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Mos Espa & Podrace Astromechs

Here are the astromechs of the prequels that you can find on Tatooine. You can find another image of the red & black droid on the Coruscant droids page.


A large, obsolete "R1" type astromech can be seen behind the counter as Anakin first becomes acquainted with Padme.

Below are a couple images from the 2012 TPM Expanded Visual Dictionary.


Qui-Gon visit's Watto's shop twice in the Phantom Menace. The first time, we see the R2 unit in the oilbath in the first image. It appears to be a standard R2 unit with dark teal panels. Its body is not visible. The second image is from Qui-Gon's second visit to Watto's. This appears to be a different droid (but just may be repositioned and modified with the collar), with a dull metal colored dome with black markings and white body and legs. It also has what seems to be a strange, gray-colored "collar" piece that sticks straight up its sides to cover the lower part of its dome from view.

UPDATE!The third image is a new one just sent in by Daniel F., who found it in the new 2012 title The Secret Life of Droids. It is an awesome close up shot of the second droid image pictured above, the one with the "victorian collar." Take a look at the oddball projecting cylinders and geegaws, along with the strange paint pattern! Very strange details not seen in an astro droid before. You can see these details drawn out in the Incredible Locations book image above. Cool stuff!


One of many astromechs seen in the streets of Mos Espa. Visible right outside Watto's shop as Qui-Gon enters. Hasbro has made an action figure of this droid and identified him as belonging to Watto. Here's a behind-the-scenes shot of him receiving his base teal-colored paint job before weathering. Fun fact: according to Don Bies, a droid tech on the prequels, only one welding rig was made for Episode 1, and it was fitted on three different droids. R2-TO, the yellow pod hangar one below, and the weathered one that looks similar to R2-T0, but is missing the pop-up dome light.


Another droid seen working in the background outside the podhangar. Generally referred to as R2-G2. Another beaten up old astromech. Due to the very busy spaceports in Mos Espa and Mos Eisley, there must have been a surplus of astromechs to see so many of them doing this sort of work.


Note: The above two astros are *not* the same droid! While there are some similarities, such as the projecting tool arm and a red panel at the side base of the dome, the differences are prominent and conclusive.

1. Watto's junkyard droid is gunmetal in color, the podrace droid is very whitish. (this is arguable due to the angle)

2. Watto's droid has prominent green trim on the top panels and next to the white cicle on the side of the dome, the whitish podrace droid has none.

3. Watto's droid has a light fastened to the top of its dome, the podrace droid does not! (pretty conclusive! Unless the image was taken after the light retracted....)

4. They are in completely different scenes! (well, they can move around...)


When Anakin and Shmi enter the hangar on eopie, you can see this one on the right side in the background. It is all over metal grey, with yellow markings. I like the idea of a droid that is entirely plain metal grey. I think Hasbro should have colored R2-T0 that way, instead of the weird brush marks over blue. Notice the yellow markings on its legs. This droid also has the same tool arm projecting from its front that two others listed on this page have. Only one such rig was made, and the droid apparently then redecoed for different scenes.

R5-X2 on Jabba's Balcony.

You can see this droid on Jabba's balcony overlooking the pod races. Notice the strangely sloped dome, almost a cross between an R4 & R5. Don Bies, who built the single R5 dome used for all three prequels, stated that there appears to be some distortion to R5-X2's dome here, perhaps due to the digitization process, and that the R5 dome for the prequels was intended to match the one used in the original trilogy. If you look at the other shots of R5 units used in the prequels, such as those I have on my Coruscant page, or of the one similar to R5-D4, below, you don't notice this effect as much, and the domes look much more in line with what we saw in the original movies, though they are still clearly different. When I asked about references he used to make the dome, he said that there was no time to gather a lot of pictures from the archives, as he was already on location during filming, and only one poor quality image was available.

Apparently George Lucas asked for an R5 droid after looking over the setup for the scenes shot in the droid hold of the Queen's ship, which held only various R2-type droids. All the original R3, R4, and R5-style domes had been given to Disneyland by Lucasfilm when they licensed the Star Tours rides back in the late-80s. So none were available when filming started on the prequels. Don Bies was the head R2-D2 tech at the time, and was too busy worrying about getting all the various R2 units in shape to think about other types of astrodroids. Also, English crewmen were responsible for a lot of the decoing of the non-R2-D2 astromechs, which further complicated things.

Anyway, George asked for a "barrel head" style droid to be put in the scene, and since none was available, one had to be made. Don got the job because he was the head Lucasfilm droid guru, and had previously worked in the Lucasfilm Archives, and so had more knowledge than most on the matter. But his schedule was very tight, and what you see is what he was able to accomplish. All in all, a very fine job considering his constraints, and very well made when you realize that this R5 dome was the only one used in all the prequels!.

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A behind the scenes shot from Attack of the Clones.


Here are three droids that can be seen in the streets of Mos Espa after Anakin & Padme arrive on Tatooine to search for his mother. This first shot below shows all three in one image. This first one, R2-L3, is on the left, and was made as part of the popular "Build-A-Droid" action figure line. You can see him and a droid similar to R5-D4 in the second image. You can also see R4-J1 in the first image, who was also produced as part of the awesome "Build-A-Droid" line, and is shown in more detail below. The third image is the back of the R5-D4 lookalike.


According do Don Bies, the astrodroid seen in the pics above that looks like R5-D4 is, in fact, R5-D4. He did this on his own without direction from George Lucas as a kind of "Easter Egg" surprise for Star Wars fans to notice when they watched the film. Pretty cool! However, the R5-D4 seen blowing his motivator in front of Luke Skywalker had red back panels.


Here is a close up of R4-J1, who is visible in the right side of the wideshot above. Hasbro is doing a good job of producing astromechs that were on Tatooine during Attack of the Clones. Let's hope they get to the Coruscant ones next!

Below are the Mos Espa astrodroids that have been made by Hasbro.

- R2-L3 - Click through to visit a photo gallery for this figure at! Read a review of this figure by Adam Pawlus here!

- R4-J1 - Click through to view more photos of this figure at! Read the "Figure of the Day" review by Adam Pawlus here!

- R2-T0 - Click the image to visit this figure's page at!

Next: Chill with the Astromechs of Hoth!

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