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Jedi, Republic Army, and Naboo Astromechs!

The Jedi order owned a large number of astro droids to maintain and copilot their large fleet of starfighters. Many Jedi seem to follow the pattern of Anakin Skywalker in developing a close relationship with a particular droid. Obi-Wan Kenobi, for example, teams with R4-P17 over the course of several years.

Here are images of R4 during Attack of the Clones, when he served in Obi-Wan's Jedi Fighter. This type of fighter was notable as there doesn't appear to be room for an entire astro droid in there. According to George Lucas, a droid *did* completely fit inside the fighter, as he scripted a scene in which R4 left the fighter to accompany Obi-Wan on Geonosis. Astromech droids used in this type of fighter probably had special Transformers-style folding body panels and telescoping legs which allowed it to compress to fit in the ship.

Obi-Wan Kenobi's R4-P17

Below is a still of R4-P17 serving in Obi-Wan's newer model fighter in the Revenge of the Sith. Notice that you can clearly see his red leg and top of his body in this shot. He should be all red!

Obi Wan Kenobi's R4-G9

Here is the astromech droid Obi Wan used in Revenge of the Sith after the untimely demise of R4-P17. He has a great two-tone copper/brass color going on his dome. R4 was reported to have piloted away Obi-Wan's starfighter from the planet after Obi Wan was captured.

Here are some shots of various "background" droids seen the Jedi Hangar cut scene. I be there is a room just off to the side somewhere with lines of astro droids all hooked up in their recharge harnesses just waiting to roll out when needed. I would love to see that!

Jedi Hangar droids

One astromech droid can be seen in each area I have circled in yellow during this cut scene. The one on the lower left looks like a red bodied R5 unit with a silver dome. The one just peaking above the fighter in the lower left is a silver domed R2 with dark panels. You can see a gold-domed R2 in the center, with a red bodied R2 just inside the elevated ring in the middle of the image. At the back left you can see what appears to be an R5 unit with dark legs and dome, and a white body. Here are close ups of the red unit:

Now here's an enlargement of the silver R2 next to the jedi fighter on the lower right, where you can see the empty droid slot beside it.

And here's one of the 2 droids in the center. The one on the left has a shiny gold dome. A sharpened enlargement is next to it. The other, a red bodied R2 unit, is party obscured by the maintenance ring in the right side of the image. You can see it in some other shots as it welds.

Here's an enlargement of the R2 unit pictured above. It has a gray dome, white body, and charcoal/black markings.

Note: All "droid slot" openings in the wings of the fighters are empty! When the fighters are in the hangar, they leave the ship to perform maintenance. How cool is that? Check it out next time you watch the dvd!

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The green-domed droid above, R4-P44 can be seen in action on board Oddball's ARC fighter if you look carefully at the screenshot. He's the only astromech droid that can be made out during the combat scenes featuring the ARC fighter.

The three astro droids below can be seen in the Republic Hangar during Revenge of the Sith, preparing to board ARC fighters. It's a little hard to make out, but the top one has a blue body, white feet, and a white dome with shiny metallic gold markings. Of the bottom two, one has a red dome with orange markings, white body with red, gray, and blue markings, and red and blue markings on its legs. The other one has a solid gold dome, gold and blue torso markings, and blue leg markings. In the wide shot at the bottom, you can see the blue one on the right, and the red and gold ones in the lower left. In the center is Obi-Wan at his fighter, watching a holoprojection from his droid, R4-G9.

Republic Hangar Astrodroids


Royal Starship Astrodroids

Finally we come to droids which are neither Jedi, nor Republic Army, but rather serve with the Naboo. In Episode I The Phantom Menace, we see Naboo astromech droids in two key scenes. The first is during the flight from Naboo on the Queen's starship. In this flight, the Queen's ship is hit in its hyperdrive, making escape from the Trade Federation blockade all but impossible. To make the necessary external repairs to the ship, all six astro droids in the droid bay take the elevator to the top of the ship, where they enter the vacuum of space to make the repairs while under fire. R2-D2 was the last droid to take the elevator to the surface of the ship, and the only droid that made it back.

