- "Ah, good. New acquisitions. You are a protocol droid, are you not?"
"I am C-3PO—"
"'Yes' or 'no' will do."
"Oh. Well, yes."
- ―EV-9D9 and C-3PO
EV-9D9 (Eve-Ninedenine), also known simply as 9D9, was a feminine MerenData EV-series supervisor droid who, originally a peaceful, hardworking moisture vaporator mechanic, had a programming defect that made her enjoy tormenting and dismembering other droids. She was acquired by the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure, who made her chief of his palace's cyborg operations after a reprogramming, where she oversaw its droid pool with the assistance of her smelter droid devotee, 8D8.
When Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker gifted Jabba the astromech droid R2-D2 and protocol droid C-3PO in 4 ABY, shortly before the Battle of Endor, EV-9D9 assigned them positions in her master's droid pool. She was temporarily deactivated and repurposed as a service droid after Jabba's demise, coming to serve as a bartender at Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina in Mos Eisley. Around 9 ABY, Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin entered the establishment looking for work, but the droid informed him that the Bounty Hunters' Guild no longer operated from Tatooine and that no jobs were available.
Chief of cyborg operations
- "Originally a standard EV-series supervisor droid, a programming flaw gave EV-9D9 a taste for pain—particularly that of her fellow mechanical beings. EV-9D9 found the perfect way to quench her thirst for droid discomfort as Jabba the Hutt's overseer of cyborg operations, ordering the torture of any droid that disobeyed her commands."
- ―R0-GR wrote on EV-9D9's origins in the "droidography"
A feminine EV-series supervisor droid manufactured by MerenData, EV-9D9, also known as Eve-Ninedenine or simply 9D9, was originally a peaceful moisture vaporator mechanic on the planet Tatooine. However, she had a programming defect that caused her to exhibit cruelty toward other droids, a flaw many of her fellow EV units shared. She was acquired by the Hutt crime lord Jabba Desilijic Tiure, who made her chief of cyborg operations at his Tatooine palace. She was well suited for the position after being reprogrammed in a Mos Eisley spaceport scrapyard, by which point she was already known for her sadistic behavior toward other droids. Before leaving the spaceport, EV-9D9 took advantage of Tatooine's lax moral codes to have an extra photoreceptor installed that allowed her to "see" droid pain.
Having charged EV-9D9 with managing all of the droids that kept his cartel running, Jabba partnered her with 8D8, an equally ruthless 8D-series smelter droid reprogrammed for torture, to bring out the worst in both droids. With the assistance of her devotee, she converted a dank boiler room in the murky depths of the palace's dungeons into a droid "assessment" room. This was in actuality a grim torture chamber where 8D8 assisted her in terrorizing Jabba's droid pool into submission. During her time at Jabba's Palace, MerenData issued a mass recall of the EV-series. EV-9D9 was one of the few to escape recall and continued working in the dungeons for many years.
The fall of a criminal empire
- "How many languages do you speak?"
"I am fluent in over six million forms of communication and can readily—"
"Splendid. We have been without an interpreter since our master got angry with our last protocol droid and disintegrated him."
- ―EV-9D9 and C-3PO
In the year 0 BBY, 261, a rogue Imperial astromech droid, was captured and brought to Jabba's Palace, where he was forced to join Jabba's droid pool. However, the droid was able to escape, making EV-9D9 furious. When the bounty hunter Bossk tracked 261 to the palace after having been hired to retrieve the droid by the Empire, he questioned the supervisor droid as to the astromech's whereabouts. EV-9D9 explained to the Trandoshan that 261 had escaped, claiming that he would soon learn some respect. Bossk later recovered the droid from a clan of Jawas, meter-tall humanoids native to Tatooine that scavenged the deserts for discarded scrap and wayward droids, and brought him back to the Empire.
After the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker gifted Jabba the astromech R2-D2 and protocol droid C-3PO in 4 ABY, shortly before the Battle of Endor, they were escorted down to EV-9D9's torture chamber so she could assign them positions in her master's droid pool. C-3PO was made Jabba's new interpreter—as his last one was disintegrated after it had angered him—and was fitted with a restraining bolt before being returned to the palace's main audience chamber. Meanwhile, R2-D2 was forced to serve drinks aboard Jabba's sail barge, the Khetanna.
