- "Those clankers have tough armor!"
- ―Commander Cody, on the durability of commando droids
BX-series droid commandos, also known as BX-series commando droids or simply commando droids, were advanced battle droids used by the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars. Designed for infiltration and action behind enemy lines, they were also used to perform security, bodyguard and enforcer duties for certain high-ranking Separatists. Ruthless, lethal and adaptive, these droids were the bane of Republic clone troopers and were able to put even a Jedi on the back foot. However, their hefty price tag prevented them from being mass-produced.
- "Welcome to Rishi…Commander. As…you can see, the outpost is operating at…peak efficiency. Thank you for visiting…and have a…safe trip…back."
- ―A droid commando trying to imitate a clone trooper
Part of an advanced droid series, BX-series commando droids were advanced, sturdier versions of B1-series battle droids. They were programmed with improved combat tactics and battlefield awareness and equipped with glowing white photoreceptors. Commando droid captains and other high-ranking commando droids bore white identifiers on their heads and chests.
Due to a more compact head than the B1, commando droids could don Phase I clone trooper armor for infiltration missions. Their heavy armor improved durability and allowed them to withstand several direct hits from a DC-15A blaster carbine, though a point-blank headshot with an ELG-3A blaster pistol was capable of destroying one instantly. Additionally, commando droids were extremely agile and acrobatic, and were able to move and react much faster than a standard battle droid. They were even able to continue fighting after sustaining significant damage such as having their legs sliced off with a lightsaber, in contrast to standard B1 battle droids that could be defeated simply by knocking them over. For improved infiltration capabilities, commando droids were able to alter their vocabulators in order to imitate clone troopers. However, their awkward movements in the armor and atypical responses to orders (usually "roger, roger," a common battle-droid response) meant that observant individuals could see through the ruse. Commando droids were also quite strong, as one was able to lift Clone Captain CT-7567 "Rex" up by his neck. Commando droids were skilled in melee combat, using vibroswords in close quarters as well as being very agile, able to leap and contort their bodies to avoid blasterfire and surprise enemies.
While they had numerous improvements over rank-and-file B1 battle droids, their production costs proved to be much higher, causing the B1 to continue to remain the standard infantry for the Confederacy.
Elite troops of the Droid Army
- "Looks like one of those new commando droids."
During the Clone Wars, when commando droids were still considered new, General Grievous used commando droids to infiltrate and take control of the Republic's Rishi Moon Station. At first, the droids landed in a Droch-class boarding ship and, after ambushing the deck officer, CT-327, they forced their way into the base and killed Clone Sergeant "O'Niner" and all of his men save four clones that escaped through a ventilation shaft. They were able to maintain control of the station until Clone Commander CC-2224 "Cody" and Clone Captain CT-7567 "Rex" arrived to inspect the station. Along with the survivors of the Rishi Station unit, Cody and Rex were able to retake the listening post from the commando droids and destroy them. However, droid reinforcements arrived at the station, so one of the station's clone troopers, Hevy, sacrificed himself destroy the base. The commando droids had hard-wired the base's all-clear signal, so the only way to alert the Republic of a planned Separatist attack on Kamino was to destroy the station, but the detonator did not link up with the tibanna that was to be used to destroy the station. This forced Hevy to activate it himself, so Hevy sacrificed himself for the closest thing a clone trooper could call home. The base was destroyed, and the Republic stopped receiving the all-clear signal, which alerted them that something was wrong. A Republic fleet arrived at the Rishi moon, and Grievous and his fleet, being outgunned, were forced to retreat.
At least two commando droids were stationed in Lessu during the Battle of Ryloth. There they attempted to stop the ARF troopers "Stak" and CT-6910 "Razor" from activating the plasma bridge, but were defeated. The two ARF troopers activated the bridge, and Lessu was ultimately taken by the Republic and the Twi'lek Resistance. Separatist leader Wat Tambor was captured, and the Separatist occupation of Ryloth came to an end.
