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Star Wars: Droids
Genre: Sci-Fi
Runtime: approx. 22 minutes (per episode)
Created by: George Lucas
Ben Burtt
Raymond Jafelice
Clive A. Smith
Ken Stephenson
Company: Nelvana
Lucasfilm Ltd.
Country: USA
Canada

Star Wars: Droids, also known as Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO, and 2004 re-released on DVD as Star Wars Animated Adventures: Droids, is an animated television series that features the exploits of R2-D2 and C-3PO, the droids who have appeared in all six Star Wars films. The series takes place between the events depicted in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Over the course of the series, the droids team up with four different sets of masters. The series is divided up into three cycles: at the beginning of each, the droids usually run into their new masters in an accidental way, and at the end of each cycle, they usually are forced to leave their masters for one reason or another. The Great Heep, a television special following the series, served as a prequel to the third Mungo Baobab cycle.

The series' opening theme, "Trouble Again," was performed by Stewart Copeland of the Police and written by Copeland and Derek Holt.

SettingEdit

Droids was set in the nineteen-year time period between the rise of the Empire in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Many times during the show, agents of the Empire were shown to enforce this idea.

The famous droid duo faced off against gangsters, criminals, pirates, Boba Fett, IG-88, the Galactic Empire and other threats throughout the series. During their adventures, the droids always found themselves with new masters and new difficult situations as a result.

The Emperor was mentioned multiple times within the series, but never appeared.

Cast and productionEdit

The series featured Anthony Daniels as the voice of C-3PO, who also portrayed the character in the films, along with the voice talents of Graeme Campbell, Rob Cowan, Don Francks, Peter MacNeill, John Stocker and Winston Rekert. Several episodes feature guest stars like Dan Hennessey, Chris Wiggins, George Buza, Andrew Sabiston, Eric Peterson, Rob Cowan, Jamie Dick, Cree Summer, Donny Burns, Don McManus, Long John Baldry and Gordon Masten. Several episodes of the series were written by Ben Burtt. The series was produced by Nelvana on behalf of Lucasfilm and broadcast on ABC. The cartoon series lasted one season and was made up of thirteen regular episodes in 1985. There was also a two-part television special entitled The Great Heep in 1986. Following the original run of the complete series, the entire show was rebroadcast as part of The Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour the same year, along with its series counterpart, Star Wars: Ewoks. The shows, Droids and Ewoks, were also played on the Sci Fi Channel in 1993 as a part of their early morning Sci-Fi cartoon run, although somewhat edited for time.

In the UK, BBC Television bought rights to screen the series in its entirety between 1986 and 1991 as part of Children's BBC. The entire series was shown twice within this time (in 1986 and 1988 to coincide with the full release of the Star Wars trilogy as well as Droids on VHS). The Great Heep only made one showing in 1989 on BBC's Going Live!, which was a Saturday morning kids show and split into two parts over two weeks. Different episodes from different cycles were also screened across the five-year licence, with the Trigon cycle being shown in full in early 1991 on the Saturday morning children's show called The 8:15 from Manchester.

Cast listing (voice work)Edit

Prequel trilogy referencesEdit

In several places, the prequel trilogy references elements from the Droids animated series. This is possibly due to Ben Burtt's large involvement in both story elements for the animated series, and his involvement in the prequels.

Later Expanded Universe appearancesEdit

  • The New Jedi Order (1999–2003) – At the beginning of Balance Point, New Republic forces engaged the Yuuzhan Vong over Kalarba. The Yuuzhan Vong use the Yo'gand's Core tactic on Hosk Station, using it to devastate Kalarba. Hosk Station originally appeared in Droids. Also, Kalarba was the subject of some of the Droids comics.
  • HoloNet news – In several issues of the HoloNet news, Admiral Screed makes an appearance.
  • Star Wars: Rebellion – In this strategy video game, Admiral Screed makes another appearance.
  • Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive (2002) involves the planet Bogden, as seen in Droids.
  • In the liner notes of the Shadows of the Empire soundtrack, Ben Burtt references in-universe the Baobab Archives regarding the source which the lyrics of Dha Werda Verda (also written by Burtt) were discovered.
  • Admiral Screed was referred to in passing in The New Essential Guide to Characters and Force Heretic I: Remnant. In the latter, it was established that he was executed by Warlord Zsinj shortly after the Battle of Endor, which explains his absence from the post-ROTJ EU.
  • The planet of Bogden was seen in the video game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.
  • Mungo Baobob appeared in the short story "Lando Calrissian: Idiot's Array," by Rich Handley.
  • The planet Roon appears in Star Wars: Legacy Issue 26.

