Force Friday is upon us, and with it comes a mountain of exciting reveals about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As we wade through the plastic wrapping and cute porg plushies, there's one bit of news that has us thinking. With the release of Sphero's brand new BB-9E App Enabled Droid and the new LEGO sets, we discovered that The Last Jedi would introduce an evil BB unit to counter Poe Dameron's loyal orange and white droid, BB-8.
This inspired move that to many seemed to come out of nowhere--or did it? For those of us who have read Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca, and Leinil Francis Yu's Darth Vader comic, this seemed to be a nod to their very own own reimagining of a classic Star Wars droid: the homicidal astromech, BT-1--a counter to R2-D2.
In the masterful series that began in 2015 and ran for 25 issues, the creative team explored the enigmatic leader of the Empire, Luke and Leia's dad, the man who launched a thousand franchises: Darth Vader himself. One of the book's runaway successes was the introduction of Doctor Aphra, a rogue archaeologist who played Han to Vader's Luke. Aphra became so popular that she now headlines her own comic book series.
When Aphra was introduced, it was alongside some almost familiar faces. Before teaming up with Vader, Aphra found and reactivated her very own R2-D2 and C-3PO counterparts named 0-0-0 and BT-1, who she put in the service of Darth Vader after being asked to help him create his own private army. These dark droids were made only to kill--and in the case of 0-0-0, make witty quips; they quickly became a large part of Vader's trusted team of space allies.
The diabolical duo of BT-1 and 0-0-0 became fan favorites and could be a large influence on the choice to include an evil BB unit in the newest addition to the Star Wars movie canon. It's not just the concept that these characters share though, as the new BB-9E looks as if he was put together by the same people who created the deadly droids in Darth Vader. Both share the dark colors favored by the Empire, the blacks and grays that immediately make the "Imperial March" start playing in your head. Their blinking red lights signify that even down to the core of their programming, they're very much down with the dark side.
So what do BB-9E and his influences mean for Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Well, the idea that Disney might be taking notes from the splendid canon that creators like Kieron Gillen and Jason Aaron have been crafting is incredibly exciting. Marvel's Star Wars comics are some of the best additions to the galactic lore in eons, and the idea that the movies might be leaning into them is an exhilarating one. Could The Last Jedi be the film that truly begins to pull from the comic book stories? It certainly looks that way with the possible introduction of the Force trees from Shattered Empire and the possible inspiration from the Darth Vader comic for BB-9E.
As for BB-9E himself, could this mean that BB-8 may have a showdown with his First Order analog? Does this mean we'll see other evil droids? Maybe even BT-1 and 0-0-0? We know that's a dream that might be far far away, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Want more Star Wars?
- Look at Luke Skywalker's new, dark threads.
- Behold, The Last Jedi Funko toys.
- Sphero's Star Wars line expands.
Images: Marvel Comics, Sphero