- "Recitation: Yes, as I said, I am an assassin droid. It is my primary function to burn holes through meatbags that you wish removed from the galaxy… Master. Oh, how I hate that term."
- ―HK-47, to Meetra Surik, on his functionality
HK-47 was a Hunter-Killer series assassin droid and Jedi hunter constructed by the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Revan, shortly after the end of the Mandalorian Wars in 3960 BBY. In the wake of widespread destruction caused by the Mass Shadow Generator, a superweapon used during the final battle of that conflict, Revan was inspired to seek more subtle methods of defeating his enemies. HK-47 was sent throughout the galaxy on his missions and successfully assassinated countless targets whom Revan had deemed threats to galactic stability and peace. However, HK-47 was badly crippled and captured on a mission in Mandalorian space shortly before Revan himself was captured by the Jedi Order.
As per protocol with Sith assassin droids prior to going on missions, HK-47's memory core was wiped of all knowledge of his original master. His memory could only be restored upon fulfilling his mission, and successfully returning to his master. As he never managed to return to his master, the automatic recall function was never activated, and he couldn't remember Revan. He went from owner to owner, many of whom he inadvertently slew personally. Eventually, he ended up on the planet Tatooine, where he was sold to and unwittingly reunited with Revan, whose memory had been erased following his capture. The droid went on to aid Revan after his return to the Jedi Order in his campaign to find and destroy the Star Forge, an ancient factory that Revan had used during his reign as the Dark Lord of the Sith. HK-47 was also instrumental in the defeat of Revan's former Sith apprentice, who had since begun utilizing the Star Forge in an attempt to conquer the Galactic Republic.
HK-47 accompanied Revan to the edge of the Unknown Regions along with Revan's utility droid, T3-M4, before being left behind in Revan's starship, the Ebon Hawk, as the redeemed Jedi Knight journeyed on to face a threat he had remembered from his time as the Dark Lord. Sometime later, HK-47 was damaged and was left aboard the Ebon Hawk, which eventually ended up in the hands of one of Revan's allies from the Mandalorian Wars, Meetra Surik, also known as the Jedi Exile. During this period, HK-50 assassin droids, a newer version of HK that G0-T0 had mass-produced, became active in the galaxy, working as bounty hunters and saboteurs. Surik repaired HK-47, who recognized her as his new master and accompanied her in order to find the source of the HK-50s, whose very existence he considered an insult to himself. HK-47 also aided Surik in her search for the Jedi Masters who survived the First Jedi Purge and even advised her on techniques to more efficiently kill Jedi so that Surik could better defend herself.
HK-47 eventually succeeded in finding the HK Manufacturing Plant, where the HK-50s were created. There, he convinced the HK-50s to join his and Surik's cause. This action eventually culminated in a final confrontation on Malachor V between HK-47, assisted by the HK-50s, and G0-T0, whose interests conflicted with that of Surik, and the latter droid was destroyed. After his time with Surik, HK-47 set out on his own to attempt to find Revan, his original master, not knowing that Revan had since been captured by the Sith Empire and was being held in stasis. Three hundred years later, HK-47 was found by a returned Revan and aided him in commanding the Rakatan Foundry, and though he was destroyed, the rogue intelligence operative known as the Shroud copied the droid and saw to it that several versions of HK-47 were active over the following years with different masters.
Four millennia later, HK-47 was found on the planet Mustafar, where his memory core was preserved within the computer of a derelict starship. HK-47 manipulated a group of spacers who discovered him, having them create a new body for him and then subsequently turning on them with the help of several battle droids. The spacers were forced to disable HK-47's new droid army as well as the factory producing them. After a fierce battle, the spacers triumphed over the droids, although HK-47 managed to escape destruction.
- "I am like a veritable fable, warning against the karma caused by murdering others, a morality tale if you will. What utter irony."
- ―HK-47, to Revan
HK-47 was originally constructed by the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Revan shortly after the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars in 3960 BBY. Revan was still a Jedi Knight serving as the commander of the Republic forces at this point and decided to resort to extreme tactics to decisively end the war. As a result, the battle devastated the entire surface of Malachor V, where it was fought, and destroyed the majority of the warships on both sides. Not long after the end of the war, Revan and his friend, Malak, fell to the dark side and began making plans to conquer the Republic.
