- "When your 8D8 emerges from the foundry, it will be EXTREMELY HOT! Touching its shell may result in severe burns to your manipulative appendages."
- ―Excerpt from the 8D8 owner's manual
The 8D smelter droid (or 8D Smelting Operator) was a heavy industrial droid model manufactured by Roche Hive Mechanical Apparatus Design and Construction Activity for Those Who Need the Hive's Machines, a company founded by the Verpine species on the Roche Asteroids.
The 8D droid series resembled Muuns rather than their insectoid Verpine designers to suit the majority humanoid population of the Galaxy. They were distinguished by their rather long heads though the droid units seldom interacted with sentient beings once assigned to a job. Their attenuated limbs and complex leg joints were a trademark of their Verpine creators.
An 8D was designed to operate in smelting factories on worlds as varied as Aridus and Balmorra where working conditions were too dangerous and hot for most sentient beings. Each body part was cast from high-grade Duravlex. This off-white substance's melting point was at over 4,000 degrees centigrade, but the droids seldom worked in blast furnaces over 1,650 degrees centigrade.
Their photoreceptors were small and protected, giving the droid model quite weak eyesight. An 8D also was quite strong and possessed strong stamina though this came at the cost of the droids being rather sluggish. The 8D droids were programmed to have minimal intelligence, as their main tasks were simple labor, such as mining and smelting. The droids had crude personalities and a dislike for more intelligent units, and made a point to bully weaker droids whenever possible.
The 8D smelter droid was manufactured and introduced into the heavy industrial market by Roche prior to the Clone Wars, following its debacle with the earlier J9 worker drone. Customers often found the droid to be tough, unfriendly and ill-tempered, crude and sluggish.
One notable 8D Smelting Operator 8D8, also known as Atedeeate, served in Jabba Desilijic Tiure's palace. At some point, he was modified to serve as a starship maintenance droid, while under the sadistic tyranny of EV-9D9.
Following his migration to Jabba's employ on the sparse desert world of Tatooine, 8D8 was completely reprogrammed to serve as a dedicated torture droid—for both droids and organics. Despite his programming, 8D8 retained a secret dislike for his taskmaster, EV-9D9.
Watto owned at least two droids of this model. They drove garbage grinders in his junkyard.
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace video game
- Star Wars (1998) 20
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Evil Plans"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Friend in Need"
- Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight
- Star Wars Missions 9: Revolt of the Battle Droids
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi junior novel
- Star Wars: Chewbacca (In flashback(s))
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (As 8D8 blast-furnace operator)
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- "Junkheap Hero"—Star Wars Tales 6
- "The Emperor's Court"—Star Wars Tales 14 (Non-canonical appearance)
- "Spare Parts"—Star Wars Tales 4
- Galaxy Guide 7: Mos Eisley (Picture only)
- Star Wars Technical Journal of the Planet Tatooine (Picture only)
- Star Wars Technical Journal (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Power of the Force (1995)
- Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids (Picture only)
- The Essential Guide to Droids
- Star Wars: The Action Figure Archive
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 15 (SME1-2, 8D8 Smelting Operator)
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Scum and Villainy
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Three