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"Why, you tin-plated traitor!"
―Ahsoka Tano learns 4-A7's true loyalties[src]

4-A7 was a masculine-programmed RA-7 protocol droid that served the Confederacy of Independent Systems and dark acolyte Asajj Ventress during the Clone Wars, a galactic conflict fought between the Confederacy and the Galactic Republic. During the Battle of Teth in 22 BBY, 4-A7 was stationed at a B'omarr Order Monastery, where the Confederacy had placed the kidnapped son of the crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure, Rotta. After the Republic's Torrent Company defeated the monastery's battle droid defense, Ventress dispatched 4-A7 to greet their enemies. Masquerading as an old caretaker droid, he claimed they had freed him and informed the company's Jedi General, Anakin Skywalker, that Rotta was being kept on the detention level.

After Skywalker and his Jedi Padawan, Commander Ahsoka Tano, rescued the infant from his prison, 4-A7 recorded them placing the screaming Rotta in a backpack. This footage was sent to Count Dooku on Tatooine, who used it to make Jabba believe the Republic were the kidnappers. 4-A7's Separatist loyalties were later uncovered when Tano found him boarding a freighter with several B1 battle droids. Dropping the caretaker act, he ordered the droids to kill Tano to prevent Rotta's rescue, but she quickly managed to destroy the three combat units. Tano turned her weapon against the protocol droid, and, while 4-A7 told her to not dare kill him, she swiftly decapitated the prototype spy droid.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Assault on Teth[edit | edit source]

"Who are you?"
"Merely the humble caretaker, O mighty sir. You have liberated me from those dreadful battle bots. I am most thankful."
"Where is the Hutt?"
"The battle bots kept their prisoners on the detention level. I must warn you it is very dangerous down there, my friend."
―Anakin Skywalker meets 4-A7 during the droid's caretaker act[src]

After the droid defenses were defeated, Asajj Ventress dispatched 4-A7 to meet the Republic forces.

Manufactured by Confederacy of Independent Systems sympathizers in Arakyd Industries, 4-A7 was a prototype spy droid and RA-7 series unit[2] produced early in the Clone Wars,[1] a major galactic conflict fought between the Confederacy and Galactic Republic,[3] in 22 BBY.[1] During this year,[7] the Confederacy launched a plan to gain access to the secret hyperlanes[8] and exclusive access to the area of space controlled by the Hutt Clan, and 4-A7 was intended to play a part in the operation.[2] The dark acolyte Asajj Ventress,[9] the personal assassin and apprentice of Confederate Head of State Count Dooku,[10] kidnapped Rotta,[9] the son of Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure, and brought him to an abandoned[3] B'omarr Order Monastery[9] that was occupied by the Confederacy on the Wild Space planet of Teth. 4-A7 and a force of battle droids were also stationed at the monastery. As the Separatists had planned, the Republic eventually discovered that Rotta was there.[3]

Hoping to rescue the infant in order to make their own alliance with the Hutts, the Republic's[3] Torrent Company[11] attacked the Separatist base, successfully making it past the droid defenses. This had been part of the Confederate plan, however, and, now that the droid forces had played their role, Ventress sent 4-A7 to meet with the Republic. Pretending to be the monastery's[3] old caretaker droid,[12] he approached the Republic forces and greeted their Jedi General, Anakin Skywalker, claiming that he was liberated from the Droid Army and telling Skywalker that Rotta was in the monastery's dungeons. Warning the Jedi Knight that this prison level was dangerous, 4-A7 claimed to think Skywalker's Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, was a servant girl. She responded by activating her lightsaber, which startled 4-A7, and stating she was a Jedi.[3]

Fortunes change[edit | edit source]

"Hey! You're that caretaker droid. I wondered what happened to you."
"Oh, young one. I mean, soon to be Jedi Knight. I had to get away from that terrible…"
―Ahsoka Tano reunites with 4-A7[src]