With this goal in mind, Revan constructed HK-47 using Czerka's HK-24 design as a basis for his model and included several of his own upgrades. Not wanting to repeat the devastation caused at Malachor V, Revan turned to using HK-47 to assassinate political opponents as a more selective way of achieving his goals. Although he considered himself to be a unique construct, HK-47 bore a close resemblance to the HKB-3 hunter-killer droid produced by Czerka Corporation.
As a result of Revan's programming, HK-47 displayed obedience to those he identified as his master but had little regard for any form of life and was driven by a desire for violence and carnage. HK-47 characteristically used the term "meatbag" when speaking of organic life forms, especially Humans. This insult was originally used in passing by the droid when Revan's apprentice, Darth Malak, had asked what the droid thought of him. In stating his opinion, HK-47 informed Malak of his meatbag status. Revan found the insult, as well as Malak's annoyance, amusing enough to reprogram HK-47 to consider all organics "meatbags." After witnessing HK-47's abilities first-hand, Revan decided that more droids of this design would make efficient agents in his plans to preserve galactic stability. HK-47 became the basis for a new model of HK-series assassin droids: the HK-50s, which were manufactured at a secret facility on the planet Telos IV.
HK-47 continued to serve Revan during the Jedi Civil War, a devastating conflict between the Sith Empire that Revan had created after his turn to the dark side, and the Galactic Republic. During this time, HK-47 helped Revan to locate the Star Forge superweapon and also assassinated beings who could potentially destabilize the galaxy, which eventually led to a mission into Mandalorian space in 3957 BBY. While HK-47 was on this mission, Revan was captured by the Jedi after Malak turned on his master and fired a volley of turbolaser fire at the bridge of Revan's flagship.
The Jedi High Council ordered Revan's mind to be re-written, and the Sith Lord lost all the memories of his former self, including those of HK-47's existence. Meanwhile, although HK-47 succeeded in his assassination mission, his motor functions were damaged, and he ended up in the possession of a Mandalorian soldier. The Mandalorian reprogrammed and laid claim to the crippled droid, repairing him—though not particularly well in the droid's opinion—and beginning to use the droid to elevate his own rank by having him eliminate his superiors and clear the way for his own promotion.
HK-47 had lost much of his memory due to the damage he had received and lacked the knowledge as to where he had been created, though he believed himself to be of Systech Corporation's manufacture. Conversely, rumors circulated that his true creator was Czerka Corporation. All that remained was his affinity toward violence, although he could not recall why he had been equipped for such a purpose.
From master to master
- "You're just a traveling piece of bad luck, aren't you?"
- ―Revan, to HK-47, about his dead masters
Eventually, the Mandalorian ordered HK-47 to assassinate the reigning Mandalore. HK-47 failed and was captured by his target, who reprogrammed his objectives to send the droid against his master. The Mandalorian soldier was subsequently terminated. Since HK-47 was programmed to shut down whenever his current master died, he deactivated himself after killing the Mandalorian and was sold to Bochaba the Hutt, a crime lord based on the planet Sleheyron.
HK-47 helped Bochaba to maintain his reputation as the most feared gangster on Sleheyron, terminating 322 targets in a single year before Bochaba was assassinated by his rivals. The droid shut himself down once again after learning of his master's death and was sold to a Human senator on the galactic capital of Coruscant. The Senator first assumed HK-47 to be a mere protocol droid, but one of his assistants later discovered the droid's assassination functions and asked the Senator to destroy him. The Senator instead ordered HK-47 to kill the assistant, and the droid remained with his master, helping him eliminate his political enemies. With his rivals quickly being eliminated, the Senator was on his way to being elected as the Supreme Chancellor, but things did not go as they had been planned.
The next target the Senator ordered HK-47 to kill was his own wife, who, as he had discovered, had been cheating on him. As HK-47 approached the wife and her illicit lover to terminate them both, his master suddenly regretted his order and dove between the droid and his intended victims. Having accidentally terminated his master, HK-47 had no choice but to shut down once more. The Senator's wife later sold him to a low-ranking commercial officer of Systech Corporation. At first, the officer used HK-47 as a protocol and bodyguard droid, but following his discovery of the droid's assassination protocols, the officer sent HK-47 on a mission to eliminate workers of a competitor company that was developing a product which, if launched onto the market, would ruin the officer's career. The officer did not realize that the competing company was, in fact, another branch of Systech Corporation. By the time he realized his mistake, HK-47 had already terminated 104 Systech employees. HK-47 assumed that, being the only officer remaining, his master would be promoted. Instead, the officer, in dismay, attacked the droid. While doing so, the officer pierced one of HK-47's actuators with a writing utensil, resulting in an electric shock that killed him and destroyed the droid's assassination protocols, again forcing the droid to deactivate himself for killing his master.
