- "Probe droid. Very unusual… not like anything I've seen before."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn
Developed by Arakyd Industries, the DRK-1 probe droid was a small, spherical automaton equipped with sophisticated sensor and communications packages. The design dated back centuries to early Sith probe droid models based on schematics provided by Sith holocrons. The DRK-1 version featured a trio of imaging sensors: a central photoreceptor, a magnetic imaging device, and a thermal imager. An antenna atop the DRK-1's dome allowed its master to relay commands to the probot, programming it to seek out individuals or information. Data was then sent back to headquarters via the transmission antennae.
Sith probe droids were designed as passive spy units, and were plated with energy-absorbing stealth armor that baffled most sensor scans. However, weaponry could be mounted on the DRK-1 in many configurations, the most common being a miniaturized grenade launcher. Armaments adopted by the Sith included blaster cannons, stun blasters, and dart launchers loaded with poison needles.
DRK-1 probe droids were commonly seen in the years prior to the Ruusan campaign. Darth Maul carried three DRK-1 probe droids aboard the Scimitar during his time as the apprentice of Darth Sidious. Maul recreated these spherical robots using the most disparate, off-the-shelf pieces. He also used his probots to spy on a Black Sun meeting on Ralltiir, and later used them to track down Qui-Gon Jinn on Tatooine, where the Jedi struck down one of the spying probes. The act resulted in a misunderstanding that cost the life of Pa'lowick pilot Aneesa Dym at the hands of Maul.
During the Galactic Civil War, many bounty hunters found droids of this model very useful and effective in tracking their prey throughout the galaxy. However, because of their size and communications range, they were only useful in planetary surface tracking.
Behind the scenes
The DRK-1 probe droids first appeared with the release of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and its tie-ins.
- Darth Plagueis (Mentioned only)
- Darth Maul (2000) 1 (Mentioned only)
- Darth Maul (2000) 3
- Episode I Adventures 3: The Fury of Darth Maul (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace novelization (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace unabridged audiobook
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace comic
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace junior novel
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace video game
- Star Wars Episode I Journal: Darth Maul
- "End Game"—Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace novelization (2012 edition)
- Star Wars: Episode I Jedi Power Battles
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars (1998) 40 (In flashback(s))
- Darth Vader and the Lost Command 1
- Shadows in the Force
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- "Lando's Commandos: On Eagles' Wings"—Star Wars Tales 5
- Arms & Equipment Guide
- Star Wars: Power of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- Star Wars: Episode I Insider's Guide
- Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Tatooine Limited (Card: Sith Probe Droid) (backup link)
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 34 (SIT1-2, Sith Probe Droid)
- "The Droids of Episode II"—Star Wars Insider 60 (Indirect mention only)
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Starships of the Galaxy, Saga Edition
- Threats of the Galaxy
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (As "Dark Eye probe droid," "Sith probe droid")
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 21
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 26
- The Unknown Regions
- Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: The Expanded Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Darth Maul, Sith Apprentice
- Star Wars: Sith Wars
- Star Wars: The Card Game – It Binds All Things (Card: Reprogrammed DRK-1 Droid)