Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced a lot of new characters to the galaxy far, far away, but among the most popular was BB-8, the adorable droid who was packed with personality and a lot of technological goodies within his spherical body. BB-8 is rolling back into action in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but he won’t be the only BB unit getting the spotlight in the upcoming movie. We’ve learned that BB-8 will have an evil counterpart in the form of BB-9E, who serves The First Order and is on display in toy form above.
With Force Friday less than 24 hours away, numerous companies are previewing the Star Wars: The Last Jedi products they’ll be selling starting tomorrow. This includes several BB-9E toys, from a remote-controlled Sphero unit to a Funko Pop Vinyl figure, but more importantly, the product tease also came with some tidbits of information about the black ball droid. BB-9E’s main purpose is supporting The First Order in eliminating galactic threats. Whether he’s helping by keeping their starships and machinery in working order or shocking any minions who are slacking on the job (I’m just speculating with that latter one), you can count on him to remain “vigilant and intimidating.” Since BB-8 also serves as Poe Dameron’s X-Wing partner, perhaps we’ll see BB-9E assisting Kylo Ren if there’s a droid slot on his special TIE Fighter.
As a fun side fact, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson revealed on Twitter than BB-9E was referred to on set as BB-H8, which some might argue is a better official name.
You can watch the video below to see Sphero’s BB-9E model rolling around alongside the BB-8 and R2-D2 models. As you can tell by BB-9E’s beeps, he sounds more moody and ominous than his heroic Resistance counterpart.
It remains to be seen how exactly BB-9E will be used in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, though part of me hopes that he’ll cross paths with BB-8 and the two of them will engage in the droid equivalent of fisticuffs. BB-9E looks like a promising addition to the Star Wars mythology, but it’s worth remembering that he won’t be the first evil droid to be seen in Star Wars media (and that’s not including the generic battle droids from the Prequel Trilogy).
Those who’ve read Marvel’s Darth Vader and Doctor Aphra comic book series are familiar with Triple Zero and BT-1, who are basically C-3PO and R2-D2 as psychopathic killers. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story also advertised an Imperial black-colored R2 unit called C2-B5, although that particular droid was barely seen in the movie. Hopefully the same fate doesn’t befall BB-9E. We also can’t forget that time in Attack of the Clones when C-3PO’s head was attached to a battle droid and he started shooting at Jedi against his will.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released in theaters on December 15.