Back with Revan
- "Statement: I see you have purchased me, master. I find this a satisfactory arrangement. Am I to accompany you now? Shall I kill something for you?"
- ―HK-47, to Revan
After the accident with the Systech Corporation officer, HK-47 was sold to Yuka Laka—an Ithorian droid dealer at the Anchorhead settlement on the planet Tatooine—who fitted him with a restraining bolt, further restricting the droid's memory and his protocol and assassination protocols. There, HK-47 encountered his original master, Revan, whose mind had been erased by the Dantooine Jedi Enclave Council after being injured at the hands of Darth Malak. Revan was once again trying to find the Star Forge and was looking for the Star Map, an ancient artifact located on Tatooine. This time, Revan was acting on behalf of the Jedi Council in order to locate and destroy the superweapon and save the Republic from defeat. Revan purchased the droid for his knowledge of the Sand People dialect, as he intended to negotiate with the local chieftain about ceasing attacks against Czerka Corporation personnel and could not understand the dialect himself. HK-47 eagerly accompanied Revan, as he disliked Yuka Laka, and acted as a translator when Revan met with the chieftain of the local tribe.
In keeping with his violent programming, HK-47 advocated for simply eliminating the local tribe, but Revan opted for a peaceful method and managed to gain entrance to the Sand People Enclave by using disguises taken from fallen Tusken Raiders. Revan was able to successfully reach an accord with the chieftain by trading two moisture vaporators he had bought from the Czerka outpost so that the tribe could journey farther away from the settlement and cease their constant raids. As a sign of appreciation, the chieftain gave Revan his personal gaffi stick as well as a map of the area of Tatooine where the Star Map was located. At that, HK-47 expressed his disappointment at the loss of a chance for combat against the Sand People. HK-47 was present when Revan was allowed to meet with the Sand People storyteller in return for presenting the chieftain with a krayt dragon pearl. HK-47 translated for this meeting as well, cautioning Revan against making any potentially offensive statements.
When Revan later asked HK-47 about the droid's past, he was quite taken aback to discover that the droid had, indirectly or otherwise, been the cause of death of all of his interim owners. This did not stop Revan from making multiple repairs to the droid, despite some trepidation on HK-47's part. Revan eventually restored everything but HK-47's memory core, which was too fragile to attempt to repair manually. Revan later encountered Malak for the first time since his former Sith apprentice had betrayed him.
This meeting proved to be the stimulus necessary for Revan to remember the truth about his own history. It was also the signal for HK-47's internal programming to unlock and undo the damage to his primary memory core, allowing the droid full access to his entire memory as well as his entire combat and assassination protocol package. HK-47 appeared more than satisfied to be reunited with his master, but later commented that Revan had changed since he had last served him, stating that Revan was more compassionate than before. Despite this, the droid still believed that Revan was just as capable of merciless and necessary actions when required. The droid also expressed his alleged frustration and rage at being absent during Malak's betrayal and his inability to defend Revan from Malak's treachery.
HK-47 remained with Revan until the end of the former Dark Lord's journey, following him to the Star Forge and aiding in the destruction of the superweapon as well as the defeat of Darth Malak. HK-47 was honored with Revan's other companions as a hero of the Republic. Shortly thereafter, more of Revan's memories returned, and the Jedi recalled a threat to the galaxy that he had uncovered as a Sith Lord. HK-47 was left behind with Revan's wife, Bastila Shan when he departed for the Unknown Regions. Revan also had HK-47's memory of the past four years erased so that the droid would not discover his destination. For a short time, Shan left HK-47 with the Jedi Council on Coruscant, hoping his murderous instincts might be calmed.
- "Mockery: Am I all right? Oh, yes, Master, why, I am fine. Statement: I mean, I have only just been re-activated, only to find that there are sub-standard duplicates of me running all over the galaxy, corroding my good name. But if they are, in fact, hunting you, then I look forward to the opportunity to meet these units—and educate them in proper assassination protocols."
- ―HK-47, to Meetra Surik, upon learning of the HK-50 units
However, HK-47 was unwilling to stay and wait for his master to return, and when Bastila refused to tell the droid where Revan had gone, HK-47 left to find him. During the droid's attempt to locate Revan, HK-47 was once again heavily damaged and almost entirely dismembered. HK-47's remains were later discovered by one of Revan's other droids, T3-M4, who recovered HK-47 and stored the remains aboard the Ebon Hawk.