General Grievous used commando droids when he boarded Jedi Council member Eeth Koth's flagship, the Steadfast, when he captured Koth. Later, in the Saleucami system, Grievous and his tactical droid, TV-94, then used them against fellow Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, Adi Gallia, and Anakin Skywalker as they rescued Koth from Grievous. A pair of commando droids then acted as snipers after Grievous was forced to crash-land on Saleucami's surface. One of the droids then shot Captain Rex as he approached them leading a speeder patrol. The shot pierced the clone captain's armor and would have gone straight through his heart had it been two inches to the left. Both droids were promptly run down and shot by Rex's companions. While Rex was recovering at a farmstead, he discovered that it belonged to a clone deserter named Cut Lawquane, whose adopted children stumbled across a Separatist escape pod that had crashed in one of their fields. Their exploration of the pod led to them accidentally activating its complement of commando droids, who proceeded to attack the homestead as Rex and Cut defended it. Despite being heavily damaged, the droids gave the clones a considerable fight and caused extensive damage to the homestead before they were all destroyed.
The war continues
The bounty hunter Cad Bane used a pair of commando droids when he held several members of the Galactic Senate hostage. There, they were able to impersonate the Senate Commandos stationed at the entrance. They later escaped along with Bane, Ziro, and the other bounty hunters.
Commando droids were also used as guards at the Citadel under Warden Osi Sobeck, denoted by special yellow livery on their torsos. There they guarded the prisoners, served as security, and operated the laser cannons.
The Confederate minister Rish Loo used commando droids against Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and Senator Padmé Amidala when his plan was exposed. Though the droids were destroyed in fairly short order, they distracted the two long enough for Loo to escape.
On Kiros, commando droids drove Flitknot Speeder Bikes and AATs when the Republic forces arrived. The Confederate commander Darts D'Nar had two with him as his guards when he negotiated with Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi for his surrender. Kenobi fought D'Nar in hand-to-hand combat, and this distracted him while Jedi General Anakin Skywalker and Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano disarmed all of D'Nar's bombs in the city. After being informed of this, Kenobi swiftly destroyed both droids by lifting them into the air and crushing them with the Force. D'Nar escaped from Kenobi by using a bomb he had hidden in his T-series tactical droid, much to the tactical droid's horror, but Skywalker and Tano caught up to D'Nar, and he was captured by Tano.
During the Confederate–Republic peace conference at Sundari on Mandalore, commando droids served as guards to the Confederate delegation. Several then forcibly removed Onderon's Senator, Lux Bonteri, when he spoke out against Count Dooku for his part in the murder of Lux's mother. After Padawan Ahsoka Tano rescued Bonteri from his execution, the commando droids then fought the Senate Commandos under Captain Taggart when the peace conference broke down.
Commando droids were used by Grievous when Dooku ordered the destruction of the Nightsisters of Dathomir. During the Battle of Dathomir, commando droids were deployed by Grievous to combat the Nightsisters, and were with Grievous when he and his droids found Mother Talzin and Old Daka in a secret cave in the Nightsister lair. A commando droid used a rocket launcher to destroy the cave's wall, allowing Grievous and several droids to get in and eliminate the Nightsisters inside.
Several commando droids were deployed to the Onderonian capital city Iziz. They led the attack on the Onderon rebels' base in the highlands, killing many rebels alongside the new Separatist HMP droid gunship.
The final year
Admiral Trench used commando droids in his defense of Ringo Vinda space station. Several commando droids were also on the Maxillipede shuttle under the command of Commander Kraken used to transport clone trooper CT-5385 "Tup" from Ringo Vinda, as the trooper had mysteriously killed Jedi General Tiplar in what had been an early execution of Order 66 due to a failure in the clone's behavioral modification biochip. The droids on the shuttle were destroyed by Anakin Skywalker, Clone Captain Rex, and ARC trooper CT-5555 "Fives," and Tup was rescued, but Kraken was eventually rebuilt.