4-A7's part in the Separatist plot was to frame the Jedi Order in the kidnapping of Rotta.[2] After the Jedi rescued the Huttlet, he secretly recorded Skywalker and Tano putting the screaming infant into a backpack, including when the former remarked that he hated Hutts.[3] 4-A7 also used editing software to help make it seem like Skywalker was responsible for the kidnapping,[2] and the doctored footage also made it seem like the Jedi planned on murdering the Huttlet.[12] He then stood by Ventress when she spoke with Dooku via hologram, and the recording,[3] which had also been edited by her and 4-A7 to make it seem like Rotta was being abused,[13] was sent to the count. On[3] the Outer Rim desert world[14] of Tatooine, Dooku presented this footage to Jabba and used it to claim the Jedi were the kidnappers.[3]

With three battle droids clearly in view, 4-A7's true loyalty was obvious to Ahsoka Tano.

Intending to take Rotta back and make themselves look like the rescuers, another detachment of the Droid Army arrived at the monastery, but Skywalker, Tano, Rotta, and Skywalker's astromech droid R2-D2 escaped and fled to a landing platform that had a starship. During this time, 4-A7 and several B1 battle droids were also planning on boarding this ship, a G9 Rigger-class light freighter[3] named the Twilight that was owned by the crime lord Ziro Desilijic Tiure,[15] who Dooku had allied with to help kidnap Rotta. The two Jedi had arrived just before 4-A7 and the droids could leave, but, when Tano spotted him, she continued to assume he was a caretaker droid, noting that she had wondered what had happened to him. Although he had been surprised to hear her voice again, 4-A7 initially tried to continue his caretaker act, but she discovered his true loyalties when three battle droids walked into view, one of which reported that everything was aboard, meaning they could leave.[3]

In an attempt to stop Rotta's rescue,[2] 4-A7 ordered the combat droids to shoot her, and the protocol droid tried to flee up the ship's ramp. However, the three B1s were destroyed by Tano, and she soon pointed her lightsaber directly at him. 4-A7 demanded that she not kill him, but Tano quickly decapitated the protocol unit. Repeating his last words, 4-A7's head fell down the ship's ramp and landed in front of Skywalker. Tano, Skywalker, R2, and Rotta then boarded the light freighter, with the astromech knocking 4-A7's head out of his way, causing it to utter a final groan. Flying the Twilight off the platform and eventually to Tatooine, they managed to return the young Huttlet to his father, and, after learning the Jedi were not behind the kidnapping, Jabba allowed the Republic to travel through his territories.[3]

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

RA-7 traits[edit | edit source]

"Good guy or bad guy, Master?"
―Unable to tell based on appearance, Ahsoka Tano asks Anakin Skywalker whether 4-A7 is an ally or foe[src]

Although he had a full body of 3PO plating, 4-A7 had the distinctive RA-7 series head.

An RA-7 protocol droid from the early Clone Wars,[1] 4-A7 stood 1.7 meters tall,[5] was a third class droid unit,[4] and had a gray body with the plating of a 3PO-series protocol unit.[2] Upon realizing his true loyalties, Tano compared the droid's plating to tin as an insult.[3] He was also programmed as a spy and had the RA-7's distinctive insectoid head,[2] which resembled the head of the[16] insectoid Verpine species.[17] Like other RA-7 units, 4-A7's head had a communications antenna, a logic housing,[18] projecting jaw, a magnetic sensor that let him "see" magnetic field changes, a vocabulator that had a sounding box and allowed him to speak a number of dialects and languages despite its cheap components, and advanced yet sensitive audio sensors.[19] Able to see across a very wide band and operate in almost complete darkness thanks to his broadband photoreceptors,[19] 4-A7's droid eyes had antiglare coating[6] and were insect-like, large,[18] and bulbous.[16] These photoreceptors were among the more impressive parts of the RA-7 series.[19] 4-A7 was also equipped with a holocam built into[2] his head.[3]