When Meetra Surik, a former Jedi and one of the few individuals to escape assassination by a new Sith Order, gained ownership of the Ebon Hawk in 3951 BBY, she discovered a deactivated HK-47 on board. Using parts retrieved from the imitation HK-50s and a junk dealer on Nar Shaddaa, Surik reactivated HK-47. The droid was enraged when he was informed of the existence of his copies and saw the coloration of his successors and their lack of using the "meatbag" reference—their term was instead "organic"—as signs of their inferiority, believing them to be an insult to himself. Hoping to encounter more of these copies and eventually track them to where they were being created, HK-47 joined Surik on her journey to find and unite the surviving Jedi Masters from the former Jedi High Council after the First Jedi Purge. He also regained a few memories of his past adventure on the Ebon Hawk after Surik reactivated him.
The damage that HK-47 had sustained was not fully repaired by Surik; his assassination protocols were still damaged and his personality had become more violent than it had been during the Jedi Civil War. Much of HK-47's memory was also gone, and because of this, HK-47 did not remember others who had followed the amnesiac Revan, such as T3-M4 or Canderous Ordo, although he did recognize G0-T0, a droid crime lord who also joined Surik. However, HK-47 was unaware that G0-T0 was in fact the employer of the HK-50s from whom Surik retrieved the parts necessary to repair HK-47. HK-47 began to analyze the Ebon Hawk and discovered an anomaly: the ship's navigation computer was locked, making him curious as to where the ship had recently been. Before he could investigate, T3 disabled him and erased his memory of the anomaly. HK-47 continued to follow Surik until after the Battle of Telos IV. During the battle, HK-47 left the group after capturing and torturing an HK-50 unit into telling him the location where the HK-50 models were being produced.
HK-47 eventually tracked the HK-50s to the HK Manufacturing Plant under the surface of Telos IV and, upon arrival, persuaded the HK-50s to join his cause. HK-47 then returned with Surik to Malachor V in order to defeat the Sith Lord Darth Traya. However, the Ebon Hawk crashed due to the stormy atmosphere of the planet, where the group was separated. Surik had left instructions to destroy Malachor V, an order that G0-T0 tried to prevent from being carried out, as he viewed the Sith artifacts on the planet to be too valuable to destroy. HK-47 and the HK-50s intervened on Surik's behalf and destroyed their former employer. G0-T0's destruction allowed the remote assistant of Bao-Dur, another companion of Surik, to activate a superweapon and destroy the planet.
After defeating the Sith, Surik decided to find out what had happened to Revan, and decided to leave HK-47 behind. Before she left known space, she heard from the reformed Jedi Council that HK-47's programming seemed to compel the droid to seek out his master, and the droid had left to search for Revan once again.
- "I am HK-47, the master's most faithful ally. Once a mere assassin droid, it is now my burden and joy to command the Foundry's mechanical armies."
- ―HK-47 to a Sith strike team
Unbeknownst to HK-47, Surik had been successful in tracking down Revan on the planet Dromund Kaas, the capital of the reformed Sith Empire. The two had attempted to assassinate the Sith Emperor and failed, leaving Surik dead and Revan captured and held in stasis. HK-47 would search for 300 years before being reunited with Revan in 3642 BBY after the latter was eventually freed from his prison by a Republic strike force. HK-47 was once again able to serve his original master and set off to meet him at the Foundry, an ancient Rakatan space station. With the station Revan intended to create an army of droids led by HK-47 to destroy the Sith Empire. However, HK-47 was captured en route to the Foundry by the rogue intelligence operative known as the Shroud, who duplicated the assassin droid's memory core before allowing the droid to continue his journey unawares.
When the Sith Empire discovered Revan's plan, they sent a strike team to assault the Foundry in order to stop him. HK-47 confronted the team as they fought their way through the station and engaged them in combat. Despite having the aid of the Foundry's droid construction facilities, HK-47 was defeated and the Sith Empire recovered the droid's parts for study under the orders of Sith Lord Darth Malgus. HK-47 was then reconstructed and reprogrammed to serve Darth Malgus by the Anomid Schism Collective, and protected the Sith Lord during his attempt to seize control of the Sith Empire in 3640 BBY. Aboard the Emperor's space station, HK-47 activated himself before being fully restored in order to confront Malgus's enemies during the Battle of Ilum, and he was destroyed in battle— but his remains were somehow rescued from from the station before its destruction.
