- "Ah, these pit droids. You gotta tell 'em what to do every minute!"
A DUM-series pit droid, or simply called a pit droid, was a droid manufactured by Serv-O-Droid, Inc. and constructed in large quantities on Cyrillia by the native Cyrillians for use in labor, repair and light construction. They were also associated with repairing podracers at podracing events.
Pit droids stood at a relatively diminutive 1.19 meters tall and came in many different colors. Their most remarkable feature was their immense strength, able to carry objects many times their own size or weight. This enabled them to repair automata such as Podracers at a remarkable pace. Their skeletal design and long, thin limbs were dwarfed by their broad-flared, dome-shaped heads. In the center of their head was a large, round photoreceptor equipped with multi-spectrum scanners. The photoreceptor could detect microscopic damage in metals and other solids.
The DUM-series worked best in large groups, and had built-in comm systems that allowed them to communicate with those in their unit. The antenna on their disk shaped heads served to transmit directions to other droids, allowing a group of droids to collaborate on a project more efficiently and thereby expediting its completion. Their immense strength would make a malfunctioning (or unattended) unit extremely hazardous, possibly resulting in significant damage. The most hazardous of these was a damaged ON/OFF button, the risk of which caused many owners to keep ion blaster on hand as a precautionary measure. If a unit was past the brink of repair they would need to be disposed of, almost always resulting in the disintegration of the unfortunate droid.
Pit droids could compress themselves into a compact, box-shaped package. A tap on their photorecepter would signal them to return to their upright position, and vice-versa. There were also launchers specifically made to automatically decompress and release individual pit droids, one at a time.
Mass-produced by Serv-O-Droid, Inc. in factories on Cyrillia, the DUM-series droids were commonly used in garages across the galaxy during the days of the Galactic Republic. In production for several decades, the DUM-series garnered criticism in the press due to their reputation as poorly programmed. Clumsy and hapless, the droids were cheaply made and often were recycled rather than repaired. Despite the criticism, the DUM-series droids were capable within their narrow range of abilities.
While being much maligned in the press, the droids were popular in the Outer Rim, even during the Galactic Civil War. They had seen much use on Tatooine in Watto's Shop and at the Boonta Eve Classic working on podracers, though a handful were also purchased by Aneesa Dym to make repairs to her ship, the Dusty Duck. When Jar Jar Binks visited Watto's Shop in 32 BBY, he accidentally activated a dormant pit droid, although he quickly turned it off when Anakin Skywalker informed him to hit it in the nose.
During the Boonta Eve Classic of 32 BBY while the racer Ody Mandrell had his pod in a pit-stop, a single DUM-series pit droid was sucked into the engine and thrown out the opposite end of the engine. The droid "survived," (even letting out a cheer of excitement) but Ody's engine did not, costing him the race. Pit droids would also be used to scavenge any reusable rubble from podracers that had blown apart. This action could be quite hazardous, as the droids were likely to be destroyed by functional podracers that were still running the course; the low cost of an individual unit made the loss of a single droid worth the risk.
In 22 BBY, the first year of the Clone Wars, several pit droids assisted Corporate Alliance Magistrate Passel Argente on unloading much of the Magistrate's treasure in Lessu, the capital city of Ryloth. Another pit droid, WAC-47, was assigned to D-Squad, after serving Commander Neyo of the 91st Mobile Reconnaissance Corps, which was formed to steal a Separatist encryption module during a mission.
Behind the scenes
In the game Star Wars: Pit Droids (Lucas Learning Games), the droids have various equipment: ladders, wrenches, cases, gas tanks, or nothing. They also have different colored heads and bodies.
In LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, DUM-series pit droids are featured as playable characters, although they are incapable of doing anything useful. This is likely because the character was only added for novelty purposes.
According to the DVD commentary in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, a scene that showed a squabble between three pit droids was a homage to The Three Stooges.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (Picture only)
- Star Wars: Anakin's Speedway
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- Tag & Bink: Revenge of the Clone Menace
- "Skippy the Jedi Droid"—Star Wars Tales 1
- Star Wars: Tiny Death Star
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (reference book)
- Star Wars: Episode I toy line
- Star Wars: Power of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Episode I Insider's Guide
- Star Wars: Episode I The Visual Dictionary
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 27 (PIT1-2, Pit Droids)
- (As "DUM Pit Droid")
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Tatooine Limited (Card: Pit Droid) (backup link)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Squadrons Over Corellia (Card: Mos Espa Droid) (backup link)
- Star Wars: Head-to-Head Tag Teams
- (Picture only) (Packaging)
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Pit Droid)
- The Adventures of C-3PO
- Endless Vigil