- "You don't realize how important a datapad is until you're stranded on Raxus Prime with nothing but your boots and a blaster."
- ―Han Solo
A datapad was a small, usually low-cost, electronic device used for storing information. Taking the place of the more primitive book, a datapad could store textual, graphic, and holographic data. They were commonly used as notebooks, day planners, calculators, and sketchpads. Some models could interface with and download information from larger computer networks. Most datapads came standard equipped with a touch-sensitive color screen, audio pickups, headphone ports, and power packs.
Description and usage
Datapads varied in size, from palm-sized devices to larger units designed for two hands. A common datapad was the Companion2000, which weighed less than one kilogram, and cost around 100 credits. It was produced by MicroData Technologies, which offered a wide range of datapad models.
Datacards with specific information stored on them (for example, star charts, encyclopedias, tour guides, law books, works of fiction) were widely available. These datacards could be loaded into a datapad for easy access. Many planetary governments were legally obligated to provide such materials (especially regarding local laws) to all offworlders.
Bounty hunters often used datapads to store mission information on their targets, locations, or other vitals. Personal datapads of this kind were designed to erase all stored information if not handled correctly.
Some datapads could be rather sensitive; a datacard with dirt on its surface could ruin such a datapad's electronics.
- Companion2000 datapad
- Lumiya's datapad
- Personal datapad assistant
- Pocket Secretary
- Survey datapad
- Versafunction88 datapad
Behind the scenes
In many LucasArts games, an on-screen datapad interface is used to show the game menu, which includes inventory, mission objectives, level maps, and other information.
Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game contains the earliest mention of datapads, though that book spelled the term "data pads." The novel Heir to the Empire marks their first in-universe appearance. They are one of the items that first appeared in the Expanded Universe that would later appear in the films.