later battle droids and all super battle droids were able to operate with just a command signal, rather than being fully controlled by a ship. Because of this innovation, all droids were able to act more independently, but it also contributed to some of their weaknesses, as they were not especially intelligent.

A major weakness of the super battle droids was their hyperfocus on what was directly in front of them. This vulnerability meant they would often forget about possible dangers from behind and on their flanks. This made their command signal important, as it could instruct the droids where to make their attacks.

During the Clone Wars, many of the Jedi would attack the super battle droids by first removing their blaster arms so they would avoid continued fire during the attack. Without this arm, the super battle droids were much easier to defeat.


Droidekas, also known as destroyers or rollies in clone trooper slang, are fearsome droids who are very difficult to defeat. With their twin blaster cannons, protective shield and ability to roll around quickly, they are unpredictable and formidable enemies. First introduced in the prequel series movies, droidekas have fought our heroes numerous times during the Clone Wars.

Unlike the other droids used by the Separatists, the droidekas present a challenge even to the Jedi. It takes the Republic armies much longer to defeat them, typically with a higher number of casualties. Because they have two blasters, they are able to fire at a faster pace than battle droids.

Standing on three legs, the droidekas are not very stable or fast. They often roll to get to their destinations and stay in one place for the majority of the fight, lessoning the impact of this shortcoming. Droidekas are commonly used as a defense for building entrances or security within Separatist strongholds.

Although they are difficult to defeat, Anakin and others fighting in the Clone Wars discover two main weaknesses. First, they have a blind spot in the rear, leaving them vulnerable to attacks from behind. Further, their shields are not designed to block slow moving or stationary objects. If one can roll a thermal detonator past the shield, for instance, the shield would do nothing to protect the droidekas.

Consequently, though these droids are dangerous to deal with, they are not invincible. Later in the Clone Wars, clone troopers began to use EM pulses to overcome the shields protecting the droidekas, allowing them to defeat the powerful droids.

Assassin Droids

Assassin droids have appeared in the original trilogy movies as well as many shows and comic books. They are highly capable killers, often equipped with flamethrowers, blasters, and grenades. These droids have been hired by a Darth Vader and a variety of criminals, including Ziro the Hutt.

One notable assassin droid character is IG-88, an infamous bounty hunter droid whose first appearance was The Empire Strikes Back. IG-88 was later seen in Forces of Destiny and the Darth Vader (2020) comic books. His role in the original trilogy marked the first appearance of an assassin droid in the cannon, although we did not get the chance to see an assassin droid in action until later.

Another important assassin droid is IG-11, our favorite bounty hunter turned babysitter from The Mandolorian. IG-11 might have started out as an enemy of Mando and Grogu, but after some reprograming and a fun training montage, he became a great friend and protector. The IG-series assassin droids are tall and thin with sensors and arms that can spin a full 360 degrees, making them excellent fighters. IG-11 was unique because of his built-in self-destruct feature, meant to ensure he was never captured.

HK-87 series assassin droids appeared in season 2 of The Mandolorian, protecting a city and its Magistrate, Morgan Elsbeth, from Ahsoka Tano’s attempts to free the city from her cruelty. The HK-series is stealthy and agile, able to climb silently across the city roofs as they try to defeat the heroes. They more closely resemble humanoids than the IG-series with a helmet-like head and long, red limbs.

Security Droids

A common type of security droid is the KX-series used by the Empire. These droids, also known as enforcer droids, made their first appearance in the Star Wars: Commander mobile game, but are better known for their role in Rogue One. Their skills in combat and ability to analyze probabilities made them valuable to the Empire. They were often deployed to defend Imperial installations and cities with an Imperial military presence.

In both Rogue One and Andor, we have seen these droids use their long arms to capture targets rather violently. They are also frightening enemies in the video game Jedi: Fallen Order. Their tall stature and quick reflexes add to their intimidating persona. Additionally, they are able to shoot blasters and carry heavy loads of equipment. They are one of the few droids involved in combat that also have a computer interface, located in their arms.

K-2SO was a security droid who joined the Rebel Alliance after being reprogrammed. He partnered with Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso to steal the plans for the Death Star. His sarcastic and sassy personality made him an instant favorite among fans. K-2SO made many important contributions to the team, as a pilot, a defender, and a great source of information. Despite calculating low odds of success at every turn, he was prepared to give everything to the rebel cause. He will always stand out from the other KX-series droids for his endless supply of advice and snark, as opposed to the emotionless affects of his brethren.