Comic book seriesEdit

In 1986, Marvel Comics' Star Comics imprint published a comic book based on the cartoon series under the name Star Wars: Droids. The bi-monthly series ran for eight issues. Significant issues include No. 4, which crossed over with the Ewoks comics series, and Nos. 6–8, whose story was titled "Star Wars: According to the Droids", retelling the original film complete with new scenes told from the perspective of the droids. It is of note that the series was drawn by comic legend John Romita, Sr.

In 1994, Dark Horse Comics published a new series of Star Wars: Droids, continuing the story started in Dark Horse Comics Nos. 17–19. Set before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the mini-series ran for six issues. A Special No. 1 was released in January 1995, followed by a second mini-series that ran for eight issues. A one-shot titled Star Wars: Droids – The Protocol Offensive was published in September 1997.

MerchandisingEdit

In 1985, Kenner produced a toy line based on the series, including action figures, ship models, and other items. The toy line was short lived due to decreasing popularity with Star Wars. In 1987 during a purchase and then released in 1988, Glasslite of Brazil issued remaining Kenner stock and produced a very limited run of remaining Return of the Jedi and Droids toys from a sell off. Certain vehicles, mini-rigs and action figures were issued by the company in new packaging. The character Vlix (Tig Fromm's henchman) was an action figure exclusive from unused molds by Kenner. Like the reminder of the Glasslite line, very few were made, even less were sold and most were recycled due to the failing economy when money was tight across the country.

For more on the toy line, see The Star Wars Collector's Archive.

A book was issued in the UK of the Episode "A Race To The Finish" as well as another book that had limited print runs.

Plans to release a Storybook and cassette for the publishing company Rainbow for the Trigon cycle were abandoned after they lost the rights to re-issue their Star Wars run which included Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Planet of the Hoojibs, Droid World and Return of the Jedi: The Battle of Endor due to poor reflective sales of Buena Vista's "Further Adventure" series which included Mission To Ord Mantell, An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle For Endor overseas.

A computer game was released in 1988 for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64 by Mastertronic. The game went largely unnoticed and was pulled from production due to licensing rights of the end title theme tune being used.

EpisodesEdit

Main article: List of Star Wars: Droids episodes

DVD releaseEdit

Star Wars Droids animated series DVD cover

The cover of the 2004 DVD release of Droids.

  • An edited compilation DVD with the title Star Wars Animated Adventures: Droids was released on November 23, 2004. The DVD contained eight episodes of the series, edited together as two full length movies. Besides cutting the theme song of the series, many other small modifications were made for the home video releases, most notably changes to the soundtrack.[2]
    • Episodes 5–8, (Cycle 2) were edited together to make The Pirates and the Prince (which was previously released on VHS in 1996).[3] Along with other changes to the soundtrack, Sy Snootles and the Max Rebo Band are seen singing a different song than they sang in the original series.
    • Episodes 10–13, (Cycle 3) were edited together to make Treasure of the Hidden Planet. A new prologue is narrated by Alex Lindsay (digital effects artist for The Phantom Menace),[4] as the voice of Mungo Baobab. Along with other changes to the soundtrack, the song that R2-D2 plays on the jukebox is now the song that the Max Rebo Band plays in The Pirates and the Prince.
  • The entire original series has yet to be released on any home video format in its entirety. Some of the original episodes were released in the 1980s and 1990s on VHS, mostly notable were the UK PAL releases on 4 cassettes (Droids 1,-3 and The Great Heep) that had very minor edits with credit and opening sequences being eliminated for these compilation tapes.

ReferencesEdit

  • Star Wars: Droids 1985, George Lucas, Ben Burtt
  • Star Wars Insider #27
  • A Guide to the Star Wars Universe,
  • The Star Wars Encyclopedia by Stephen J. Sansweet, ISBN 0-345-40227-8 Del Rey; first edition (June 30, 1998)

External linksEdit

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