Hey hey! The Rise of Skywalker might not have universal approval from Star Wars fans, but Babu Frik sure does. How could he not! He’s perfect in every way. Our only complaint is we didn’t get to see even more of him in the movie. But that might change very soon. The tiny droidsmith might appear in The Mandalorian‘s third season. At the very least we know two members of his species will. Where do those diminutive beings come from? What could they offer a bounty hunter and his surrogate son on the run? Here’s everything we know about Babu Frik and the Anzellans.
Who Is The Rise of Skywalker‘s Babu Frik?
The nine-inch tall Babu Frik is a good-natured mechanic in the Thieves’ Quarter of Kijimi City on the planet Kijimi. He also serves as a blackmarket droidsmith who only performs his illicit work for Kijimi’s Spice Runners. Although he doesn’t transport any of the illegal spice himself, Babu is an honorary member of the group led by Zorii Bliss. Poe Dameron was part of the “crew” before joining the Resistance, which is how he knew to turn to Babu in his time of need.
How Old Is Babu Frik in The Rise of Skywalker?
Talk about looking good for your age! The cheerful Babu Frik is a spry 85 in The Rise of Skywalker. And while that is certainly old in human years, there’s reason to think his species can live a lot longer. The film’s Visual Dictionary notes that “his legs can still hop but are showing signs of age.” That implies he still has many years ahead of him, but it’s unclear how long that entails.
What Species Is Babu Frik?
The talented droidsmith is an Anzellan, a species of small, skilled creatures close in size to human babies. Anzellans have purple blood and “ floating corneal micro-lenses that can see microscopic details.” Their eyes make them especially good at doing difficult mechanical work.
What Is Babu Frik’s Role with the Spice Runners of Kijimi?
Babu Frik can hack into and reprogram or modify almost any droid’s security systems. That includes overriding their safety protocols meant to protect organic beings. With his skills, even the most docile of droids can be weaponized, though Babu refers to them as “tools that can be friends.”
But Babu’s work comes at a cost for those droids, despite the droidsmith’s joyful disposition. Though gentle with each mechanical being, his procedures can prove catastrophic for droids, as C-3PO learned firsthand.
What Did Babu Frik Do to C-3PO in The Rise of Skywalker?
Poe, Rey, and Finn needed Babu Frik to overcome C-3PO’s programming so C-3PO could share his translation of the Sith dagger they had lost. That translation was trapped inside Threepio’s memory bank, and the only way for Babu to unlock it was with a procedure that would entirely wipe the droid’s memories.
C-3PO consented to Babu’s work, and immediately after the Anzellan finished the droid recited the dagger’s translation which revealed the location of Palpatine’s wayfinder. C-3PO then reset to his original programming with no memory of anything that had ever happened to him previously.
Fortunately for Threepio (and Poe’s sanity), R2-D2’s “famously unreliable” memory backups worked, restoring C-3PO’s memories. Hey hey!
What Did Babu Frik Tell Jannah in The Rise of Skywalker?
The Sith dagger’s translation sent the Resistance fighters to Kef Bir. That ocean moon of Endor contained the fractured remains of the second Death Star and Palpatine’s wayfinder. But the uninhabited moon wasn’t empty. There Poe, Rey, and Finn met Jannah and Company 77 who knew they were coming.
After the Millennium Falcon left Kijimi, Babu contacted Jannah on Kef Bir to alert her and the anti-First Order group about the Falcon’s pending arrival. Company 77 then helped the Resistance fighters on their mission.
Babu might seem like an unlikely ally, but that was at least the second time he helped the Resistance. The droidsmith was the one who made it possible for Poe to leave Kijimi years earlier so he could join the rebel faction. And after sending Compnay 77 to Rey’s aide Babu also rode alongside Zorii during the Battle of Exegol after the two escaped the First Order’s destruction of Kijimi. Star Wars canon says Babu officially joined the Resistance after Palpatine’s defeat.
Considering his age and affinity for the Resistance, it’s more than possible—some might even say likely—Babu has a much longer history fighting against the galaxy far, far away’s fascist forces.
Who Voices Babu Frik?
Shirley Henderson, best known for playing Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies, served as both the voice and puppeteer for Babu Frik during his Kijimi scenes in The Rise of Skywalker. She learned puppeteering so she could control Babu while improvising during his scenes. Henderson also created Babu’s native tongue, accent, and manner of speaking.
Industrial Light & Magic is responsible for his appearance during the Battle of Exegol, as he was originally meant to die during the First Order’s attack on Kijimi. Steven Spielberg might be responsible for saving Babu’s life, arguably his most important contribution to cinema. (Look, we love Babu, okay? Let us have our fun.)
Will Babu Frik Appear in The Mandalorian Season 3?
A trailer for The Mandalorian‘s third season, set roughly 25 years before The Rise of Skywalker, features two Anzellans. Both wear the same kind of welding mask as Babu Frik. However, it’s unclear if either is the droidsmith who will one day reprogram C-3PO.
One of the Anzellans sports a long beard and seems far too old to be Babu. The other, though, screams with a Babu-like joy. They also share similar, though not identical, facial hair. That Anzellan does not sound exactly like Babu, either, but obviously both your voice and grooming preferences can change a lot over two decades. We can’t say that’s not Babu anymore than we can confirm it is.
If that is not Babu Frik, it wouldn’t be the first time a different member of his species appeared in Star Wars. Anzellans are mentioned or show up in canonical books, including those from the High Republic era. And with their skills its easy to see why they have long been in demand. A reprogrammed droid can be a very valuable ally, as proven by Cassian Andor’s loyal Imperial security droid K-2SO.
But whether he appears in The Mandalorian season three or not, we demand to eventually see more of Babu Frik. He might be tiny, but he proves good things come in small packages.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.