Skywalker had actually tasked R2-D2 with infiltrating the palace's droid pool so that he could assist in the rescue of their smuggler friend Han Solo from the Hutt's clutches. The mission ultimately resulted in Jabba's demise, after which EV-9D9 was shut down along with the rest of the Hutt's droid pool, though this deactivation was only temporary.
Bartending at Chalmun's
- "Hey, droid, I'm a hunter. I'm lookin' for some work."
"Unfortunately, the Bounty Guild no longer operates from Tatooine."
"I'm not looking for Guild work."
"I am afraid that does not improve your situation, at least by my calculation."
- ―Din Djarin and EV-9D9
Once Jabba's empire fell, EV-9D9 was reprogrammed as a service droid and came to work as a bartender at Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina in Mos Eisley, working alongside another EV unit. Around 9 ABY, when the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin visited the cantina looking for work, he approached the droid, who was cleaning the counter. When Djarin asked the droid if any jobs were available, she informed him that the Bounty Hunters' Guild no longer worked from Tatooine. The Mandalorian clarified that he operated separately from the Guild, but EV-9D9 stated that it did not help his situation as no work was currently available. However, their conversation was interrupted when another bounty hunter known as Toro Calican disputed the droid's claim and invited Djarin over to his booth to discuss a job; the Mandalorian accepted his offer while EV-9D9 returned to wiping down the counter.
When Djarin later revisited Chalmun's to speak with Peli Motto, the proprietor of Mos Eisley's Hangar 3-5, EV-9D9 was working the establishment's bar, attempting to serve a distracted patron their drink.
- "Jabba also kept a malfunctioning droid that enjoyed torturing fellow machines to run his cyborg operations."
- ―An artist wrote about EV-9D9 in his journal
At some point, an artist visited Jabba's Palace and wrote about EV-9D9 in his journal, though he did not reference her by name. The document was later restored, expanded, and kept in the Graf Archive, a vast repository of documents, sometime after the beginning of 34 ABY with the nameless reference to EV-9D9 intact. She was also mentioned in the "droidography," a volume on droids compiled by the B1 battle droid R0-GR during his time serving in the Resistance, in which he condemned her attitude toward her fellow droids.
EV-9D9 would also go on to be mentioned in the Hazards of Technology section of the How Not to Get Eaten by Ewoks and Other Galactic Survival Skills survival guide. The book's author characterized her as a rogue droid whose actions had helped fuel anti-droid sentiment after the Clone Wars, fought between the Galactic Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems, the latter's use of a droid army having caused such feelings to become common throughout the galaxy.
- EV-9D9: "Guard! This protocol droid might be useful. Fit him with a restraining bolt and take him back up to His Excellency's main audience chamber."
- C-3PO: "R2, don't leave me!" [bumps into the remains of CZ-4] "Oh!"
- R2-D2: [Whistle-Beep-Bleep]
- EV-9D9: "You're a feisty little one, but you'll soon learn some respect. I have need for you on the master's sail barge, and I think you'll fill in nicely."
- ―EV-9D9 assigns R2-D2 and C-3PO positions in Jabba's Palace's droid pool
Originally peaceful and hardworking, EV-9D9 was corrupted by a programming flaw that was intentionally exasperated by reprogramming depriving her of all empathy toward other droids. A malicious, sadistic, and psychotic mechanic murderer, she enjoyed tormenting and dismembering other droids, reveling in working them until they fell apart or their processors blew and employing bizarre forms of droid torture to increase motivation. EV-9D9 relished her role as the taskmaster of all the palace's droids and loved disintegrating her subordinates. She would also hang droids upside down as a form of punishment.
EV-9D9 ordered the torture of any droid that disobeyed her commands and, more often than not, even those that obeyed her. She was quickly annoyed with the antics of C-3PO, cutting him off whenever she got the answers she wanted or when he started to stray from the question at hand. The droid supervisor also demeaned her fellow droids by assigning them tasks far beneath their programming. For example, when R2-D2 acted feistily toward her, the supervisor droid assigned him to serve drinks aboard her master's sail barge to teach him respect. However, the astromech had been threatened with and experienced far worse than EV-9D9 in his long lifetime.