While he was loyal to the Separatists, 4-A7's appearance did not directly convey this, making Tano question if he was an adversary or ally when they first met.[3] 4-A7 had the main power socket, olfactory sensor, energy transducers, and wrist linkage also seen on the 3PO protocol line. Also like the 3PO line, 4-A7's reinforced foot shells could be particularly prone to wear and tear. He was also equipped with a cervical servomotor, elbow joints, reinforced knee joints, an internal limb actuator, auxiliary power cells,[18] servomotors on his arms, intersystem connection wires, intermotor actuating couplings at his knees[19] for optional accessories,[20] and a communications module that contained comlink technology and a language databank, although it was much smaller than those used by Cybot Galactica,[19] which was the company that produced the 3PO unit.[21] Similarly, because he was part of the RA-7 line, 4-A7's droid brain was a generation behind the module used in the 3PO unit. While 3PO units were also better at copying and understanding the fine nuances of a sentient's behavior,[19] 4-A7 could work in etiquette and protocol due to being an RA-7 droid.[16] Ultimately, while 4-A7 was part of a reasonably attractive and moderately capable droid series, he could not match the 3PO unit's versatility and intelligence.[19]

Personality[edit | edit source]

"Don't you dare!"
―4-A7 demands Ahsoka Tano not kill him[src]

4-A7's role as a caretaker was an act, as his true loyalty was with the CIS and his superior, Asajj Ventress.

As a loyal servant of the Separatist Alliance, 4-A7 followed the orders Ventress gave him and had no issue with lying to his enemies, pretending to be an innocent and humble caretaker droid. Speaking in a low voice, he said the Confederate battle droids were dreadful and that he was thankful to be free. During his act, 4-A7 showed respect towards Skywalker, calling him mighty and a friend. When the Jedi Knight asked where Rotta was, RA-7 was willing to answer and even warned him that the dungeons were dangerous. 4-A7 also claimed to confuse Tano for a servant girl and, after she ignited her lightsaber, offered one thousand apologies.[3]

Having information that could incriminate the Republic in Rotta's kidnapping was a vital part of the Separatist plan on Teth, with Dooku even stopping Ventress from killing Skywalker and Tano, as he still needed the data. 4-A7 fulfilled this part of the plan by recording the Jedi[3] with his built in holocam and using a suite of editing software.[2] His fortunes later turned, however, as Tano found him outside the Twilight before he could flee. He was surprised to hear her voice again and, after calling her "young one" and correcting himself, attempted to keep up his caretaker masquerade. After his true loyalty was revealed, Tano accused him of treason, but 4-A7 raised his voice and showcased that he was willing to kill his enemies, as he told the B1 battle droids to open fire. This show of force was short-lived, however, as he then attempted to flee before being confronted by Tano. He showed defiance in his last moments, ordering Tano to not kill him, which his severed head repeatedly uttered as it fell.[3]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

"And we added all this, remember."
"Yeah."
"Because we were disappointed that we didn't see what happened with 4-A7, so we did this little scene where he's a little bit snarky."
―Director Dave Filoni and Editor Jason Tucker discuss 4-A7's death scene on the DVD audio commentary for The Clone Wars film[src]

4-A7 was voiced by James Arnold Taylor in The Clone Wars film.

4-A7[3] first appeared in the second theatrical trailer,[22] also known as the "dark trailer," for the 2008 animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars[23] before serving a minor role in the movie itself. The character was voiced by James Arnold Taylor, who also voiced Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi in the film[3] and TV series.[24] The droid's designation was revealed in the film's closing credits.[3] Even though 4-A7 did not appear in the TV series,[25] his name was listed in the credits[24] of The Clone Wars: Season One[26] episode "Rising Malevolence."[24] The Droid Directory for Star Wars: Build Your Own R2-D2 11 later stated that 4-A7's role in the Separatist plan for Rotta was framing the Jedi in the Huttlet's kidnapping and murder.[2] Within the film, 4-A7 only records evidence for the former lie, as they intended to "rescue" Rotta from the Republic, and Dooku only planned to kill Rotta after the Jedi escaped Teth, by which point 4-A7 had been killed.[3] As such, this article follows the film's version of events.

