This article is about the Droids episode. You may be looking for the children's book adaptation.

"They don't come much worse than him!"
Vlix Oncard[src]

"A Race to the Finish" is the fourth episode of Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO. Written by Peter Sauder and Steven Wright and directed by Ken Stephenson, the episode originally aired on ABC on September 28, 1985.

Plot summary[]

Escaping the Fromms[]

C-3PO, R2-D2, Thall Joben, Kea Moll and Jord Dusat are on their way to the Boonta Speeder Race in the Sand Sloth—with the White Witch attached to the hull. Thall asks Jord if he is ready to win the race. Jord vows to clean up the race. Kea asks C-3PO and Artoo how they are faring with securing the speeder for lightspeed. C-3PO says they are good and that the couplings should be fixed soon.

While Artoo and Threepio are securing the speeder for lightspeed, a broken down Lambda-class shuttle attacks out of nowhere. Jord struggles to open the hatch in order to let the droids back on the ship. He hurts his left arm when he falls from the ladder. C-3PO and R2-D2 realize that the enemy shuttle has taken out one of the Sand Sloth's engines. Kea asks who the attackers are. Thall tells her to hit the hyperdrive but it is not responding.

R2-D2 activates the external hyperdrive control.  Commanding the shuttle is none other than Sise Fromm, the disgraced crime boss seeking revenge for the racers' capture and destruction of his Trigon One super weapon. Manning the controls are Tig Fromm and Vlix Oncard, the only two henchmen Sise has left. R2-D2 slows down the Sand Sloth prior to the hyperspace jump. Before Tig can destroy the damaged ship, the Sand Sloth jumps into hyperspace. Tig is dismayed. Vlix tries to blame him but Tig blames the ship. Sise after his son and Vlix to pursue them. Tig attempts to jump into hyperspace but they instead jump back.

Rough landing on Boonta[]

After coming out of hyperspace and making their descent to the planet Boonta, Kea checks on C-3PO and R2-D2. She is relieved to discover that the droids are fine and have managed to take shelter during the hyperspace jump. The Starrunner hits a canyon, disabling the ship's landing gear. The Sand Sloth crash-lands in the Boonta scrapyard. C-3PO and R2-D2 ride out on the White Witch but C-3PO is thrown out and caught among cables.

There, C-3PO is greeted by the old Proto Droid Proto One, who helps him down. Proto One introduces himself to the humans. Proto-One also tells C-3PO that he was abandoned by his previous masters and that he survived by repairing himself. While C-3PO takes an immediate dislike to Proto One, the old droid gets along with R2-D2 and the three humans. Proto still offers Kea to fix her broken ship while they take Jord to a medical unit. The droids leave with the humans on the White Witch. C-3PO tells R2-D2 to be careful about associating with supposedly unsavory droids like Proto-One.

The bounty hunter[]

Meanwhile, the Fromms settle in a filthy apartment. Sise Fromm yearns for his past glory days and vows vengeance on Thall and his friends.  Sise Fromm has hired Boba Fett to help him with his manhunt. Even though Jabba the Hutt has placed a price on Fromm's head, Fett decides to help the old gang leader because of a debt he owes him. Sise tells him to use any means to get the meddlers. Boba vows that nobody escapes him but warns Sise that he owes him nothing after this. Tig is  wary about dealing with Fett but Vlix says that Fett is good and feels sorry for the racers.

The "friendly" droid[]

A medical droid attends to the wounded Jord, who has broken his left arm. Thall advises Jord to rest but Jord is disappointed. Kea turns their attention to repairing the damaged White Witch or they will be disqualified. C-3PO objects to R2-D2's idea of hiring Proto One, whom he dismisses as a "walking scrap heap." Jord is open to hiring Proto-One but C-3PO reveals that he has found another droid to help them named BL-17, saying that he found him.

BL-17  lets them use his master's fully-equipped garage and claims that his master is elsewhere taking care of some business. Thall thanks C-3PO, who is complimented by BL-17. However, R2-D2 is suspicious of BL-17's flattery and grumbles in Binary. Later that evening, Tig tries to convince Vlix that they have to beat Boba Fett to the punch and convince Sise that they can take care of Thall and Kea. Vlix reluctantly agrees to help Tig in return for referring to him by his nickname "Tiggy."

Back at the garage, R2-D2 and Kea are repairing the White Witch. Kea tells R2-D2 not to be angry with C-3PO who is happy to find someone that shares his other interests. BL-17 ingratiates himself with C-3PO, telling him that they graduated from the same droid plant. R2-D2 asks C-3PO where he has been, annoying C-3PO who explains that he and BL-17 have been exchanging notes. C-3PO says he is happy to associate with a droid of comparable intellect for a change. R2-D2 grumbles. BL-17 wants to chat with R2-D2 but C-3PO warns he is grumpy.

C-3PO soon leaves to find Thall at the parts depot. After C-3PO leaves, BL-17 locks Kea and Artoo in the garage with a gas leak in the welding tank. Kea succumbs to the gas fumes. R2-D2 tries to open the door but it is locked. Meanwhile, Tig and Vlix approach the garage, intending to plant thermal detonator in their speeder. R2-D2 uses a large roller droid to open the garage door, scattering the two criminals. He then brings the unconscious Kea out on a sled.

