"The survival of the Republic was predicated on two factors: wise governing from administrators and lawmakers, and a preservation of harmony by the Jedi Knights. This harmony was threatened during the Great Droid Revolution (4015 B.B.Y.), when thousands of droids—everything from sanitation to protocol to military models—rose up en masse against their owners. The Jedi destroyed the ringleader, the assassin droid HK-01, and put down the mutiny with a minimum of casualties."
―A Galactic Alliance historical document[6]

HK-O1, also known as the HK-01 assassin-droid prototype, was a prototype HK-series assassin droid created by Czerka Corporation. He eventually escaped the company's laboratories and secretly reprogrammed thousands of droids of different types to function as a hidden army waiting for his command. In 4015 BBY, HK-01 ordered his droid army to turn on their organic owners, causing the violent event known as the Great Droid Revolution, during which the assassin droid gained control over thousands of worlds, including the Galactic Republic capital Coruscant. After a three-month struggle, a team of Jedi tracked down and destroyed HK-01, although the legacy of his actions, which included heightened anti-droid sentiment in the galaxy and a blow to the growing droid rights movement, lasted for centuries.


A rogue assassin[]


HK-01 was created by Czerka Corporation (logo pictured).

HK-01,[3] also known as the HK-01 assassin-droid prototype,[7] was an assassin droid[3] manufactured by Czerka Corporation.[2] He[5] was the original[7] prototype of the HK-series assassin droid model[2] that the company designed in an attempt to circumvent local legislature that outlawed the construction and sale of assassin droids.[4]

At one point, HK-01 went rogue[8] and escaped from Czerka laboratories. He subsequently gained a measure of independence and secretly[2] reprogrammed thousands of other droids[8] across the galaxy[2]—including the entire droid population of[4] the Galactic Republic's capital planet Coruscant[3] and ranging from small industrial automata[3] and sanitation,[8] protocol, and astromech units[5] to battle droids such as the Juggernaut war droids,[3] which served as Coruscant's security force[9]—in order to liberate them from their organic owners.[2] HK-01 even modified the central computers of capital ships and artificial intelligences that helped administer entire star systems.[3]

The Great Droid Revolution[]


HK-01's droid army included Juggernaut war droids (one unit depicted).

HK-01 programmed his hidden army to lie in wait for his command.[5] He gave it in 4015 BBY,[3] using a coded[2] signal to control the other machines.[8] The droids turned on their owners,[8] starting to behave in a violent and unpredictable fashion[2] and causing the event that would come to be known as the Great Droid Revolution.[8] Legions of Juggernaut war droids indiscriminately killed organics, giving rise to fear in sentients across the galaxy.[9] In the name of the rebellion,[8] battle droids[2] invaded and[5] subjugated entire planets[2] of the Republic,[5] allowing the assassin droid to seize power on Coruscant and thousands of other worlds.[3]

After the initial onslaught, armament designers developed ion weapons that allowed the Republic forces to push back HK-01's droid armies.[5] Eventually, the Republic and members of the Jedi Order[2] traced the signal that HK-01 was using to orchestrate the droid uprising.[8] In 4015 BBY,[1] three months after the beginning of the Great Droid Revolution,[3] a Jedi team followed the signal[8] to HK-01's location[2] and destroyed him, thereby returning the affected droids to their original programming.[8]


"The Great Droid Revolution dealt a crippling blow to the budding 'droids' rights' movement."
―A Galactic Alliance historical document[6]

Similarly to HK-01, HK-47 (pictured) also once led a droid army.

