Star Wars: Droids
|Star Wars: Droids|
|Voices of||Anthony Daniels|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Running time||approx. 22 minutes (per episode)|
|Distributor||Disney-ABC International Television|
|Original release||September 7, 1985 –|
June 7, 1986
Star Wars: Droids – The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO is a 1985 animated television series spun-off from the original Star Wars trilogy. It focuses on the exploits of R2-D2 and C-3PO between the events depicted in Star Wars: Episode III and Episode IV – A New Hope.
Over the course of the series, the droids team up with four different sets of masters. The series falls into three cycles or arcs: at the beginning of each, the droids usually run into their new masters in an accidental way, and at the end are usually forced to leave. The Great Heep, a television special following the series, serves as a prequel to the final arc.
Droids is set four years after Revenge of the Sith, and fifteen years before the events of A New Hope. The series follows the adventures of droids R2-D2 and C-3PO as they face off against gangsters, criminals, pirates, Boba Fett, IG-88, the Galactic Empire and other threats. During their adventures, the droids always find themselves with new masters and new difficult situations as a result.
Cast and characters
- Don Francks as Jann Tosh, Boba Fett, Kybo Ren-Cha
- Winston Rekert as Sise Fromm, Mungo Baobab
- Graeme Campbell as Proto One, Admiral Terrinald Screed, Lord Toda
- Peter MacNeill as Jord Dusat
- Taborah Johnson as Jessica Meade
- John Stocker as Vlix Oncard, Greej, Zatec-Cha and Sollag
- Rob Cowan as Thall Joben
- Dan Hennessey as Jord Dusat (ep4), Uncle Gundy, Jyn Obah, Vinga, Yorpa and Governor Koong
- Cree Summer as Princess Gerin
- Jan Austin as Auren Yomm
- Long John Baldry as Great Heep
- Lesleh Donaldson as Kea Moll
- Chris Wiggins as Mon Julpa
- Stephen Ouimette as the narrator
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"The White Witch"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Peter Sauder||September 7, 1985|
|After being jettisoned over the deserts of Ingo by an unscrupulous former master, C-3PO and R2-D2 are taken in by speeder bike racers Jord Dusat and Thall Joben. When they accidentally discover the location of the Trigon One, a secret weapon created by the criminal Fromm gang, Jord is kidnapped by Tig Fromm in order to silence him. Joined by Rebel spy Kea Moll, the droids assist Thall in rescuing Jord from Fromm's secret base, destroying much of Fromm's droid army in the process.|
|2||"Escape Into Terror"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Peter Sauder||September 14, 1985|
|C-3PO, R2-D2, Thall and Kea sneak into the Fromm gang's secret base and steal the Trigon One weapon.|
|3||"The Trigon Unleashed"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Peter Sauder & Richard Beban||September 21, 1985|
|Tig Fromm kidnaps Jord and Kea's mother and refuses to release them unless Thall reveals the location of the Trigon One. Thall does so and the prisoners are released. However, when Tig pilots the space weapon back to his father Sise Fromm's base he discovers Thall has sabotaged the controls and programmed the Trigon One to collide with the Fromms' base.|
|4||"A Race to the Finish"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Peter Sauder & Steven Wright||September 28, 1985|
|The team travel to the planet Boonta to take part in a speeder racing event, but are followed by the Fromms who enlist Boba Fett to exact their revenge on the speeder racers. After failing to stop Thall winning the race, losing his droid, speeder and almost his life in the process, Fett turns on the Fromms and decides to claim a bounty placed on them by Jabba the Hutt. Thall, Jord and Kea are offered jobs by Zebulon Dak to work at his speeder corporation, but they refuse when they realize the droids would have to be re-programmed. R2-D2 and C-3PO choose to leave their masters so they can take the job.|
|5||"The Lost Prince"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Peter Sauder||October 5, 1985|
|C-3PO, R2-D2 and their new master, Jann Tosh, befriend a mysterious alien disguised as a droid. Captured by crimelord Kleb Zellock, they are forced to mine Nergon-14, a valuable unstable mineral used in proton torpedoes, which Zellock plans to sell to the Empire. In the mines they meet Sollag, who identifies their friend as Mon Julpa, Prince of the Tammuz-an. Together they defeat the crimelord and escape the mines before they are destroyed in a Nergon-14 explosion.|
