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Revision as of 14:21, April 17, 2012

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"You astromechs think very highly of yourselves, just because you can pilot starfighters."
TC-16 to R2-D2[src]
Astromechs TotG

An R5, R4 and R7-series astromech droid

Astromech droids, or commonly referred to as Astro droids, were a type of droid that served as automated mechanics, performing a variety of repair duties and often serving as adjuncts or substitutes for nav computers on smaller starships. They were also able to use the mainframe of a larger ship to their advantage. Many starfighters relied on astromech co-pilots.

Overview

"You stupid little astro droid!"
―A super battle droid to R2-D2 — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

An astromech droid's primary purpose on smaller ships such as starfighters was as a backup or replacement for a nav computer; however, due to the limitations of each unit's astrogation buffer, an astromech could only hold a set number of hyperspace coordinates. They also provided in-flight maintenance and repair, and performed a number of routine functions so the pilot could focus on flying the ship.

Threeartoos

R2 units

Larger starships usually carried a large complement of these in case of malfunctions or combat damage, while some snubfighters (notably the T-65 X-wing starfighter and Naboo N-1 starfighter), carried a droid in a special port for in-flight field repairs. Astromech droids had, in some cases, also been known to carry out light janitorial duties, and several instances of slicing carried out by these droids have been known, though this often required the installation of special programming.

Most astromechs were only able to communicate in writing, conveyed via another computer system, or through binary, a special code of clicks, bleeps, and similar sounds. Some craft that used astromechs could be equipped with astromech translators to facilitate communication.

The term "Astromech droid" had been used informally by spacers since around the time of the Jedi Civil War at least, to refer to the Utility droids that performed similar tasks during that era. It was not until some decades before the beginning of the Clone Wars when the company Industrial Automaton started launching their highly successful lines of astromech droids, that the term caught on and started to become synonymous with their models. Most notably the R-series of astromech droids, ranging from the R1-series to the R9-series.

Arguably, the most famous astromech droid was R2-D2, an IA R2-series astromech droid.

List of astromech droid series

"If you astro droids had any real intelligence, you wouldn't need an interpreter counterpart."
C-3PO[src]

Appearances

Non-canon appearances

Sources

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