The droids names are as follows:

Below from left, on the port side, R2-D2, R2-N3, and R5-A7.

Below from left, on the starboard side, R2-B1, R2-R9, and R2-M5.

All these droids were destroyed on the surface of the ship while making repairs except for R2-D2, who was destined for greater things.

I found this useful summary of all the astro droids that served on the Queen's Naboo Royal Starship in the The Phantom Menace: Expanded Visual Dictionary:




G8-R3 served onboard the Queen's Royal Starship and was destroyed by the separatists forces while trying to make repairs on the surface of the ship during its flight from Naboo. In the typical Lucasfilm Licensing fashion, it has been referred to by an alternate name, R5-A7, in some publications.

G8-R3 has a bit of an interesting history. In the final shooting script, Lucas only had written 5 "R-2 astro droids" as being on board the Royal Starship:

However, according to Don Bies, during the final walk through of the dressed set, Lucas decided that he wanted a "barrel" domed droid added to the scene. As Lucasfilm had given away all the original R3, R4, and R5 domes to Disneyland for their Star Tours rides a long time ago, a new R5 dome had to be quickly made over the weekend. Working from a single image, they produced G8-R3's dome in time for shooting, and placed it on the body of an already prepared and motorized droid not scripted for that scene, R2-C4. This same dome was the only R5 dome used in the prequels, and the rushed nature of its manufacture is the reason why its shape is slightly different from the ones used in the orginal movie. (though it was intended to be identical to the original R5 domes, according to Don)


The above image was sent to me some time ago by a previous contributor to this site, Daniel F., who found it in the new book Star Wars: The Blueprints, by JW Rinzler last winter. In the picture, we see what appears to be an image of Jar Jar fooling around in the hold of the Queen's Naboo cruiser with an astro droid with black panels. At first, I thought this must be a bad copy of the green paneled R2 unit from that scene (look at how black R2-D2 looks back there), but after manipulating the image in photoshop by lightening/brightening it, etc., I can't get any green tone out of it.

It also appears to possibly be from the cut scene where Jar Jar was supposed to be fooling around with the droids and ends up breaking one. You can see this scene mentioned (with a red droid) in the portion of the script I posted above with G8-R3.

Is this a new, black paneled droid that was cut from the movie, or perhaps just kept nearby as a back-up? Don Bies was able to confirm to me recently that "The UK R2 team built extra droids, but not just for the droid hold scene." but that he couldn't confirm any color schemes. It's also pretty clear that they had at least 3 spare droids ready for that scene in case George wanted more than the scripted 5.

When Daniel sent me this picture, I immediately thought of a picture that was going around a loooong time ago, back during the time of TPM's initial theater release:

What's interesting about this is that we again see what appears to be a black paneled droid, but in this case, it is in the position that is occupied by the green R2-N3 during the movie. Bad color processing, or is this really a black R2 unit?

If we had an image of it alongside R2-N3 I would be more certain. As it is, the pictures themselves, coupled with Don's report that other droids were produced as backups, and to provide the director with the option to add more droids to the scene if he wanted, does really make it seem as though this is very likely a real droid that didn't make the final cut. There is still, however, a possibility that this really is the green R2, which was somehow misprinted in a *very* expensive, *very* finely finished book.

Liberation of Naboo Astromechs: Theed Hangar

The second time we see the astromech droids of the Naboo is during the assault on the palace and the following space battle which pitched a few Naboo fighters against the Trade Federation's battleships. The most notable thing about this sequence is that we see two R2 units with identical markings to those that we had seen being destroyed on the Queen's starship: R2-A6/R2-N3 and R2-M5. This can be taken as a confirmation that more than one droid may be painted in a particular scheme.

