Next year sees the first new Star Wars movie in a decade, and that means one thing: brand new droids. But not all droids are necessarily as resourceful or neat as R2-D2. Some droids, nobody would ever want to look for. Here are the 10 most completely useless droids in the Star Wars universe.
Some droids are just so excellent, they make everything better — like that one astromech who does everything other astromechs can do, but also shoots beer into the air. And then there are these droids...
1) B1 Battle Droids
Like ants if ants were really dumb, these droids were designed to overwhelm an enemy with massive numbers rather than with any actual skill or intelligence. Possibly the most famously stupid droids of the Star Wars universe, they also malfunction frequently, and could be torn apart by an angry human. If you think Stormtroopers couldn't shoot straight, then you haven't seen the B1 droids in action.
2) CLL-8 Binary Load Lifter
Used for—you got it—lifting things, this super strong droid is pretty useful, at least some of the time. Unfortunately, it's also super stupid, which leads it to do things like pile boxes onto a floor until the floor collapsed… and then keep piling.
3) PIP/2 Systems Control Droid
Designed to run control boards, this droid malfunctions every time it sees a flashing light (among other things). Seems like a pretty major design flaw.
ZeeZee was a housekeeping droid belonging to Han Solo, and its story is actually pretty sad. By the time it ended up in Han's possession it was quite old, and while it was incapable of fulfilling its task as apartment caretaker, it wasn't incapable of complaining about it endlessly. Then Han left it behind for several years, and the poor thing just kept trudging along, trying to do its job. Finally, when Han eventually reappears, he brings trouble with him, and ZeeZee gets killed in a firefight.
So basically, old, useless, sad, worried, abandoned, dead. Sucks to be a droid.
5) M38-series Explorer Droid
You would think that a company creating a droid to assist on planetary scouting missions would design it to withstand things like terrain and gravity changes, and would possibly add in some mechanism to prevent it from rolling off cliffs. You would be wrong.
This is a translator droid who spends most of his life as a disk attached to a Wookiee's belt, where he makes up fancy and over-embellished translations of everything Lowbacca says. He's basically a more uptight and obnoxious version of C-3PO, as a belt buckle. (Makes sense, since C-3PO programmed him.) M-TD eventually gets captured and reprogrammed to say things like "The Empire is your friend," and to sound an alarm when his friends are trying to escape. He eventually gets his original (irritating) programming back, but nobody really mourns him when he's melted into a floor.
7) R5-series Astromech Droid
The most famous of the R5-series is R5-D4, the droid the Jawas try to sell to Owen Lars before it malfunctions, causing Owen to take R2-D2 instead. According to some versions of the story, R5-D4 was filled with jealousy and anger towards other droids, that were capable of serving their masters without constantly breaking down.
According to the non-canon comics story "Skippy the Jedi Droid," R5-D4 is a rare droid who can actually use the Force, and he sabotaged himself aboard the Jawa sandcrawler on purpose, so that R2-D2 could fulfill his destiny with Luke.
8) WED Treadwell Repair Droid
Note to droid manufacturers: the name "repair droid" shouldn't double as an instruction. That was the problem with the WED Treadwell: it did well enough with close supervision and frequent repair, but left alone it would do things like electrocute itself (the fate that eventually befell WED-15-77, the WED Treadwell owned by Owen and Beru Lars).
9) RA-7 Protocol Droid (Death Star Droids)
Half useless and half extremely useful, the RA-7 was a series of inept 3PO-knockoffs that the Imperial Security Bureau outfitted with a secret espionage system. Their uselessness as protocol droids meant that no one really wanted them, so the ISB started giving them away, in order to get them into desired locations. Beware Emperors bearing gifts.
Squeaky was an ex-protocol droid who was freed because of his heroic actions... which basically involved him being unable to pilot a ship properly. Later, he joins the Rebel Alliance, where he's abusive and surly to Wedge Antilles and the rest of his crew. Ask him to translate something for you, and he'll probably reply, "I don't have to translate that." And then he decides to wear a "human face" mask and put on a "Han Solo voice," making the sight of a patchwork gold-and-silver droid spitting out abuse that much more bizarre. Squeaky image via Rebel Scum
Additional reporting by Katharine Trendacosta.