In 3637 BBY, a "returned" Revan emerged on the galactic stage, and came into possession of one of the Shroud's HK-47 copies. The assassin droid served his master faithfully as the now-insane Force-user attempted to resurrect the Sith Emperor on the moon Yavin 4. As Revan was confronted by a joint military force of Imperial and Republic forces atop the Temple of Sacrifice, the Sith temple that contained the artifact Revan intended to use to resurrect the Emperor, HK-47 joined Revan in final battle against his enemies. The loyal assassin droid fell in battle, however, and Revan died himself soon afterwards, becoming one with the Force.
However, the Shroud kept a copy of HK-47's head in the Coil, his secret base on the planetoid Obus VI. The droid's memories were distorted, and it was unaware that it was a duplicate and merely a head. It was discovered by another HK unit: HK-55, and another droid: Z0-0M, during HK-55's escape from the Coil. The HK-47 was saddened to learn he was but a copy of the original, after HK-55 informed it of the several other HK-47s that had been destroyed across the galaxy. The duplicate HK-47 head was soon after destroyed by a war droid during its ambush of HK-55 and Z0-0M.
"Retirement" on Mustafar
- "Your resistance is most entertaining, meatbag. I do want to thank you for all you have done for me up to this point. As a parting gift, you may tell me the name of some meatbag that you do not like and I will personally kill them. Oh why not, I'll throw in the rest of their family for free. But first, we have a little business to settle ourselves."
- ―HK-47, to the spacers who helped him obtain a new body
Sometime during the thousands of years between the Galactic War and the Galactic Civil War, an incarnation of HK-47 was recovered and was aboard a Hammerhead-class cruiser which crashed on the volcanic Outer Rim planet of Mustafar. Thousands of years later, a tectonic shift exposed the cruiser.
When the Confederacy of Independent Systems arrived on Mustafar during the ongoing Clone Wars, they discovered the wreckage and the deactivated HK-47, which was still in excellent condition. When Separatist engineers managed to turn the droid back on, it went on a rampage. It killed several of the engineers and destroyed three B2 super battle droids and even a droideka with ease, before the remaining engineers could power him down via a restraining bolt installed before his reactivation. The Separatist experts were amazed by the technology used in this droid, but were unable to perform a memory wipe due to its incomprehensible thought matrix. As a solution, the engineers transferred HK-47's memory and thought patterns into a functioning sub-system of the crashed cruiser and took the empty chassis with them.
Separatist scientists now began studying design elements of HK-47 and incorporating them into their own technology, hoping to create new droid models that would help them defeat the Republic. The result was the new HK-77 model. Meanwhile, HK-47's AI managed to meld with the ship and took over its operational systems, forcing the scientists to seal up the ship and disconnect the uplink to the Neimoidian droid factory. Mass production was ready to begin when the former Jedi and newly christened Sith Lord Darth Vader arrived on Mustafar and wiped out the Separatist leaders, ending the Clone Wars, along with the Separatist movement, and securing the stability of the new Galactic Empire. HK-47's chassis, along with the rest of the new HK-77 models, was forgotten and lay dormant after Vader and the Imperial forces left Mustafar.
Over 20 years later, circa 1.5 ABY, HK-47 used the systems in the Hammerhead-class cruiser and contacted a group of spacers. HK-47 instructed the spacers to aid in transferring his artificial intelligence from the ship to an abandoned research facility nearby, which was said to date back to the years of the Galactic Republic. Once the spacers succeeded in doing so, HK-47 ordered them on another quest: this time, they were to enter the facility and restore its power. The spacers succeeded in restoring the power to both the facility and the droid factory and were soon commanded by HK-47 to help him gain control of reactivated factory. The group fought their way through various reactivated battle droids and finally succeeded in giving HK-47 control, after which they then returned to the old research facility, where they received a message from HK-47, now integrated to a new body similar to his former 4000-year-old one.
HK-47 informed them that although he appreciated their help for returning him to his body, he planned to begin the production of battle droids in order to evict those who had taken the factory from him. However, he was unsure as to who had taken it in the first place and decided to simply kill any organics he came across, starting with the group of spacers that had helped him. The group managed to escape, however, and returned to the Mensix Mining Facility to speak with Milo Mensix, the foreman and leader of the facility. The mining camp had been built virtually on top of the ruins of the droid factory and as such was in imminent danger from HK-47's assault.
