In the days and months leading up to the debut of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we’ve seen a plethora of new creatures and characters. Porgs, the owl-looking species was instantly beloved after the appearance of one of the creatures in one of the first trailers for the new movie. Fans were mystified by the creatures that appeared in the following trailers.
Not only are there new characters and species in the new movie, but there is also a new droid on the horizon. The small ball of evil named BB-9E is the First Order’s very own Astromech droid. BB-9E will probably be lovable in a somewhat evil way, and fans are sure to grow entranced with the new droid the same way they did with BB-8 when Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered.
While an evil droid may be a new concept to fans of the films in the Star Wars series, fans of the comic books know that BB-9E is not the first droid to serve the dark side. Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres December 15, 2017.
Read on to learn all you need to know about BB-9E.
1. He is the First Order’s BB-Series Astromech Droid
Not unlike BB-8, BB-9E seems to be loyal to a cause. It’s just not the same cause as BB-8. Unlike BB-8, BB-9E is in the service of the First Order. The droid features a squarer head than BB-8 as well as a red-colored sensor.
BB-9E serves aboard the Supreme Leader Snoke’s personal flagship, the Mega-class Star Destroyer Supremacy. The droid is charged with keeping the starships and machinery of the First Order operational.
While BB-9E did not appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s likely that he will appear as Kylo Ren’s sidekick in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Because we’ve seen BB-9E in many of the Lego sets that have released in anticipation of the new movie, we’ve seen BB-9E standing next to Kylo Ren.
2. The “E” Stands for Evil
A video on Entertainment Weekly introduced some of the finer points of the new BB unit. In the video, writer Anthony Breznican said that just because something is cute does not mean that it can’t be evil. The writer also talked about the fact that BB-9E is meant to look comfortingly familiar.
The head of the Star Wars creature shop, Neal Scanlan, told EW:
BB-8 has this huge personality and this huge heart, but you know, in a sense, I’ve always found it to have sort of a slightly manipulative quality. With BB-9E, we go back to literally the cold First Order sort of Empire version of what a BB unit might be. This was much more cold, calculative, much more direct.
Another quick fact from Rian Johnson is that the on-set nickname for BB-9E was “BB-H8.” The droid is also said to work more as a free agent than any droid that we’ve seen in the previous Star Wars films. While BB-8 sticks close to Poe Dameron and C-3PO and R2-D2 stick close to the Skywalker clan and associates, BB-9E prefers to roll on his own, performing the evil deeds that need doing on Snoke’s Star Destroyer “Supremacy.”
3. He is Not the First Dark-Side Droid
BB-9E isn’t the first evil droid shown in the current Star Wars universe, and he’s also not the only evil droid to appear as a darker version of another widely adored droid.
Triple Zero, otherwise known as o-o-o, was a prototype droid introduced in Marvel’s Darth Vader comic book series. Triple Zero is a dark-side version of C-3PO. It’s somewhat fitting, then, that Triple Zero is Darth Vader’s companion, since C-3PO was a companion for Anakin.
In the comic Darth Vader 3: Vader, Part III, another evil drone was introduced. This astromech droid, named BT-1, was an assassin droid who was created as part of the Galactic Empire’s Tarkin Initiative. The droid was an evil version of R2-D2.
4. BB-8 Will be His Rival
We have confirmation the BB-8 and BB-9E will meet in the new film, and we have seen one of their meetings in a non-canon short confrontation between the pair. The short is cute, and it’s likely very different from what we’ll see in the actual movie.
Entertainment Weekly shared that there will be a confrontation between BB-8 and BB-9E, but followed up the comment with a different type of comment.
“There’s a lovely moment between BB-8 and BB-9E, which tells that sort of parallel story of Vader and Luke,” says Neal Scanlan.
5. You Can Own Your Own Evil Droid
Sphero, a connected toy company, has released a slew of app-enabled Star Wars droids. The droids available include BB-8, BB-9E, R2-D2 and a new Empire droid named R2-Q5 that was introduced in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi on the second Death Star.
The main features of all of these droids is that they can sit next to you and make you feel more immersed while you enjoy your trilogy time, no matter which trilogy you choose to watch. The droids are programmed to react to different parts of each of the movies, so you’ll never feel like you’re watching the movies alone.
Take a look at the 2 evil droids in action above. The droids are available from online retailers and range in price from $149.99 – $199.99 at regular price, though they have seen some markdowns for the holiday season.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres December 15, 2017.