While working at Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina after the fall of the Empire, EV-9D9 was one of several EV-series droids that doled out carefully calculated commentary and precisely measured beverages to patrons of the establishment.
- "Think again, tin can."
- ―Toro Calican insults EV-9D9
An EV-series supervisor droid with feminine programming, EV-9D9 was missing various parts, lending her a skeletal appearance. Her key areas were protected with low-quality plastron plating that was bronze in color and cheap to replace when damaged. EV-9D9 sported four gray rectangular markings on the right side of her chest plating, though these were absent by around 9 ABY. Just below her chest plating was a recharge coupling and access port. Her pelvic mount could be locked into legs or motorized carts. When equipped with a pair of legs, EV-9D9 stood 1.9 meters (6 foot 3 inches) in height.
Though spindly in appearance, EV-9D9's durasteel hydraulic piston limbs were deceptively strong, if cheaply made. As EV units were not expected to do anything more than press switches and computer keys, they were given only the most basic three-fingered servogrip pincers. She was also equipped with three white photoreceptors. Tiny and basic, they allowed her to see well enough to perform her duties and not much more. The third was custom-fitted and, along with some additional coding, was sensitive to the electronic and electromagnetic output of droids, allowing EV-9D9 to "see" the suffering she inflicted.
As an EV-series supervisor droid, EV-9D9 was equipped with an EV-series droid brain. However, the logic circuits used in the droid brain's construction were faulty and showed signs of critical degradation across several EV units, including EV-9D9, to the point where it overrode their behavioral programming to instead favor cold logic and cruelty. Speaking in harsh and buzzing tones, she had a synthesized female voice that sounded as if it had been stolen from an elderly prison matron. Her expressiveness was "enhanced" by a speech mimic flap, a hinged vocoder that simulated the movement of a mouth by flapping up and down beneath her sharp metal chin. Though designed to make EV units more relatable to potential owners, the effort was wasted because the flapping rarely matched their speech. She was also equipped with a broadband antenna receiver and built-in comlink that allowed her to wirelessly link to local computer systems and monitor all droid activity to ensure that the labor pool was operating at peak efficiency.
Behind the scenes
Conception and portrayal
- "Richard Marquand was playing EV-9D9 in that scene and was terrific. It's very easy acting with a piece of tin when it's got a voice like that coming out of it. He used to be an actor, so he knows what it feels like, all the tensions you feel being on a set with a camera pointed at you, how you need to be encouraged and praised. He's very gentle, which is nice."
- ―Anthony Daniels, who portrayed C-3PO in Return of the Jedi
Originally created for the original trilogy film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, released May 25, 1983, EV-9D9 first appeared in the Star Wars Legends novelization of the film written by James Kahn and published on May 12, 1983, thirteen days before the film was released in theaters. The character was identified as EV-9D9 in the novel, a name that originated in the third draft of Return of the Jedi but was not used in the final film. This name was established to be canon by Ultimate Star Wars, a 2015 reference book.
The character of EV-9D9 appeared as early as the rough draft of the Revenge of the Jedi—an earlier title for Episode VI—script, where she was known as U-8D8, also rendered as U8-D8. In the revised second draft, she was renamed EV-8D8. In the third draft, she received her final name and her smelter droid assistant inherited the name 8D8.
EV-9D9 was portrayed using a marionette, which was based on Ralph McQuarrie sketches of a tall, thin robot that was considered an "assassin droid" at that stage of pre-production. This design resulted from McQuarrie's revisions to concept sketches for a droid bounty hunter that had earlier been used for IG-88 in the 1980 film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Though it did not appear in any version of the film's screenplay, the assassin robot was explored by McQuarrie in several forms, including a version with an oversized cutting wheel. An unused assassin droid sketch would later become the basis for the transport ticketing droid featured in the 2018 animated series Star Wars Resistance. EV-9D9's marionette began with a sculpted head and chest piece, with its limbs and neck having been built by Supervising Prop Maker Bill Hargreaves. Everything on the marionette moved so that it could be animated for the torture chamber scene, which Hargreaves was involved in the shooting of. She was voiced on set by Return of the Jedi director Richard Marquand, whose voice was later redubbed during post-production. At one point in the film's production, she was to be able to walk, though it was later decided that she would sit after the special effects department failed to make it work by George Lucas' deadline.
