Unwrapping the Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar: Day 12

2023 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar Day 12. Image credit: Eric Clayton / Dork Side of the Force
2023 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar Day 12. Image credit: Eric Clayton / Dork Side of the Force /

Like that one strand of Christmas lights that refuses to light up consistently, there are some things we’ve all come to expect during the holiday season. And today, day 12 of the 2023 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar presents one such thing: the holiday gonk droid.

This year, our gonk droid—or GNK-series power droid, if you’re being quite formal—has donned the guise of a reindeer. (Or, holiday moose, depending on whether or not you’re my six-year-old daughter.) This reindeer gonk follows a storied legacy of holiday gonk droids: a Santa Claus, a snow person, and a wrapped present. Each and every one? Perfection.

I love the holiday gonk droid for all the same reasons I love the Santa-themed Pit Droid: LEGO Star Wars can and should be fun and goofy. And I can only imagine this reindeer gonk is meant to pull Santa Pit Droid’s sleigh.

Gonk droids are funny little things, usually confined to the backdrop of Star Wars scenery. They look like trash cans with uncanny legs and wander about slowly like giant batteries (if batteries could, in fact, wander). First seen in Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope, the gonk droid has since shown up across Star Wars storytelling.

And nowhere has a gonk droid played quite so significant a role as in Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Gonky—as Clone Force 99’s GNK-series power droid is affectionately known—is part of the crew, albeit an old, lumbering, hard-to-understand part. In the show’s second season, Gonky proved to be quite the hero, re-commandeering the clones’ ship, the Marauder, after it was stolen and they were left stranded.

Gonk droids may love fun and (reindeer) games, but they can be real heroes when the moment arises.

Day 12 officially brings us to the halfway point of this year’s Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar. And what a day it is! In the past, we’ve had to wait a little longer for our holiday gonk. I’m pleased to see this guy so soon.