Following the escape of the Royal Starship from the blockade of Naboo, and the destruction of all of its complement of astro droids, except for R2-D2, we do not see any more of the Naboo military's astromechs until the Queen arrives back on Naboo. There, we see the assault begin with the Queen, Jedi, and Naboo soldiers fighting their way into the Theed Hangar. During this time, we see onlyR2-D2 accompanying them:

Immediately after entering the hangar, the Jedi & Naboo pass by three astromech droids lined up along the wall where they had been sitting idle, waiting to be called for duty:

Immediately realizing that an attempt to free their homeland was underway, the droids roll into action, following the Naboo as they raced towards the fighters:

The Following astrodroids can be identified during the Palace Hangar assault sequence: R2-D2, R2-C4, R2-A6, R2-M5.

R2-M5 & R2-C4

We first see R2-C4 as the Naboo pilots and soldiers fight their way into the hangar in order to recapture their fighters to break the blockade. A number of droids with red, yellow, and blue R2 domes seem to already be in their fighters, but R2-C4, R2-A6, R2-M5 can be seen rolling to their fighters alongside the pilots. These droids can just be seen lined up alongside the wall as the Naboo first enter the hangar. This is probably an adjacent staging/inactive recharge area, since it is pretty unlikely that all the Naboo army's astro droids would be kept sitting in their fighters forever. After all, repairs still must be made! (not)R2-M5, who we had previously seen destroyed while making repairs to the Queen's Royal Starship, reappears in the hangar rolling towards a fighter to board. Therefore, we must presume that this droid is actually only a twin of R2-M5, and not the same droid, the same was that R2-A6 is not the same as R2-N3.


Like R2-M5 above, a droid identical to R2-A6, R2-N3, was last seen being destroyed on the wing of the Naboo Royal Starship. This demonstrates that the Naboo have more than one green accented R2 unit, which seems perfectly reasonable in a universe full of millions of astro droids. And wouldn't a military buy in bulk, anyway?

Further proof that multiple astromechs exist of a certain color scheme and type:

UPDATED: I love this picture. Below is a great new screen cap I got showing six Naboo fighters on the flight line during the liberation of Naboo. What is so awesome about it is that we can clearly make out the colors of all six astrodroids in the same shot!

The colors of these droids - 2 yellow, 1 red, 1 green, and 2 blue, essentially confirms something that we have expected all along: more than one astro droid can exist for a particular paint scheme! This shot was carefully composed, shot, and then edited showing duplicate yellow and blue astros. The prominence of the two yellow droids in the foreground is particularly notable, as it removes any doubt that multiple droids popping up is due to poor editing, or lazy set decoration or prop building.

Looking at just the domes, however, we can't be completely sure what colors the bodies are. The two yellow-domed droids, for example, seem most likely to be clones of R2-C4, but could possibly have blue bodies and be clones of R2-B1. For that matter, one or both could have a yellow body in the fashion of the all red R2-R9. The same goes for the two blue domed droids in the rear. R2-D2's long lost twin brothers? Or perhaps one is the inverse of R2-B1, with blue panels on a yellow body, while the other is a blue version of R2-R9?


Check out the latest ride for all the hip astro droids out there: the Droid Loader! Forget rolling around on their own three wheels, or even flying about with their booster rockets, this is about traveling in style! Only the overfinanced, underworked military of the Naboo would come up with an idea like this...but I like it!

And no, I don't understand how it is supposed to work.


In the space battle above Naboo at the end of the film, we see many Naboo fighters engage the droid fighters and battleships of the Trade Federation. You can see variously colored R2-style domes in the Naboo fighters, including the usual blue, red, yellow, and green. There's also this one, which kinda looks like an orange, or even pink colored R2 unit:

This last R2 unit doesn't have a known designation, and was seen on the landing platform after arriving in Courscant with Senator Amidala in Episode 2. It is very similar in appearance to R2-A6, used by Ric Ollie in resisting the Trade Federation invasion, and R2-N3, last seen getting blown apart while trying to make repairs on the hull of the Queen's Starship.


When Anankin returned to Naboo with Padme in hiding, they are seen exiting a bus that apparently has an astrodroid pilot. You can see his dome right up on top. A big credit to Dean over on the popular "Astromech Collector's Thread" in the forums for spotting this.

Next: On to Coruscant Droids!

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