HK-47 assembled an army of AK-1A "Hammer", AK-3 "Reaper", GK-5, and HK-77 droids in order to destroy all organics on Mustafar. The army attacked the mining camp, where they were met by several miners, as well as the spacers who had previously escaped from HK-47, starting the Battle of Koseyet. Though the droids attacked relentlessly, they were eventually defeated. The group of spacers proceeded to the droid factory, attacking and destroying the droids HK-58 Aurek, HK-58 Besh, HK-Taskmaster, CY-M Prototype, and Doom Bringer before shutting the factory itself down. The spacers made their way to a lava crater to destroy HK-47. Although the spacers succeeded in doing so after a long battle against HK-47's elite droids, once they returned to Milo Mensix for their reward, they received a message from HK-47, explaining that he was, in fact, still alive. HK-47 admired the spacers' ability and, in a sarcastic motion, awarded them with a decorative hologram of himself. The plaque at the hologram's base simply read "meatbag."
- "Statement: Now do you understand the travails of my existence, Master? Surely it does not compare to your existence, but still."
"I survive. Somehow."
"Commentary: As do I. It is our lot in life, I suppose, Master. Shall we find something to kill to cheer ourselves up?"
- ―HK-47 and Revan, on the struggles of living with organic physical structure
HK-47's personality programming caused him to appear misanthropic, bordering on sociopathic, to those who encountered him. The droid enjoyed observing—and often causing—death and destruction, showing complete disregard for bystanders on more than one occasion. Despite this, HK-47's programming caused the assassin droid to maintain a protocol of professionalism, preventing him from senselessly slaughtering his way to his target. The only organics HK-47 displayed any respect for were his masters, although he indirectly caused the death of almost all of them. He was more than willing, on several occasions while serving Revan, to dispose of anyone who annoyed the Jedi. From Revan's point of view, the droid was much too eager to act on his programming, which unnerved the amnesiac Jedi.
HK-47 displayed several unique behavioral tendencies as a result of his programming. He had a definite sense of pride and considered himself to be superior to all organics and droids except for Revan, who was the only person he seemed to admire—mostly for, what the droid considered, the "creative atrocities" that Revan performed as a Sith Lord. The droid also had a peculiar and perverted idea of the concept of love, which he described as "making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope." He further mused that love was a matter of odds and found it strange that although most "meatbags" could not make such a shot, not many would derive a feeling of love from it. HK-47 had a unique speech trait and vocally prefixed all of his sentences with a word conditional describing the type of sentence that it was. For example, if asking a question, he would first say "Query:" before beginning to speak.
Due to his appearance, HK-47, as well as his subsequent models, was often mistaken by many for a protocol droid. He used this to his advantage on more than one occasion, hiding his true nature in order to covertly achieve his goals. HK-47 was a proficient killer, as well as highly innovative, using many varied techniques, most notably when hunting Jedi. The Jedi Exile briefly installed the HK protocol pacifist package, which gave HK-47 a short-lived appreciation for peace and pacifism and led him to a deeper understanding of his prey. This upgrade had to be removed, however, for the simple reason that the droid found himself horrified at the very thought of causing harm to another being and by the fact that his new behavior disconcerted the Exile. When the program was removed, HK-47 strongly suggested the Exile scan any future packages before installing them, as the thought of becoming a pacifist in function seemed to appall the droid.
- "Still, you will find me a valuable asset, master, willing and able to terminate anything you point me towards."
- ―HK-47, to Meetra Surik
True to his design as an assassin droid, HK-47 was a dangerous opponent, able to fight effectively in a stealth operation as well as in open combat. His combat programming made him a deadly combatant with a large variety of weapons, including blasters of any design as well as a multitude of droid weapons, such as flamethrowers and carbonite projectors. HK-47 had a particular affinity for blaster rifles, primarily using the Droid Assassin's rifle and often citing the satisfaction that he derived from using them in many combat scenarios.
