- "Ah, if only you could. But the malfunction is hidden within your skull, a difficult place to make repairs. I don't know if you've seen any brains lately, but they're hard to sort out. A CPU makes more sense."
8t88 was a Model 88 Tiss'shar administrative droid who went rogue and became an information broker around the time of the Galactic Civil War. In charge of maintaining an important holoscan database on Woostri, 88 was the recipient of an elaborate practical joke which left him with an undersized head and a bitter resentment of everything Human. He became an informant on Nar Shaddaa, hoping to someday enact his revenge on those responsible for his disfigurement and built up a sizable fortune working for any and every faction in the galaxy willing to pay his steep fees. Shortly after the Battle of Endor, 8t88 took a job helping a Dark Jedi named Jerec locate the Valley of the Jedi, which brought him into conflict with Rebel agent Kyle Katarn. After narrowly escaping from Katarn on Nar Shaddaa and Sulon, the droid managed to decipher a coded map giving the coordinates of the valley and presented it to Jerec. The Dark Jedi instructed 8t88 to collect his payment on a freighter named the Sulon Star, though in truth 88 was sent straight into an ambush and was decapitated by two of Jerec's minions. Both his head and body continued to exist, albeit independently, and he eventually found vengeance on the planet Mawan, where he slew the perpetrator of the prank that left him traumatized all those years previously.
- "When someone desires information, they come to me."
8t88 was a Model 88-series administration droid constructed approximately 190 years before the Battle of Yavin by Uhr-Vah-Vo TechWorks, a Tiss'shar manufacturing company. A member of the 88 line, he was designed for bookkeeping and other administrative tasks and was eventually assigned as the leading droid in the management of the famous HoloScan Database on the planet Woostri. During a visit to Woostri by several leading members of the University of Coruscant, the University's Vice-Chancellor, a man named Zokor Polpot, had 8t88's reptilian cranium replaced with that of a JMM espionage droid in a prank intended to embarrass the Chancellor of the university. The event forced the Chancellor to resign, and 8t88 was left extremely traumatized. He began to suffer from the droid equivalent of dementia, and his former intelligence was replaced with a lust for revenge. He was horrified at the fact that his new head was undersized in comparison to his lanky frame, and he began to make frequent backups of his memory banks, ensuring that he would never forget his desire for vengeance. Seeing what had happened as a sign of anti-droid prejudice, he began to hate all living beings, particularly Humans, and his obsession for finding the beings who had caused his disfigurement knew no end. However, 8t88 only had access to his auxiliary hard drive's recollection of events and thus his memory of the perpetrators was imperfect, and lacked considerable consistency. Before long, 8t88 could no longer recall whether he was missing his original head, or his original body.
His thirst for revenge, however, was never forgotten or diminished and when the 88 line was scrapped to make way for more modern administrative droids, 8t88 went rogue, becoming an information broker. He figured that the abilities he retained as an accountant would prove useful in this line of work and that it would eventually provide him with leads on those responsible for his mismatched head. He also knew that acquiring as much money as he possibly could would give him an extra advantage and before long he had accumulated a staggering amount of wealth. When 8t88 found another 88 droid with its cranium tampered with, his desire for revenge was further intensified; he offered the droid no sympathy, however, using it for spare parts whenever he was in need of any.
8t88 saw organic concepts such as morality, justice, and loyalty petty, and he happily worked for the highest bidder, often backstabbing and selling out former associates. 88's expert skills at deciphering ancient languages and cracking top-secret codes made him a much sought-after infochant and during the Galactic Civil War, almost two hundred years after his creation, he worked for the Galactic Empire, the Rebellion, and many fringe factions, building up a sturdy reputation as one of the galaxy's most reliable information brokers. 8t88 charged huge upfront fees, though his only other condition was that clients never ask from whom, how, or where he attained the information. He was not equipped for combat but his espionage-model head allowed him to constantly record events. Operating mostly out of Nar Shaddaa, 88 hired thugs whenever violence needed to be used, although the top notch bounty hunters of the era usually steered well clear of the double-crossing droid. 8t88 was said to be heartless—a metaphor he heartily endorsed—though he did care for one thing other than revenge: his pet hornagaunt, a massive beast named Grendel. 8t88's contemptuous nature did not win him any favors among his clientèle, who found his attitude and expensive fees annoying. Few customers stayed with 88 for long, though he did not care, as there were always people in need of his services on Nar Shaddaa.
Working for Jerec
- "I should have aimed for your head when I had the chance."
"A lost opportunity."