The Highlights of the Saga for Star Wars Helmet Collection 45 stated that 4-A7 recorded and edited footage that made it look like the Jedi were holding and planning to kill Rotta while Ventress launched a droid counterattack.[12] However, as the film depicts Ventress standing with 4-A7 while he records the video and her launching the counterattack afterward,[3] this article follows the movie's version of events. In the film's DVD audio commentary, editor Jason Tucker recalled that the scene involving 4-A7's recording of Rotta had been difficult to finish, as a number of the crew were putting in ideas on how to set it. This made Director Dave Filoni state that 4-A7 was originally meant to be hiding behind pillars. When executive producer[27] and Star Wars creator[28] George Lucas wanted Ventress and 4-A7 to be on a balcony, the crew needed to design one for the scene. Later, Filoni recalled that 4-A7's death scene had been added in later on, as they had been disappointed that his fate was not revealed. He described the protocol droid as being slightly snarky in the scene, and Producer Catherine Winder revealed that Tano's last line to 4-A7, "Why, you tin-plated traitor!," was what they called an "Ahsoka-ism." These were pushed by Lucas and were when, while she in the middle of a serious battle and was being earnest, Tano would use what Winder described as "pretty funny nicknames" against her enemy. Winder stated that these nicknames were ones that Tano had come up with and were used throughout both the film and TV-series.[27]