Commando droids were used by Dooku when he invaded Scipio. There, they fought Commander Thorn's detachment of the Coruscant Guard and left no survivors. A lone commando droid then apprehended Republic Senator Amidala and brought her before Count Dooku, later being destroyed when Anakin Skywalker impaled it with his lightsaber. Commando droids were also involved in the Battle of Anaxes during the Outer Rim Sieges. A team of commandos arrived at the remains of a fight between battle droids and Clone Force 99, and one unit reported the unusual tactics used by this clone squad to Admiral Trench. Commando droids also arrived at a Separatist Security Outpost after it was attacked by Clone Force 99, Advanced Recon Commando CT-5597 "Jesse," and Captain Rex. Later during the battle, General Skywalker defeated the two commando droids Trench sent against him while aboard the admiral's flagship.
Age of the Empire
After the destruction of the first Death Star, Darth Vader's position became endangered, as his master, Darth Sidious, planned to replace him with the help of a rogue cybernetics doctor named Cylo. In order to cement his place and reassure his master, Vader enlisted Doctor Aphra and forcefully took a droid factory from Karina, using it to create an army of commando droids to deal with Cylo, and lost half of them doing so.
Later, Vader used his commando droids during the final battle of the War on Shu-Torun. One of Vader's assassin droids, 0-0-0, had also modified the droids to have cyber syringes in order to drain the blood of the enemy troops. Horrified at the commando units suddenly proclaiming that they would bring death to their organic foes, the enemy army surrendered. Afterward, Vader sent his droids to help 0-0-0, BT-1, and Black Krrsantan capture Aphra.
In 5 ABY, the Siniteen prison builder Golas Aram used several commando droids to guard his private compound on the planet Irudiru. The New Republic operatives Sinjir Rath Velus and Jas Emari fought and defeated several of Aram's droids with the help of the New Republic Special Forces soldier Jom Barell.
Rise of the First Order
- "A commando droid? Okay... I think I might be able to help."
- ―Temmin Wexley
In 34 ABY, the commando droid N1-ZX (or "Nunzix") was a member of the Resistance's spy droid network prior to the Hosnian Cataclysm. Nunzix was programmed with a self-preservative software that made him obsessed with preserving his own life. Nunzix had a grumpy and selfish demeanor and was unwilling to risk his own life. He obtained information about the First Order and the location of Supreme Leader Snoke while posted on the planet Kaddak. Poe Dameron, his commander C-3PO, and BB-8 undertook a mission to rescue him. Nunzix showed little gratitude to his rescuers and the spy droid vowed to only release the information once they returned to the Resistance base on D'Qar.
Poe came to suspect that the information was ruse by the First Order Security Bureau Agent Terex to lure the Resistance into a trap. Terex and the Ranc gang pursued Poe and the droids. N1-ZX and his rescuers crash-landed on a desert planet and fled into a cave. With N1-ZX unwilling to fight, Poe overrode his programming with a droid personality template supplied by his friend Temmin Wexley. Nunzix assumed the B1 battle droid Mister Bones' personality and slaughtered many of Terex's gangsters before being gunned down and disintegrated by Terex himself.
Droid commandos used a variety of weapons during battle. They commonly used the standard blaster of the Droid Army, the E-5 blaster rifle. They were also known to use vibroswords for melee combat. For ground assault they used thermal detonators and sniper rifles for sniping. The droids also often carried stun batons. During the Battle of Dathomir, one of General Grievous' commando droids wielded a missile launcher. At the Citadel, one droid commando used an electrostaff for the use of torture. Other droid commandos at the Citadel used special shields and used the cannons stationed there, but those cannons were normally operated by B1 battle droids. The droids also had the ability to imitate the voices of others and would impersonate clone troopers and Senate Commandos by wearing their armor.
Behind the scenes
- "[BX-series droid commandos are] obviously more intelligent. They're substantially faster. It raises the question, why don't the Separatists just use hundreds and thousands of these guys? They would win the war rather easily. And, obviously, a more sophisticated droid is more expensive to make. Its harder to manufacture. But, in the episode, if you watch, they're not invulnerable either. They lose the base, and then, actually, a large squad of regular battle droids actually takes the base back over, so it shows you that, while dim-witted, the original battle droids are still a threat."
- ―Supervising Director Dave Filoni on the relationship between B1 battle droids and BX commando droids