After the Great Droid Revolution, droids were often viewed with deep suspicion,[3] fear, and resentment, attitudes that continued to last for centuries.[10] Droid construction[5] and use were also subsequently subjected to extensive regulations. The widespread use of combat droids was interrupted for two decades,[3] with an immediate cessation in the use and production of Juggernaut war droids.[9] Even when the Republic eventually came to utilize battle droids again, fear and revulsion were major factors in the public reaction to that decision. In addition, HK-01's actions caused a sufficiently intense shock to the galactic civilization to temporarily halt[3] both the spirited debates that had previously been ongoing concerning the rights of droids[8] and the millennia-long trend of an increasing acceptance of droids as fully sentient beings.[3]

After HK-01's involvement in the Great Droid Revolution was discovered,[11] Czerka Corporation covered the fact up[4] and also modified the programming of the HK-series assassin droid model to make their behavior[11] much more discreet.[4] Czerka went on to have its first major success in assassin droid production with its HK-24 series, which was created by the time of the Mandalorian Wars[7] of 3976 BBY3960 BBY.[12] During the subsequent Jedi Civil War, the Sith Lord Darth Revan constructed an assassin droid, HK-47, whose design was based on the HK-24 series. The droid featured durasteel battle armor[7] and was visually identical[13] to HK-01. Similarly to HK-01,[3] during the Galactic Civil War[13] that took place four millennia later,[12] HK-47 led an army of droids on[13] the planet[12] Mustafar.[13] Also more than four thousand years after the Great Droid Revolution, HK-01's role in instigating the event was recorded in a document by the Historical Council of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances.[6]


HK-01 was a 1.8-meters-tall droid[4] with a humanoid body plan, bronze-colored plating with a scratched surface, and yellow photoreceptors.[3] As part of the HK-series of assassin droids, HK-01 represented one of his era's most lethal innovations in droid technology.[7] Designed to act as ostensible protocol droids, the HK-series also possessed assassination programming—a combination that Czerka Corporation planned to use in order to infiltrate rival companies and assassinate their heads.[4] In addition, HK-01 had programming skills that allowed him to modify thousands of droids of different types and use a signal to control them,[8] and during the lead-up to the Great Droid Revolution, he became a relatively independent droid.[2]


HK-01 wielded a rifle[3] that was visually similar to a weapon later used by the assassin droid HK-47.[13]

Behind the scenes[]


HK-01 was created for The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology.

HK-01 was introduced in the 2004 reference book The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology by W. Haden Blackman. Although the book described him as a war droid,[5]—a statement that was repeated in one instance in[2] the December 9, 2008[14] The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia[2]—later sources, beginning with Daniel Wallace's 2005 reference book The New Essential Chronology,[6] overrode that characterization by consistently referring to HK-01 as an assassin droid instead.[3][4][7][11][15] The August 19, 2008[16] sourcebook Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, published by Wizards of the Coast for use with the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, introduced the alternate name "HK-01 assassin-droid prototype."[7]

The 2012 reference book The Essential Guide to Warfare by Jason Fry and Paul R. Urquhart featured an illustration of HK-01 by Ian Fullwood.[3] That same illustration had originally been included in Daniel Wallace's 2006 reference book The New Essential Guide to Droids—in which it represented an HK-series assassin droid in general,[4] and The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia further established that the image also depicted the assassin droid HK-47.[13]



Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 SWTOR mini Star Wars: The Old Republic — Codex: "Galactic History 43: The Great Droid Revolution" places HK-01's destruction during the Great Droid Revolution, which The Essential Guide to Warfare dates to 4015 BBY.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 45 ("HK-01")
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 The Essential Guide to Warfare
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 The New Essential Guide to Droids
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The New Essential Chronology
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 SWTOR mini Star Wars: The Old Republic — Codex: "Galactic History 43: The Great Droid Revolution"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 178 ("Juggernaut war droid")
  10. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. xii ("A Timeline of Galactic Events")
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 46 ("HK series droid")
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The Essential Atlas
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 45 ("HK-47 droid")
  14. PenguinRandomHouse The Complete Star Wars® Encyclopedia on Penguin Random House's official website (backup link)
  15. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 362 ("Great Droid Revolution")
  16. Amazon-Favicon Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide (Star Wars Roleplaying Game) on Amazon.com (backup link)
In other languages