|6||"The New King"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Peter Sauder||October 12, 1985|
|The Droids, Jann, Mon Julpa and Sollag, along with freighter pilot Jessica Meade, travel to Tammuz-an to thwart Zatec-Cha, an evil vizier with ambitions to seize the throne of Tammuz-an. Special Guest Star: IG-88.|
|7||"The Pirates of Tarnoonga"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Peter Sauder||October 19, 1985|
|While delivering much needed fuel to Tammuz-an, the ship is hijacked by the notorious (yet diminutive) pirate, Kybo Ren-Cha. Jann, Jessica and the Droids are captured and taken to the water planet Tarnoonga. C-3PO, R2-D2 and Jann must re-capture the fuel shipment and rescue Jessica from the lascivious advances of Capt. Kybo Ren - but first they have to survive the Miridon!|
|8||"The Revenge of Kybo Ren"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Peter Sauder||October 26, 1985|
|Kybo Ren escapes and kidnaps Gerin, the daughter of Lord Toda, Mon Julpa's political rival. The Droids, Jann and Jessica follow Kybo Ren to the planet Bogden to rescue her before Mon Julpa is handed over in exchange. However the tables are turned when Mon Julpa reveals Lord Toda and a squad of Tammuz-an soldiers smuggled aboard the pirate's own ship. Kybo Ren is sent back to prison and an alliance is forged between Mon Julpa and Lord Toda. Jessica, however, decides its time to return to her freighter business on Tyne's Horkny, saying a sad good-bye to her friends.|
|9||"Coby and the Starhunters"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Joe Johnston & Peter Sauder||November 2, 1985|
|C-3PO and R2-D2 are assigned to chapperone Lord Toda's young son, Coby, only to be captured by smugglers. They are eventually rescued by Jann only for the Droids to learn that he has been accepted into the Imperial Space Academy, leaving them once again masterless and on their own.|
|10||"Tail of the Roon Comets"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Story by : Ben Burtt |
Teleplay by : Michael Reaves
|November 9, 1985|
|Mungo Baobab, with R2-D2 and C-3PO in tow, begins searching for the powerful Roonstones, but runs into an imperial entanglement.|
|11||"The Roon Games"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Story by : Ben Burtt |
Teleplay by : Gordon Kent & Peter Sauder
|November 16, 1985|
|Having escaped, Mungo Baobab, C-3PO and R2-D2 once again make their way for the planet Roon but it turns out they haven't seen the last of Koong.|
|12||"Across the Roon Sea"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Story by : Ben Burtt |
Teleplay by : Sharman DiVono
|November 23, 1985|
|Mungo Baobab has just about given up hope on finding Roonstones and together with the droids are about to return to Manda (Baobab's home planet).|
|13||"The Frozen Citadel"||Ken Stephenson & Raymond Jafelice||Story by : Ben Burtt |
Teleplay by : Paul Dini
|November 30, 1985|
|Mungo Baobab and the Droids continue their search for the Roonstones but General Koong makes trouble for our heroes.|
|SP||"The Great Heep"||Clive A. Smith||Ben Burtt||June 7, 1986|
|C-3PO and R2-D2 travel to Biitu and confront an evil Abominor named "The Great Heep" that built onto itself from the remains of other droids. "The Great Heep" is a prequel to the episode "Tail of the Roon Comets". Runtime is 48 minutes.|
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, Alan Fawcett, Don McManus, Long John Baldry and Gordon Masten. Several episodes of the series were written by Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt.
The series was produced by Nelvana on behalf of Lucasfilm and broadcast on ABC. Hanho Heung-Up Co. was the Korean company hired to animated the series. The shows, Droids and Ewoks, were also played on the Sci Fi Channel in 1996 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 the Children's BBC programming strand. 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 children's show—it was 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 another Saturday morning children's show called The 8:15 from Manchester.
Comic book series
In 1986, Marvel' Star Comics imprint published a Star Wars: Droids comic series spun off from the cartoon. The bi-monthly series ran for eight issues. Four issues and issue 5's cover of the series were drawn by John Romita, Sr. The "Lost in Time" crossover story from Droids #4 was continued in an issue of Ewoks. The last three issues are part of an arc recounting the original Star Wars film from the droids' point of view. Additionally, Spanish comics publisher Editorial Gepsa produced two-page Droids comics as part of an anthology series.