- ―Kyle Katarn and 8t88
In 5 ABY, 8t88 outbid an Assembler information broker named Balancesheet to assist the Dark Jedi Jerec in locating the elusive Valley of the Jedi. His search led him to a holodisc in the residence of one of Jerec's victims, Morgan Katarn, on the world of Sulon. 88 was unable to decipher the disc, however, to his immense frustration. Knowing it was likely of great importance, the droid arranged a meeting with Katarn's son, Kyle Katarn, who was seeking knowledge on the identity of his father's killer, at the Rimmer's Rest cantina on Nar Shaddaa. 88 went to the meeting place an hour before Katarn was due to arrive, hoping to recruit the bounty hunter Boba Fett to act as a bodyguard, in case Katarn refused to assist the droid in cracking the holodisc's code. Fett, however, knew of Katarn's exploits on behalf of the Rebel Alliance and knowing that the man was extremely dangerous, declined 88's offer. The information broker was disappointed at being unable to acquire Fett's services, though made do with several other alien thugs instead.
88 met with Katarn, telling him that Jerec was his father's killer before having him surrounded by hired thugs. The droid offered Kyle his life in exchange for decoding the disc but the Rebel agent refused to cooperate. 8t88 ordered the man's death and left, though Katarn managed to incapacitate the droids mercenaries and gave chase. The Tiss'shar droid formulated various lies to tell Jerec to account for his failure as he ran to a landing pad on the moon, where his Lambda-class shuttle was due to collect him. Katarn, however, had placed a tracker on the droids leg; one which was only discovered and destroyed after 88 had led him to the landing pad. Katarn arrived just as 8t88 was about to board the shuttle; with a precise blaster shot, he blew off one of the infochant's arms. The arm, along with the holodisc it held, fell down into the bowels of the Smuggler's Moon. 88's guards distracted Katarn while the droid jumped onto the shuttle and when the aliens attempted to join him, Jerec's Imperial stormtroopers fired on them. The shuttle left for Sulon while a TIE/sa bomber picked up the pieces on Nar Shaddaa.
Jerec's minions had found a map to the valley on the ceiling of Morgan Katarn's home during the events on Nar Shaddaa; they removed the ceiling panels and had them brought to Barons Hed, the moon's capital city. 88's shuttle brought him to an unused government building, which he had taken residence in. Using spare parts from another, obsolete 88 droid, he refitted himself with a replacement arm, before getting to work on cracking the code. After considerable effort, he deciphered it; 88 made a digital copy of it and stored the location of the valley in his memory banks.
Double cross on the Sulon Star
- "I'm here for my well deserved payment!"
- ―8t88, to Pic, moments before his deactivation
8t88 took pleasure in the fact that all of those who had been assigned to protect him at Barons Hed, among them one of Jerec's Dark Jedi, were organics—a reverse on the usual occurrence of droids serving Humans that he was so contemptuous of. When one of the beings showed signs of insubordination, the droid used his talon-like hands to kill him—his way of keeping the other guards in line. With the map entirely decoded, 8t88 contacted Jerec on his flagship and sent him the coordinates of the valley. The Miraluka expressed his thanks before informing 88 that he would receive his payment on one of Jerec's ships, the Sulon Star, in a refueling station outside of Barons Hed.
Unbeknown to 8t88, Katarn had survived and tracked him to Barons Hed. The Rebel infiltrated 88's building, slaying the droids various bodyguards. He and 8t88 faced off, with Katarn demanding that the Tiss'shar droid hand over the map. Before things developed, however, Jerec's Dark Jedi, Yun, attacked Kyle, giving 8t88 the opportunity to flee. He and Grendel made off toward the Sulon Star in their shuttle, leaving Yun to deal with Katarn. 8t88 and Grendel arrived at the Sulon Star and met with two more of Jerec's darksiders, the unlikely duo of Pic and Gorc; the presence of the two beings unsettled 8t88, who thought it unlikely that Jerec would send two of his best underlings on a simple payment mission. He knew something was amiss but demanded his payment anyway. 8t88 had outlived his use for Jerec, and the man ordered his Dark Jedi to destroy the droid; Pic decapitated him with his lightsaber.
The two Dark Jedi placed 8t88's head precariously atop his shoulders and left him in the corridor; in the dim lighting he appeared to be operational. When Kyle Katarn arrived on the ship, he thought he had been triumphant in his chase for the droid, though 88's cranium soon clattered to the floor. It was immediately eaten by Grendel; meanwhile, Katarn slew Gorc and dueled with Pic. After temporarily incapacitating the Kowakian monkey-lizard, the Rebel agent killed Grendel and used his lightsaber to carve open one of the hornagaunt's stomachs and retrieve the severed head. Katarn ended the battle soon after, using 8t88's head to bash Pic's skull; in an ironic twist, 8t88 had exacted revenge on his deactivator. Katarn escaped the planet with 8t88's remains, and used his own family droid WeeGee to download the map of the Valley of the Jedi from it.
- "This looks familiar."