Thall tends to Kea, who tells him about the gas leak. She thanks R2-D2 for saving her. Thall rushes to get medical tablets for Kea. R2-D2 is about to leave when C-3PO returns with BL-17. C-3PO blames R2-D2 for neglecting the welding tanks. BL-17 claims he knows a place to safely store the White Witch. C-3PO tells R2-D2 to leave because he thinks he is detrimental to their master's plan. R2-D2 is sad.

BL-17's betrayal[]

Meanwhile, Tig and Vlix commandeer a roller bike . R2-D2 alerts Thall and Kea, who believe he is picking up a signal from C-3PO. Elsewhere, BL-17 tells C-3PO that the White Witch will be safe at a processing plant. They are soon confronted by Proto One, who denounces BL-17 as scum. BL-17 reveals his true colors and attempts to deactivate Proto One. An oblivious C-3PO tries to calm BL-17 but he reveals his hostile intentions to C-3PO.

Proto-One blocks BL-17 from deactivate C-3PO but damages his replacement leg. BL-17 reveals that he will be alerting his master to Thall and his friends' presence. C-3PO regrets putting his trust in a stranger over R2-D2. The astromech droid arrives and C-3PO pushes BL-17 into the scrap heap. BL-17 is crushed by the pile of scrap. C-3PO asks for R2-D2's forgiveness.

Thall and Kea arrive but they are attacked by Boba Fett, who swings down with a grappling rope. Meanwhile, Tig and Vlix plant a thermal detonator on the White Witch which is timed to explode on the tenth lap. Thall powers up the White Witch and escapes with R2-D2 in order to distract Boba Fett. Proto One warns C-3PO and Kea that Tig has planted a thermal detonator on the White Witch. Kea realizes they have to warn Thall before he starts the race but it is too late.

The Speeder Race[]

At the Boonta stadium, Sise watches from a balcony, taking an interest in Admiral Terrinald Screed. Vlix thanks two tied up aliens for letting them share their private viewing box. Tig is eager to see Thall's speeder blow up. Jord is looking for Thall but the race begins soon. Boba Fett also competes, piloting his Silver Speeder as a late entry.

The Boonta Race involves the participants racing through several transparent tunnels. Boba Fett attempts to use grappling hooks to slow the White Witch down but R2-D2 uses his welder to cut them free. The racers race for ten laps as the Fromms watch. At the seventh lap, Fett damages one of the White Witch's engines. Kea and C-3PO later find Jord and warn him of the danger facing Thall.

On the tenth lap, Fett's speeder attempts to trap the White Witch with a tractor beam but R2-D2 hurls the detonator at Fett's speeder. Thall Joben wins the race with the White Witch. Fett is forced to eject from his craft before it explodes, destroying the vehicle and his droid. The announcer and Thall's friends congratulate Thall. C-3PO is also jubilant. Kea also thanks R2-D2.

The job offer[]

After winning the race, Thall's team is contacted by the Zebulon Dak Speeder Corporation and offered a position designing and building speeders for them. He invites Thall and his friends to work for him. The humans and droids cheer at the good news. Thall is grateful to the droids, saying that he could not have done it without their help. C-3PO says it is their privilege to serve and says that they appreciate their appreciation.

A vengeful Sise Fromm, Tig and Vlix confront Thall and his friends. Before the Fromms can hurt them, Proto-One shoots at the Fromm Gang and tells them put their hands behind their head. The gangsters try to flee but are confronted by a vengeful Boba Fett. Having lost the race, his speeder, his droid and nearly his life, Boba Fett decides that his debt to Sise Fromm is paid, and turns him, Tig and Vlix over to Jabba the Hutt. Fett is unwilling to listen to their pleas.

Choosing freedom[]

Before joining Thall and his friends for their meeting with Zebulon, C-3PO and R2-D2 bid Proto-One farewell. The older droid tells them to take are of themselves and says they are welcome to visit him.

While traveling through space, R2-D2 eavesdrops on Thall, Jord, and Kea over the intercom. Taking the job would require C-3PO and R2-D2 to be reprogrammed, which Thall, Jord and Kea object to. Upon hearing this, R2-D2 and C-3PO decide that it is time to part ways with their friends, because it will enable the humans to take the job and allow the droids to keep their memories intact for the time being. The droids enter an escape pod and eject it into space as the Sand Sloth jumps into lightspeed. C-3PO and R2-D2 decide to sacrifice their companionship for their friends' well-being.



By type 
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea


Droid models



Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology


Behind the scenes[]

This episode was adapted into the children's storybook of the same name.

In this episode, C-3PO claims that another droid graduated from the same "production facility" as he had. This may be a continuity issue, as in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace it is revealed that C-3PO was built by Anakin Skywalker, although this contradiction could be explained by the fact that his memory was set to be erased at the end of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.

The video game Star Wars: Racer Revenge features similar racing tunnels to those found in "A Race to the Finish".


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Notes and references[]

  1. PolyhedronLogo.png "Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO"—Polyhedron 170 states that Star Wars: Droids is set 15 years before Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. The New Essential Chronology places the events of A New Hope in 0 BBY, meaning that Star Wars: Droids takes place in 15 BBY.