Animation models used for the RA-7 series in various The Clone Wars episodes[29][30][31] look very similar to 4-A7's model.[3] For the Season Five episode "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much," 4-A7's animation model was updated to better match the RA-7 units seen in[32] the first Star Wars film, Episode IV A New Hope, from 1977.[33] This updated model was used for the droid R-A7 in "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much." R-A7's character illustration was done by Chris Glenn and is dated to November 2011 by the episode's concept art gallery on StarWars.com. According to this illustration, 4-A7's design was called "4A7 Droid asset" behind the scenes.[32] Within the Star Wars Legends continuity, the character was identified as 4A-7. His first appearance was in the novelization of The Clone Wars film[34] and its junior novelization,[35] which were both released before the film.[36]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 BYOR2D2 logo small.png Star Wars: Build Your Own R2-D2 11 (Droid Directory: RA-7 Protocol Droids) establishes that RA-7 protocol droids that shared much of their plating with the 3PO-series protocol droid were created early in the Clone Wars. Because the issue also says 4-A7 had a full body of 3PO plating, he must have been created early in the war. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the start of the Clone Wars to the year 22 BBY. The Star Wars: The Clone Wars film shows that 4-A7's death was part of the Battle of Teth. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the Battle of Christophsis and the Mission to Rodia to 22 BBY. Since the Battle of Teth takes place between the Battle of Christophsis and the Mission to Rodia, the events of the battle, including 4-A7's death, must have also taken place in the same year. Given that 4-A7 was created after the start of the war and died in 22 BBY, he must have been created in that year as well.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 BYOR2D2 logo small.png Star Wars: Build Your Own R2-D2 11 (Droid Directory: RA-7 Protocol Droids)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 Star Wars: The Clone Wars film
  4. 4.0 4.1 Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia establishes that all protocol droids were third class droids. As the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film depicts 4-A7 as a RA-7 protocol droid, he must be a third class droid.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know establishes that RA-7 protocol droids were 1.7 meters tall. As the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film portrays 4-A7 as a RA-7 unit, he must be that height as well.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide establishes that heads of RA-7 protocol units had broadband photoreceptors with anti-glare coating. Given that the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film depicts 4-A7 as a RA-7 protocol droid, he must share these qualities as well.
  7. The Star Wars: The Clone Wars film shows that the kidnapping of Rotta occurred during the Battle of Christophsis. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the Battle of Christophsis in 22 BBY. Since the kidnapping was concurrent to the battle, it must have also taken place in the same year.
  8. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Ultimate Star Wars
  9. Rise of the Separatists
  10. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 45 (Highlights of the Saga: The Battle of Teth)
  11. StarWars-DatabankII.png Tatooine in the Databank (backup link)
  12. Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
  13. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Cyphers and Masks notes that the head of the RA-7 protocol droid was reminiscent of the head of a Verpine. It also describes the unit's photoreceptors as being bulbous and taking up the majority of its face, and the sourcebook says an ability of the RA-7 was etiquette and protocol. Because the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film depicts 4-A7 as an RA-7 unit, he must share these features.
  14. SWRM.png "Always Bet on Chop"—Star Wars Rebels Magazine
  15. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition establishes that the photoreceptors of RA-7 protocol droids are large and insect-like. It also states RA-7 units have a communications antenna on their head, a logic housing at their head, a cervical servomotor, an internal limb actuator, elbow joints, reinforced knee joints, and auxiliary power cells. As the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film portrays 4-A7 as an RA-7 unit, he must share those characteristics. Additionally, The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition establishes that 3PO-series protocol droids have a main power socket, an olfactory sensor, energy transducers on their arms, and wrist linkage. The Clone Wars film depicts 4-A7 with these, and BYOR2D2 logo small.png Star Wars: Build Your Own R2-D2 11 (Droid Directory: RA-7 Protocol Droids) establishes that he has 3PO plating. The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition also states 3PO units have reinforced foot shells that are particularly prone to wear and tear. Therefore, he must share these characteristics.
  16. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 BYOR2D2 logo small.png Star Wars: Build Your Own R2-D2 11 (Droid Directory: RA-7 Protocol Droids) notes that RA-7 protocol droids have a projecting jaw, a magnetic sensor that allowed a unit to "see" magnetic field shifts, a vocabulator with a sounding box made using cheap parts and that let a unit speak in a number of languages and dialects, advanced but sensitive auditory sensors, intersystem connection wires, servomotors on their arms, intermotor actuating couplings at their knees, a communications module, which held comlink technology and a language databank that was a fraction of the size of those Cybot Galactica used, and broadband photoreceptors that let the unit see across a very wide band and work in almost complete darkness. It also notes that the photoreceptors were one the RA-7's more impressive parts, the RA-7's cognitive module was a generation behind the 3PO-series protocol droid's brain, RA-7 droids could never replicate or understand the fine nuances of sentient behavior like a 3PO could, and, while they were reasonably attractive and moderately capable, RA-7s were never equal to the 3PO's versatility and intelligence. Because the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film depicts 4-A7 as an RA-7 unit, he must share these qualities.
  17. Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia establishes that an intermotor actuating coupler at a protocol droid's knee is for optional accessories. As BYOR2D2 logo small.png Star Wars: Build Your Own R2-D2 11 (Droid Directory: RA-7 Protocol Droids) notes that RA-7 protocol droids have these couplings, this article assumes this is the case for RA-7 unit 4-A7.
  18. Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
  19. StarWars.com The Clone Wars: Theatrical Trailer #2 on StarWars.com (backup link)
  20. Star Wars: The Clone Wars film Blu-ray trailers
  21. 24.0 24.1 24.2 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Rising Malevolence"
  22. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  23. StarWars.com "Rising Malevolence" Episode Guide - The Clone Wars on StarWars.com (backup link)
  24. 27.0 27.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars film DVD commentary
  25. StarWars.com George Lucas To Be Honored As A Disney Legend During D23 Expo In Anaheim on StarWars.com (backup link)
  26. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid"
  27. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Lethal Trackdown"
  28. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Nomad Droids"
  29. Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  30. Star Wars: The Clone Wars novelization
  31. Star Wars: The Clone Wars junior novelization
  32. Amazon favicon.png The Clone Wars (Star Wars) on Amazon.com (backup link) and Star Wars Year By Year: A Visual History, Updated and Expanded Edition respectively confirm that the Star Wars: The Clone Wars novelization and junior novelization were released on July 26, 2008. StarWars.com Star Wars: The Clone Wars In Theaters and on Television in 2008 on StarWars.com (content now obsolete; backup link) confirms the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film was released on August 15, 2008.
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