An interactive gallery of EV-9D9's marionette was included on Bonus Disc 2 of Star Wars: The Complete Saga, a Blu-ray set that comprised the first six main Star Wars films along with three additional discs of bonus material that was released on September 12, 2011. The marionette was once stored in the Lucasfilm Archives, but was then put on display as part of Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition.
- "We were able to build a recreation of EV-9D9, which is now the bartender droid."
"Mark Hamill came in and voiced the droid, who had appeared in Return of the Jedi."
"He [sic] now serves drinks. And I actually really liked this aspect, the fact that in the original, droids weren't allowed in the bar. Now? Yeah, sure. Droids are working the bar, and for all we know, they might own the bar, so I thought that was a great twist."
- ―Josh Roth and Jon Favreau discuss EV-9D9's appearance in The Mandalorian
Voiced by Mark Hamill, EV-9D9 appeared in "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger," the fifth episode of the first season of the Disney+ live-action series The Mandalorian, which originally aired on December 6, 2019, as an unidentified EV-series supervisor droid bartending at the Mos Eisley Cantina. Hamill had been invited by Executive Producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, who claimed they were interested in Hamill's opinion on the series. Favreau, knowing that Hamill had done many uncredited voice roles for other Star Wars productions, felt that it made sense to bring him in for The Mandalorian.
Hamill's role, as well as the EV unit's identity as EV-9D9 herself, would only be revealed in "Connections," the eighth episode of the Disney+ documentary series Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian that aired on June 19, 2020. Favreau used The Mandalorian as an opportunity to take obscure characters and designs from other projects and bring them center stage, including EV-9D9. For her appearance in The Mandalorian, the crew built a recreation of the puppet used to portray EV-9D9 in Return of the Jedi. Property Master Josh Roth liked that droids were working at the Mos Eisley Cantina due to the establishment's no droids policy in the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, going on to suggest that the droids themselves may have owned the bar as of the events of the series.
- "Prison cells and rancor pit aside, Jabba's abode houses a few other unpleasantries as well. The droid torture chamber is one of them, supervised by the cruel EV-9D9 unit. Though being temporarily disabled, her work is still on display here, with a protocol droid twitching uncontrollably in a dark corner of the room. Poor thing."
- ―EV-9D9 appears in the Jabba's Palace map featured in Star Wars Battlefront and its sequel, Star Wars Battlefront II
EV-9D9 appears as an unlockable toy in the non-canon 2015 video game Disney Infinity 3.0's Toy Box mode, which allows players to build in an open-ended sandbox environment. A part of the Rise Against the Empire Play Set, she could be purchased for 250 Sparks. She also appears in the Jabba's Palace map included in the Outer Rim expansion pack for the 2015 video game Star Wars Battlefront, which was released on March 22, 2016 for Season Pass holders. The map, and EV-9D9 with it, returned for the game's 2017 sequel, Star Wars Battlefront II, as part of The Han Solo Season content update, which began on May 16, 2018.
- "When Jabba was killed, 8D8 joined EV-9D9 in oblivion, as both were permanently deactivated."
- ―According to Star Wars: Build Your Own R2 21, EV-9D9 was permanently deactivated after Jabba's demise
The "8D8-series smelter droids" article published in the Droid Directory department of Star Wars: Build Your Own R2 21, released in 2017, stated that EV-9D9 was permanently deactivated following Jabba's death during the events of Return of the Jedi. However, "15 Details Making the Locations in Star Wars Battlefront II Feel Alive," an article published on the official Electronic Arts website in 2018, instead claimed that this deactivation was only temporary. EV-9D9's appearance in The Mandalorian, set roughly five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, confirms that her deactivation was not permanent.
In the week leading up the premiere of The Mandalorian's second season on October 30, 2020, an entry was added to the StarWars.com Databank that identified the droid that Din Djarin interacted with at the Mos Eisley Cantina as "BT-1" instead of EV-9D9. However, this entry was removed from the website on October 28.
- Star Wars Battlefront II (DLC)
- Bounty Hunt
- Star Wars: The Original Trilogy – A Graphic Novel
- Star Wars Battlefront (DLC)
- Star Wars (2015) 69 (Variant cover only)
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First appearance)
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! audiobook
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Graphic Novel Adaptation
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Junior Novel
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 10: The Passenger"