As a Jedi hunter, HK-47 was knowledgeable in many techniques for assassinating Jedi, which he explained to Meetra Surik so that she could better defend herself against her enemies. When faced with a Jedi, HK-47 utilized various weapons specifically selected to be most effective against lightsaber techniques, such as grenades, sonic screamers, cluster rockets, plasma charges, poison gas, and mines, all of which exemplified the droid's versatility in combat. These weapons could not be deflected by a lightsaber, and sonic weapons were useful in shattering a Jedi's concentration, preventing one's use of Force powers. Mines and gas were useful in catching a Jedi by surprise, giving HK-47 the advantage in combat. HK-47 also mentioned using a sniper rifle to attack from long range in order to avoid detection. In addition to these weapons, HK-47 often attempted to erode the will of his opponents and make them doubt their beliefs, which he found to be an effective method for weakening their concentration and disrupting their connection to the Force. The droid also found attacking a Jedi's allies or Padawan to be a sound tactic, as Jedi would often sacrifice themselves to save an ally.
In addition to his combat proficiency, HK-47 possessed many other skills. Like many droids, HK-47 was experienced as a mechanic and had at least some knowledge in demolitions and slicing. During his journey with Revan, he could start a fighter simulation so that Revan could practice his skills at manning the turret of the Ebon Hawk. Revan also upgraded HK-47 on various occasions, increasing his overall efficiency. As much of his original programming was based on protocol subroutines, the droid was capable of acting as a translator, voice impersonator, and a protocol droid in many other respects. He was fluent in over 6,000 forms of communication, including Galactic Basic Standard, Tusken, Binary, and Jawa trade language.
Several modifications were made to HK-47 throughout his life span by his many owners, modifications that served to re-enforce his abilities and enhance his performance. Most of these modifications were damaged beyond anything less than intrusive repair after his dismemberment during his second service to Revan.
Behind the scenes
HK-47 is featured in the games Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Star Wars Galaxies. With a Force alignment of 20—0 being Dark Side Mastery and 100 being Light Side Mastery—HK-47 has the darkest alignment score of any member of Revan's party. He often expresses delight at the cruel actions of a Dark Side player. Conversely, HK-47 often expresses disappointment at just actions undertaken by a Light Side player.
The character was written by David Gaider in the original game, however the origins of HK-47's name come from BioWare writer Drew Karpyshyn, who drew inspiration from the name of his billiards team as well as that of the infamous AK-47 rifle. For Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, he was written by Chris Avellone, like most of the game companions. HK-47 has received highly positive critical reception for his character design and unique personality. HK-47 has won several awards for his character, including "Original Character of the Year" in the 2004 Game Developers Choice Awards and Computer Gaming World's 2003 "NPC of the Year" award.
HK-47 is also featured as a miniature in the Star Wars Miniatures set Champions of the Force, in which he is rated "Very Rare" and is depicted holding a blaster rifle. True to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, in which he was introduced, he is affiliated with the Fringe, meaning that he is able to join either light or dark side factions during skirmishes. HK-47 is also available in the Star Wars: The Legacy Collection action figure line. He is included in the "Wave 7: ATTACK OF THE CLONES" set as the "Build-A-Droid" bonus feature; parts to build HK-47 are packed with the other figures in the set.
In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, HK-47 was originally going to attack the secret HK Manufacturing Plant on Telos, the existence of which he learns by torturing an HK-50 droid. The segment was to occur shortly after the final meeting on Dantooine and the confrontation with Atris. In the sequence, HK-47 travels to the surface of Telos IV just as Darth Nihilus begins his assault on Citadel Station. The droid tackles the factory alone while the Exile, Visas, and Mandalore assault the Ravager. In the factory, HK-47 gains the support of the new HK-51s, due to their self-preservation program, and after destroying the HK-50s and halting their production, the droid group travels to Malachor V to either help Bao-Dur's remote and dismantle G0-T0 or preserve Malachor and destroy the remote.
The New Essential Guide to Droids and Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide both include references to events from the cut content with some details changed. More specifically, the HK-51s were not mentioned at all and HK-47 instead manages to turn the HK-50s to his side and enlists their help for his confrontation with G0-T0 on Malachor V.
The official Prima Guide for The Sith Lords included a CD which contained a humorous sequence of a malfunctioning and aberrant HK-47. In this sequence HK-47 behaves very uncharacteristically and spouts a long string of random and nonsensical statements, which include references to the Star Wars films, witty one-liners, and philosophical musings. HK-47's tone varies from his typical vicious personality to melancholy ranting, indicating this segment was intended mainly for comedic effect.