In 1994, Dark Horse Comics serialized a Droids story in its self-titled compilation series, which led into a new comic series continuing the adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
In 1985, Kenner produced a toy line based on the series, including action figures, ship models, and other items. Two action figures, Boba Fett and A-Wing Pilot, were repackaged figures from the main Star Wars line The toy line was canceled after the first group of 12 figures due to decreasing popularity with Star Wars. In 1987 and then 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 remainder 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. Vlix is the most valuable Star Wars action figure at about $6,000 carded or $1,200 loose).
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 of the Trigon cycle for the publishing company Rainbow were abandoned after they lost the rights to re-issue their Star Wars run which included A New Hope, 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 overseas which included Mission to Ord Mantell, An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor.
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.
Release on home video
Along with Ewoks, the entire series has yet to be released on home video. Some episodes were released on VHS in the 1980s and 1990s, most notably the UK PAL releases over four cassettes (Droids 1–3 and The Great Heep), which had the opening sequences and credits edited out. In 1996, Rick McCallum produced The Pirates and the Prince, a direct-to-video movie compiled from four episodes, and while working on the Star Wars prequel trilogy, expressed hope for an eventual release of the series on DVD. In late 2004, McCallum produced a DVD titled Star Wars: Animated Adventures – Droids, which featured The Pirates and the Prince and Treasure of the Hidden Planet, a new compilation film including narration from Mungo Baobab (voiced by Alex Lindsay). Both titles included some soundtrack changes. McCallum retired from Lucasfilm in 2012, and Droids went unmentioned in the 2014 rebranding of Star Wars canon, making the future of its release uncertain.
Role in greater Star Wars continuity
Ben Burtt wrote liner notes for the Shadows of the Empire soundtrack, which referenced the Roonstones he had written about in Droids. He made a cameo appearance in Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and named his character after the Baobabs. The official Star Wars website acknowledged several references to the animated series in the prequels, such as the Boonta Eve Classic in The Phantom Menace, the planet Bogden in Attack of the Clones, and General Grievous's wheel bike design in Revenge of the Sith.  Additionally, possible sources of inspiration for sequel trilogy main characters Rey and Kylo Ren have been noticed.
- Chee, Leland (Tasty Taste) (June 14, 2006). "Star Wars: Message Boards: Books, Comics, & Television VIPs". StarWars.com. Archived from the original on March 5, 2007. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- Greene, Jamie (January 18, 2018). "Everything You'd Ever Want To Know About Star Wars: Droids". Syfy Wire. Archived from the original on January 20, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- "Ewoks #10 - The Demons of Endor". Star Wars Holocron. February 21, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- "Droids and Ewoks Return: Spain's Lost Star Wars Comic Strips". StarWars.com. April 10, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- "Star Wars: Droids Special". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- The Star Wars Collector's Archive
- "Cargo Bay: Droids: The Pirates and the Prince". StarWars.com. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2007.
- "Star Wars: Community - Ewoks on DVD?". StarWars.com. June 26, 2002. Archived from the original on March 10, 2005. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
- Rivera, Mark (2004). "Star Wars Animated Adventures Droids The Pirates And The Prince & Treasure Of The Hidden Planet Double Feature DVD Review". Genreonline.net. Retrieved June 24, 2007.
- "The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page". StarWars.com. April 25, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
- Peña, Abel G. (July 5, 2013). "The Droids Re-Animated, Part 2". StarWars.com. Archived from the original on August 4, 2014. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- "From Boonta to Baobab: Droids and the Star Wars Prequels". Starwars.com. April 1, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
- White, Brett (December 2, 2016). "Wait, Is Star Wars' Rey A Copy Of A Character From The Droids Cartoon?". CBR.com. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- 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)
- Star Wars: Droids on IMDb
- The Great Heep on IMDb
- The Pirates and the Prince on IMDb
- Treasure of the Hidden Planet on IMDb
- Star Wars: Droids at TV.com
- Star Wars: Droids at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- The Droids Re-Animated, Part 1 - StarWars.com
- The Droids Re-Animated, Part 2 - StarWars.com
- starwars.com DVD "Closer look"
- A history of home video releases of Star Wars: Droids
- Episode review of The White Witch
- A fan "Droids encyclopedia" blog at StarWars.com