- "Oh my goodness! Shut me down! Machines making machines?! Hmm... How perverse."
Geonosis was ideal as a base for droid foundries in many regards: it was home to a technologically advanced but independent species, the Geonosians, who could monitor and aid in droid production; its rugged, forbidding terrain more or less isolated it from outsiders, and its large underground caverns provided excellent camouflage against prying eyes. Another prime benefit of locating the foundries on Geonosis was the planet's mineral-rich ring system, used to provide the factories with ample raw metal and alloys.
Like most other Baktoid Armor Workshop production facilities, the foundries on Geonosis were highly automated, requiring some sentient oversight and a steady flow of raw materials but little else. Despite being slow and antiquated by galactic standards, each facility boasted hundreds of conveyor belts and robot assembly arms, capable of creating thousands of droids per day from scratch. Due to its low-profile and remote location, the foundries kept a low standard on work safety, and expendable Geonosian drones were quartered in storage alcoves adjacent to the factory floors.
Some of the main droid models produced by foundries on Geonosis included B1-Series battle droids, B2 super battle droids, and powerful droidekas. In addition to droids, the factories produced vehicles, weapons and military parts.
The foundries were built by Baktoid Armor Workshop, a member of the Techno Union, in response to increasing legislation by the Republic against the legality of their industry, many centuries prior to the Separatist Crisis. Hoping to circumvent these new laws, BAW began investing in production facilities outside the Republic's sphere of influence: more specifically, in the Outer Rim Territories, on planets such as Hypori, Olanet, and Zaadja.
The Republic encouraged the growth of such local industry as part of an idealist push for galactic cohesion and the spread of technology to the farthest corners of the galaxy. Eventually, this kind of political initiative disappeared, and the factories were abandoned. At some point before the start of the Clone Wars, they were reopened to supply the Trade Federation with droids, and were regarded by the Federation as its favorite weaponsmiths.
During their mission to save Obi-Wan Kenobi in 22 BBY, Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Amidala, and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 stumbled into one of the Geonosian droid assembly plants. Despite a brave effort, both Anakin and Padmé were apprehended and sentenced to death in the Petranaki arena. In the ensuing First Battle of Geonosis, the clone commando unit Delta Squad was assigned to destroy a foundry and eliminate Sun Fac, Poggle the Lesser's chief lieutenant, which they successfully did. After the Republic victory on that world, a garrison of clone troopers was left behind to guard the planet.
Despite the Republic's victory, Poggle later built more factories on Geonosis, which were funded by the Trade Federation. Once the Jedi discovered this, they led a successful planet-wide invasion with the objectives of destroying the factories, capturing Poggle, and reclaiming the planet.
Behind the scenes
The droid factory was a late addition in production, conceived and written into the story well after principal photography had wrapped. In the original shooting script, Anakin and Padmé crept into the Geonosian spire, and simply encountered Count Dooku. In this version, the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO never left the Naboo starship. The addition of the droid factory not only provided a new action set piece, but also gave a visual clue as to the size of the growing droid army. Elements of Anakin, Padmé and the droids were shot during additional photography in 2001, mostly against bluescreen with very minimal sets. The Animatics Department filled in the bluescreen areas with very detailed temporary versions of the droid factory, previsualizing the environment that Industrial Light & Magic would generate.
Ben Snow, one the film's Visual Effects Supervisors, took reference footage of a Northern California automobile factory and foundry, to get visual starting points for the motion of automated machinery and the extreme heat and steam atmospheric effects his crew would recreate.
Though much of the environment was computer-generated, certain machines and the surrounding walls of the droid factory were realized as detailed and dramatically lit miniatures.
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones comic
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones junior novelization
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Movie Storybook
- Boba Fett: The Fight to Survive
- Star Wars: Battlefront II (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Republic Commando
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Illustrated Companion
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 41 (GEO5-6, Geonosis - The Droid Foundries)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 81 (GEO1-2, Geonosis Droid Factory Plant)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars Fandex Deluxe Edition
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 37
- The Unknown Regions
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Poggle the Lesser (★★★))
- Star Wars: The Adventures of C-3PO
- (as "droid factories")