The Chiba DR-10 protocol droid, sometimes known as the "Chiba Drio," was a small, spherical protocol droid produced by Chiba Corporation, and preferred by diplomats of the Galactic Empire. Unlike most protocol droids, the Chiba DR-10 floated on repulsorlifts and was equipped with a small, concealed blaster. The droid was originally designed to be used for negotiations and translation for legal purposes, but it also saw service in shops and customs checkpoints.
However, the droid had a flaw where it became aggressive and irritable during negotiations it was losing, and sometimes the droid deployed its blaster without warning. The Empire exploited the flaw and used the droid for security and as a probe droid. During the Galactic Civil War, which was fought between the Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Moff Jander Graffe used two Chiba DR-10 droids while on the planet Esseles.
The Chiba DR-10 protocol droid was a small, spherical third-degree droid, which was equipped with repulsorlifts to hover over the ground. The droid was armed with a small, hidden blaster, an unusual feature for a protocol droid. The weapon could be deployed quickly from a hidden compartment on the droid's underside and had about the same range and power as a blaster pistol. Due to the droid's small size and repulsorlifts, it was quite agile, but it was unable to lift much weight. The droid had a small probe that it could use to manipulate objects.
In order to communicate over long distances, the DR-10 was equipped with an integrated comlink. Some variants of the droid had a recording unit along with extensive sensor equipment, which included 360-degree, infrared, and telescopic vision as well as motion sensors. Other models of the droid came equipped with translator units in order to interpret languages. Some of the droids had black-colored photoreceptors, along with plating that was white, black silver, and copper-colored. The droid had its photoreceptors on the sides of its spherical body, and it had a black-colored protrusion on its top side.
Chiba DR-10 protocol droids were originally designed for the purposes of negotiation and translation, tasks aided by the vast amount of information contained in the droids' memory banks about law, customs, trade, and business matters. The droid had enough knowledge of Imperial law that it could provide individuals with legal advice. Some of the droids had translator units to help in translation, and they were programmed to speak and understand Galactic Basic Standard, binary, as well as five languages that could be chosen by the owner.
However, the Chiba DR-10 had a programming flaw that caused it to become more and more sarcastic, irritated, impatient, and aggressive when it had difficulties with obtaining the desired outcome in a negotiation. The flaw was due to the fact that the droid had behavioral inhibitors that were programmed differently than those in other protocol droid models. Sometimes Chiba DR-10s became frustrated enough to deploy their blaster and start shooting, which frequently occurred without warning to others present. The DR-10 also used the blaster when negotiations failed violently.
The droid's excellent perceptiveness also made it useful for security duty or as a probe droid. Its small size, repulsorlifts, and its nature to ask questions before firing also made it useful for security tasks. Despite the Chiba DR-10s' flaw, they were highly intelligent and could be very persuasive and diplomatic. However, the droids could also be quite deceptive. Some units from the line were also programmed to use computers and to appraise the value of items. Some Chiba DR-10s were equipped with heuristic processors, which were expensive processors that allowed the droids to think creatively, but others only had basic processors, which did not allow for such versatility.
The Chiba DR-10 protocol droid, which was also known as the "Chiba Drio", was produced by Chiba Corporation during the time of the Galactic Empire. Units of the model could sell for prices of 9,500 credits to 12,000 credits for those who were allowed to own such restricted droids. The DR-10 was first used as a negotiator and translator droid for legal matters, but it was eventually used in not only law offices, but also in shops and custom checkpoints all throughout the galaxy.
The droid was also used by the Galactic Empire in large numbers and was favored by Imperial functionaries and diplomats whose line of work took them into danger. Due to the droid's flawed programming, which was viewed as notorious by many, the forces of the Galactic Empire also used the droids as guards, probes, and for other security purposes. Jander Graffe, the Moff of the Darpa sector, had two DR-10s in his service when he was ordered by the Empire's ruler, Emperor Palpatine, to fake alien riots on the planet Esseles in order to support raising security taxes there during the Galactic Civil War.
At one point, Moff Graffe's Chiba DR-10s were nearby when the Rebel spy Deena Mipps and a group of individuals filmed a conference between Graffe and other government officials, a meeting where they plotted to cause riots among the alien population of Esseles to obtain more taxes for security purposes. Although they came close to stopping the Rebel team, the Chiba DR-10s and the Moff's other security forces were unable to do so.
Behind the scenes
The Chiba DR-10 protocol droid was first featured in "A Taxing Party", an adventure seed that was contained in Coruscant and the Core Worlds, a Star Wars Roleplaying Game sourcebook published by Wizards of the Coast in 2003. The book was written by Craig Robert Carey, Chris Doyle, Jason Fry, Paul Sudlow, John Terra, and Daniel Wallace for the revised edition of the Roleplaying Game. In addition to being part of the adventure, the droid received a descriptive section in the book's Esseles entry with an illustration by Tommy Lee Edwards. In 2009, the Chiba DR-10 received an entry in Galaxy at War, a book written by Rodney Thompson, Gary Astleford, Eric Cagle, and Daniel Wallace for the Saga Edition of Wizards' Star Wars Roleplaying Game. For the Saga Edition of the Roleplaying Game, the Chiba DR-10 was available for players to use for one of their characters.
While "A Taxing Party" mentioned Emperor Palpatine and the Rebel Alliance, neither Coruscant and the Core Worlds or Galaxy at War specified the era when the droids were in use. Additionally, the Galaxy at War entry contained much information on the Chiba DR-10 that differed from its first entry. The cost changed from 12,000 credits to 8,000 credits, while the processor changed from a heuristic processor to a basic processor. The droid's improved sensor equipment was also removed and replaced with a translator unit. This article treats the two different versions of the droid as two variants of the same type of droid.