T3-M4 and G0-T0 can be upgraded in cutscenes by Bao-Dur, another member of the Exile's party, while HK-47 cannot, though it was initially planned and the dialogue was recorded. Bao-Dur offers to upgrade him, but HK-47 refuses, saying that he had been tampered with enough by other "unskilled meatbags." Bao-Dur is insulted by this comment, so HK-47 says that he will allow Bao-Dur to work on him after he is more sure of the Zabrak's ability. Later in the game, HK-50 units attack the Ebon Hawk, and their strength makes HK-47 feel inferior, so he decides to allow Bao-Dur to upgrade him. After the procedure, HK-47's system checks return optimality, and he apologizes for doubting Bao-Dur's abilities. This encounter results in a permanent extra constitution point for HK-47.
Influence on The Aftermath Trilogy
- "COMMENTARY: I SAY WE BLAST THE MEATBAG AND SAVE YOU THE TROUBLE, MASTER."
- ―Mister Bones' line in Aftermath: Empire's End
Chuck Wendig, the author of The Aftermath Trilogy, originally wrote an interlude to include HK-47 into Aftermath, the first book of his canon novel trilogy. Although HK-47 wasn't going to be openly named, the fans would able to recognize him given the way he spoke. Wendig's interlude was eventually shot down by the Lucasfilm Story Group.
In Aftermath, Wendig also introduced a new droid character which bore resemblance to HK-47—Mister Bones, a heavily modified B1-series battle droid with a similar murderous personality. In the third book of the trilogy, Aftermath: Empire's End, the character Mister Bones has a line which was an apparent callback to HK-47's blunt, violent dialogue. In the story of the novel; the droid suddenly "glitches," his voice "warps," then says "COMMENTARY: I SAY WE BLAST THE MEATBAG AND SAVE YOU THE TROUBLE, MASTER" with a "strange, hard-angle" accent.
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- Knights of the Old Republic: Opportunities
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (First appearance)
- The Old Republic: Revan (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic: Revan audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan (Duplicate)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire (Duplicate)
- Star Wars Galaxies: Trials of Obi-Wan
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Prima Official Game Guide
- Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Guide: Prima Official Game Guide
- The New Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Star Wars Miniatures: Champions of the Force
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- "Toy Wars" – Star Wars Insider 107
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 22
- Scavenger's Guide to Droids
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – The Nightsister's Revenge (Card: HK Droid Series Poster)
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – The Nightsister's Revenge (Card: HK-47 Mustafar Diorama)
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – The Nightsister's Revenge (Card: HK-47 Statuette)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- "Gaming the Expanded Universe: Ten Years of Knights of the Old Republic" – Star Wars Insider 144
- "Insider Looks Back" – Star Wars Insider 150
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic's base game content about ten to twelve years after the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant, which is dated to 3653 BBY by Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia. The Prologue and Act I of the class storylines are assumed to take place in 3643 BBY, as they are roughly concurrent to each other and the Jedi Knight Act I storyline is dated to 3643 BBY by The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 2. Additionally, and Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia establish that the Battle of Ilum and the end of Act III for the class stories occur in 3640 BBY. Additionally, Act II for all classes, while featuring conflict between the two factions, occurs prior to the official collapse of the Treaty of Coruscant, which The Old Republic: Annihilation places in the middle of 3641 BBY. Taken together, this means that base game content spans from 3643 BBY to 3640 BBY, and the class storylines extend over this period, this article assumes that Act II takes place within 3642 BBY and the first half of 3641 BBY. places
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Flashpoint: "The Foundry"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Flashpoint: "The False Emperor"
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia date the finales of Star Wars: The Old Republic's class storylines in 3640 BBY, and place the subsequent Battle of Ilum at the end of that same year. and
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Interlude: Shroud of Memory
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan—Operation: "Temple of Sacrifice"
- According to Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel takes place from early to mid 3638 BBY, and further Game Updates that were released in 2013 take place in the latter half of that year. The post also states that Game Updates released in 2014 can be placed in early and mid 3637 BBY, Shadow of Revan takes place near the end of that year, and that the events of Game Updates 3.1 through 3.3 can be placed in early and mid 3636 BBY. Therefore, the events of Game Update 3.0 and the Digital Expansion Shadow of Revan can be placed near the end of 3637 BBY. ,
- Star Wars Galaxies: Trials of Obi-Wan
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- The Old Republic: Revan
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Star Wars Galaxies in-game knowledge base
- Star Wars: The Old Republic—Credits
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Prima Official Game Guide
- Aftermath: Empire's End
- audio recording of the panel) (
- (in response to "Is it my imagination or did Bones glitch into HK47 from KOTOR in #EmpiresEnd?")