- ―Mara Jade
8t88 was believed to have been deactivated, but several years later Mara Jade came across 88's head on Rathalay, in smuggling kingpin Kaerobani's lair, bitterly plotting to reclaim his lost body. While his head was never known to have left Rathalay, 8t88's body may well have continued to exist after the events on the Sulon Star. Reports from all corners of the galaxy indicated that an 88 droid sporting a variety of cranium units was running amok. One of the heads was that of a Phase I dark trooper sighted on the planet Neshtab; another was utilizing a BL series droid head on the planet Keyorin in the Belderone system, while he next resurfaced with an ASP-series droid's head on Omze's Incredible Traveling Starport. The ASP cranium had extremely limited vocabulary, which caused 8t88 immense frustration. Truly missing his cranial unit, the droid was willing to pay a handsome sum of money for an 88-series head, while also intent on using an 88-series body for spare parts should he find one. However, Model 88-series droids—especially those with their original heads still intact—had become a rare sight in the galaxy, as most of them had been scrapped after the Clone Wars. As 8t88 was among the last of his kind, there was little doubt among the New Republic Intelligence Service that the sightings were of his body.
8t88 eventually found his vengeance. The latest sighting of the mysterious 88 droid was on the planet Mawan, where it was spotted with a head similar to that of an EV-series supervisor droid's robotic skull. The sighting coincided with a tragic and fatal accident suffered by visiting University of Coruscant Chancellor Zokor Polpot. Realizing that 8t88 was a threat not to be ignored, New Republic Intelligence General Airen Cracken created individual entries for both 8t88's head and torso in his Most Wanted List.
- "But I'm not without a heart."
- ―8t88, to Kyle Katarn
After his ordeal on Woostri, 88 became extremely contemptuous of all living beings and vowed never again to serve organics. He never did, unless he was calling the shots himself. 88 found the very idea of breathing disgusting, and thought that CPUs made far more sense than biological organs. He did, however, have many Human-like emotions, and somehow possessed the ability to instinctively know when something was amiss; what many called "a bad feeling." Because he had not had a memory wipe in over a decade, during the Valley of the Jedi incident, 8t88 may not have been entirely mentally sound; he suffered from the robotic equivalent of dementia and his lust for revenge and hatred of Humans often clouded his judgment.
A selfish criminal, 8t88 cared little for other beings, be they droids or organics. After salvaging a discarded 88 droid, he happily used it for spare parts and did not care at all about its feelings or thoughts on slowly being reduced to nothing. 88, although he often got himself into situations which called for violence, never got his hands dirty, preferring to have other, expendable cutthroats carry out deeds for him. 8t88 also saw himself as above the concepts of loyalty, justice, and morality, and had great disdain for them.
- "I can decipher any language or code known, but this one eludes me."
8t88's skeleton-body was silver and powered by hydraulic tubing, which caused his movements to make a great deal of noise. In addition, a tapping noise constantly issued from his interior. Later in his existence, 88's noisy joints were often in need of oiling, a fact that many, including bounty hunter Boba Fett, used to taunt and mock him. 8t88 had two thin limbs, which were quite fragile and susceptible to damage and large Tiss'shar talons for hands.
8t88 was possessed of a variety of functions, afforded to him by both his original design and his JMM droid head. He had a number of communication devices built into his frame, and his specially-modified vocabulator spoke in an intelligent, elegant, well-mannered voice. He also had several special storage compartments in his frame, as he wore no clothes. He was also equipped with an infrared sensor, a microscopic imager, a holographic projector/recorder, extremely perceptive audio sensors, a concealed beam transmitter, and a broadband communication antenna, as well as a comlink, heuristic processor, improved sensor package, and translator unit.
Behind the scenes
- "Years ago, I was planning to write a NJO-era short story for Star Wars Gamer starring Grand Admiral Grant and 8t88, in which Grant broke his "comfortable retirement on Rathalay" in order to fight off an invading Yuuzhan Vong warrior. 8t88's head played a supporting role! Unfortunately I didn't sell the story on my first attempt, and a short time later Star Wars Gamer went under."
- ―Daniel Wallace
Created by Justin Chin, 8t88 debuted in the PC game Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II in the year 1997, where he acted as one of several main villains, albeit the only one which the players did not have to defeat themselves. His disembodied head has a cameo appearance in Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith. 8t88's backstory was left largely undeveloped in Dark Forces II, though Dark Forces: Rebel Agent, one of three novellas retelling the story of the game, featured several chapters written from 8t88's point of view, providing some of his backstory. The Essential Guide to Droids, The Dark Forces Saga and Kyle Katarn's Tale further developed his backstory, with the Essential Guide containing schematics of the droid.
Daniel Wallace has said that he planned to write a short-story starring the retired Grand Admiral Octavian Grant and 8t88's head set during the New Jedi Order era for the Star Wars Gamer magazine. In the story, Grant—the very kind of anti-droid being that 88 detested—teamed up with the droid's head to fend off a Yuuzhan Vong warrior on Rathalay during the Yuuzhan Vong War. The story never materialized, and Gamer was canceled shortly afterward.
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (First appearance)
- Dark Forces: Rebel Agent
- Dark Forces: Rebel Agent audio drama
- Dark Forces: Jedi Knight (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith (Deactivated head only)
- The Essential Guide to Droids
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 121 (ATE1, 8t88)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Scavenger's Guide to Droids