Ahsoka will soon continue the franchise tradition of introducing some of Star Wars best animated characters to live-action. We already know the Disney+ series will mark the in-person debut of some major Star Wars Rebels heroes like Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, and Ezra Bridger. But they shouldn’t be the only stars of the series to cross over from the cartoon. The show also featured the very best droid in all of Star Wars. And the sarcastic, grumpy, honorable, capable pessimist AP-5 deserves his chance to shine in the live-action spotlight.
What Kind of Droid Is AP-5?
AP-5, frequently called just AP, is a blue-metallic protocol droid with an insect-like head. During the Clone Wars he worked on a Republic attack cruiser as a military analyst droid. Despite his stellar work as his class’ best navigator (according to him), the Empire demoted him when it came to power. It assigned him to medial inventory duty on a cargo transport as a quartermaster, a glorified supply officer.
He was excellent at his job and did it without complaint despite his commanders’ verbal abuse. But AP hated not getting to show off his true abilities. He also hates lots of things. And people. And droids.
How Did AP-5 Join the Rebellion?
A chance encounter led AP-5 to meet Chopper, the Ghost rebel cell’s astromech droid. Chopper—who already made his live-action Star Wars debut in Rogue One—was hiding from stormtroopers on AP’s docked cargo ship. The arrogant AP didn’t turn Chopper over to superiors when he found him. Instead he worked with Chopper (who had defended AP from his captain’s insults) to steal the ship and join the Rebellion.
AP immediately proved a valuable member of the burgeoning Rebel cause. The very day he met Chopper he stopped his new allies from walking into an Imperial trap. He then used his skills as a military analyst to help the Rebellion locate a safe planet where it could build a new base. (Atollon’s “Chopper Base” would prove vital to the Rebel cause.)
While AP-5 would go on to serve the Rebellion ably and with honor for years, his time as a Rebel almost ended the same day it started. His enraged Imperial captain seemingly destroyed AP when he learned of the droid’s treason. But Chopper let Sabine Wren use parts from a stolen ambulatory strut to restore AP. The protocol droid’s reaction to Chopper’s selflessness truly captures what AP-5 is all about. Because when he booted back up, AP scolded Chopper for acting illogically. He thought the ambulatory strut carried more value to the Rebel cause.
What Is AP-5’s Personality Like?
There might be no droid in the galaxy far, far away as sarcastic, condescending, overly pessimistic, brutally honest, and funny as the sardonic AP-5. (That’s really saying something considering half the droids in Star Wars are sassy, hilarious a-holes.) His wry sense of humor and unnecessary bluntness makes AP an entertaining character, but to those working with him he can be a real jerk, like when he expressed shock Ghost member Zeb Orrelios could read. AP-5’s strict adherence to work schedules and protocols (something the Rebellion could rarely stick to) also makes him an annoying co-worker.
He often felt the same way about everyone else. Despite always being around people and other droids, he generally doesn’t like others. That was never more on display than when he found himself lost in space. Rather than finding the solitude terrifying, AP found it liberating and serene. In arguably his most famous moment on Star Wars Rebels, he began singing about how happy floating space made him while surrounded by baby neebrays. He was then thoroughly displeased when the Ghost quickly rescued him.
Ultimately, most people come to like AP and consider him a good friend because of his loyalty, honor, and dedication. His many skills and attentiveness also made him an especially valuable military analyst to a group that needed all the help it could get. And, despite his rudeness and initial low opinion of others, he is wiling to change his mind about people when they show themselves to be heroic and capable. That’s how he ended up praising Zeb whom he’d previously insulted.
If all that makes AP-5 sound like another famous pop culture droid, that’s because he’s partially based on him.
Is Star Wars Rebels‘ AP-5 Based on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘s Marvin?
The similarities between AP-5 and Douglas Adams’ Marvin are obvious to anyone familiar with both. Marvin is the more morose of the two, but each robot’s pessimism, frustration with their own perceived superiority over others, and desire to simply be left alone means they are cut from the same sheet metal.
That’s not a coincidence. Star Wars confirmed the voice of AP-5, Stephen Stanton, based his generally deep, monotone performance on Alan Rickman, who voiced Marvin in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie.
Rickman’s Marvin is one of the best parts of that live-action adaptation. Now it’s time for his sarcastic droid brethren to get his chance to be a part of Star Wars live-action world on Ahsoka.