- "Time to put the squeeze on 'em."
- ―A rocket battle droid, before entering combat
B1-series rocket battle droids, also known as B1 rocket battle droids, rocket battle droids, or pod hunter droids, were a modified version of the B1-series battle droid used to hunt down and destroy enemy escape pods.
During a series of attacks launched by the Separatist Subjugator-class heavy cruiser Malevolence under the command of General Grievous and Confederate Head of State Count Dooku in the first year of the Clone Wars against the Galactic Republic, five B1-series rocket battle droids were used as a means to hunt down any and all survivors that may have escaped their vessels aboard escape pods. However, during a battle in the Abregado system, which saw the destruction of Jedi General Plo Koon's fleet at the hands of the Malevolence, the rocket droids and their Droch-class boarding ship were destroyed by Koon and three clone troopers that had survived the battle.
B1-series rocket battle droids, otherwise known as pod hunters, were a 1.9 meter tall variant of the B1-series battle droid upgraded for the sole purpose of destroying escape pods. They were equipped with E-5 blaster rifles, rocket packs, and fusioncutters, and were painted orange and black in order to distinguish them from other B1s.
When operating in a group, they were capable of piloting Droch-class boarding ships that could attach to most pod designs and breach pods to depressurize the interior, which often killed the occupants without having to utilize blasters. For the Confederacy of Independent Systems, which relied on secrecy to survive, this was a distasteful tactic.
Despite being well-equipped for specialized and grisly operations, B1 rocket battle droids had a variable track record. Sometimes B2 super rocket troopers were used in their place, with their B1 counterparts being relegated to other short-range space missions or used as aerial troopers during planetary encounters.
During the Battle of Abregado, Count Dooku and General Grievous deployed a group of rocket battle droids in a Droch-class boarding ship to hunt for survivors and or witnesses of the battle. The droids eventually came across Pod 1977, and proceeded to latch onto the pod. From a nearby pod, Jedi Master Plo Koon and a small group of clones watched as the droids cut open the pod, sending the two clones inside hurtling through space. The droids' attention then turned towards the Jedi Master, however, and they attempted to infiltrate the pod. Koon, with the help of clone troopers Sinker and Boost engaged the droids in combat. After a short confrontation, Koon severed the boarding ship's hold on the pod, resulting in the ship crashing into nearby debris.
In 20 BBY, General Grievous used B1-series rocket battle droids on Florrum during the invasion of the planet. Later in the war, they were also deployed on Kashyyyk during the Battle of Kashyyyk.
Behind the scenes
B1-series rocket battle droids first appeared in the "Rising Malevolence," the second episode of the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars' first season, which originally aired on October 3, 2008. They were voiced by Matthew Wood, who also portrayed General Grievous.
- Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Rising Malevolence" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Necessary Bond"
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles (Picture only)
- Collapse of the Republic (First identified as B1 rocket battle droid and pod hunter droids)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia - Join the Battle!
- "Battle Droids and Other War Droids" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- (First identified as B1-series rocket battle droid)