Though originally envisioned as a nine-part saga of live-action movies by George Lucas, Star Wars has branched into many other mediums and become so much more than a simple series of films. The franchise has also found great success with Star Wars Rebels, Resistance, The Clone Wars, and in the near future, The Bad Batch.
Yet, it wasn’t always that way. Droids, an early Star Wars animated series, is all but forgotten. The 1985 animated series was intended to carry on the legacy of the franchise after the original trilogy of films wrapped up, but the series, along with its Ewoks counterpart, failed to catch on. Still, there are plenty of funny moments in the series to be had for those willing to go looking for them.
10 R2 Breaks Down
C-3PO and R2-D2 are a classic pair, and, in many ways, the duo just gets better and better as the Star Wars saga goes on. Their more comedic aspects were on full display in their animated series, and especially in the second episode, titled “Escape Into Terror.”
In it, the two are on the run from the evil Fromm gang, and, when R2-D2 realizes that Tig Fromm has spotted them on the planet of Annoo, he pretends to break down in a comic bit of timing that resembles his later haywire moment from the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi.
9 R2 Distracts Guard With Jewels
In the third episode of the series, “The Trigon Unleashed,” C-3PO and R2-D2 accompany their new master Thall Joben and Kea Moll in an attempt to destroy the Trigon One. The only problem is that the band of heroes is captured at the base of the evil Fromm gang. R2-D2 gets them out of the jam, as he always tends to do. R2 distracts the Fromm guard by bribing him with hidden jewels, and then the others overpower him.
8 Tig Fromm Destroys His Own Gang
One of the inadvertently funny moments from the brief series comes at the end of the episode “The Trigon Unleashed.” Tig Fromm finds himself at the helm of the superweapon, Trigon One, and pilots it back to his family’s criminal gang.
He doesn’t realize that the droids’ master Thall Joben has reprogrammed the weapon to crash into the Fromm’s base. It does, and it destroys virtually the entire criminal cartel. Both Tig Fromm and his father Sise escape and seek revenge on the droids.
7 C-3PO Is Betrayed
Boba Fett plays a big role in the fourth episode of the series, “A Race To The Finish.” He intervenes in the Boonta Race, a likely influence on the Boonta Eve Race in The Phantom Menace. Boba Fett sends his droid, BL-17, to befriend C-3PO, and the golden droid’s shock at the inevitable betrayal is priceless.
C-3PO is generally fussy and suspicious, warning R2-D2 against trusting computers on Cloud City, but 3-PO goes all-in on BL-17. He even overrides R2’s suspicions, to his immediate and comic regret.
6 Boba Fett Almost Dies
Boba Fett’s apparent ‘death’ in Return of the Jedi is one of the most inadvertently funny moments in the original trilogy. His resurrection is one of the best retcons in Star Wars, but Boba Fett displayed a surprising tendency to get into bad scraps in “A Race To The Finish.”
Boba Fett attempts to complete his mission by capturing the White Witch during the Boonta Race. To do so, he races himself in the Silver Speeder and nearly dies when he accidentally knocks off a thermal detonator Tig Fromm had planted.
5 Tyne’s Horky
In episode five of the series, “The Lost Prince,” R2-D2 and C-3PO go to a planet with possibly the funniest name in the entire Star Wars franchise: Tyne’s Horky.
Tyne’s Horky was an ore-rich mining world in the Teraab sector. There’s no indication of what a ‘horky’ is or who Tyne was, but it’s more evidence of the idiosyncratic nature of the animated series. This is the planet where the droids meet Jan Tosh, Uncle Gundy, and, ultimately, Kez-Iban, who is, in secret, the prince Mon Julpa.
4 C-3Po And R2-D2 Are Terrible Waiters
The series is mostly a collection of goofy moments. In “The Lost Prince,” the droids get hired as waiters in a bar on Tyne’s Horky. R2 seems to do alright for himself as a bartender on Jabba’s Sail Barge in Return of the Jedi, but, in this episode, they’re both terrible.
They’re so bad, in fact, that they get fired by the head of the establishment, Doodnik. As a result, they both decide to put themselves up for auction to the highest bidder and are purchased by a local named Jann Tosh.
3 IG-88 Goes For The Throne
IG-88 is one of the original six bounty hunters who appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, and easily one of the most iconic in the saga. His mystique was apparent from the start and that no doubt led to his appearance in “The New King.” IG-88 is hired to capture Mon Julpa and eventually seizes his royal scepter.
The sight of the assassin droid IG-88 with a royal scepter is pretty comical, especially considering his very robotic disposition. IG-88 is a character who could potentially appear in The Book Of Boba Fett, in perhaps another power struggle.
2 A Pirate Kidnaps Jessica Meade
This incident is a more cringe-inducing type of funny. In the seventh episode of the season, “The Pirates of Tarnoonga,” a space pirate named Captain Gir Kybo Ren-Cha becomes infatuated with the droids’ new master, Jessica Meade.
He then captures her and forces her to become his paramour. Jessica ultimately escapes on her own, but it wasn’t a great look for the series even in 1985. No confirmation on whether Kybo-Ren was in any way an influence on the name of future villain Kylo Ren, but the character of Rey does bear some resemblance to the Droids character of Kea Moll.
1 The Imperials Infect Themselves With Their Own Weapon
Despite being a Saturday morning cartoon on ABC, the later Droids episodes featured some pretty heavy-duty subject matter. Still, it was portrayed in ways comical to young children. In “The Frozen Citadel,” a character named Governor Koong releases a biological weapon developed by the Empire called Rooze Disease.
The Imperial liaison, Admiral Screed, laments that the Empire killed many of their own with the dangerous weapon. Sure enough, the Rooze Disease drifts back on Koong and his minions, afflicting them. The episode was written by Paul Dini, who would go on to be one of the architects of the iconic Batman: The Animated Series.
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