Saturday, May 9, 2015

Retro Marvel: Droids of the Empire

The Star Wars movies introduced several droids that were in the services of the Galactic Empire.  IT-O is the interrogation droid that is used by Darth Vader on Princess Leia while aboard the Death Star.  In the Empire Strikes Back, we are introduced to an Imperial Probe Droid, one of thousands that were dispatched to locate the Rebellion.  Also in the Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader employs IG-88, a bounty hunter to help hunt down our heroes.  Finally, onboard both Death Stars, we encounter several droids including: RA-7 (the "Death Star" droid), MSE-6 (the "mouse" droid), and R4- and R5-series astromechs.

In Darth Vader #3, we are introduced to a pair of droids, 0-0-0 (Triple 0) and BT-1.  These droids are the evil equivalent of C-3PO and R2-D2 with Triple 0 serving as the protocol droid and BT-1 serving as the astromech.  These are not the first Imperial droids introduced by Marvel however; the original Marvel title had its fair share of droids that worked for the Empire too.

In Star Wars #45, the first Star Wars issue after The Empire Strikes Back adaptation, we are introduced to a specially augmented Imperial Probe Droid, designation 13-K, that takes over a Rebel Blockade Runner and kills all aboard.  Luke Skywalker ends up confronting the droid.  In the end, 13-K uses the Blockage Runner to ram and destroy a Star Destroyer, a fate it had in mind for the Rebel fleet.

Star Wars #45a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (March 1981)
A couple of issues later, in Star Wars #47, C-3PO and R2-D2 visit Kligson's Moon, aka Droid World, to get the schematics for a damaged Imperial Warbot.  On Droid World, they encounter Z-X3, an Imperial designed droid used in extreme conditions Stormtroopers were incapable of operating in.  Z-X3 plans to take over Droid World for the Empire but is defeated by the planet's namesake, the cyborg Kligson.

Star Wars #47a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (May 1981)
In Star Wars #75, we are introduced to K-3PX, a protocol droid, that subjugates Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, and Mone who are on a mission to the planet Gamandar.  In Star Wars #76, K-3PX reports to Darth Vader that Luke Skywalker is on the water planet Iskalon.  This scene is depicted on the cover of that issue.

Star Wars #75a - Marvel Comics, U.S. (September 1983)
Star Wars #76b - Marvel Comics, U.S. (October 1983)

No comments:

Post a Comment