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"She has a small army of guards armed with A350 blaster rifles, two HK-87 assassin droids, and a hired gunfighter."
―Din Djarin, on Morgan Elsbeth[2]

The HK-87 assassin droid was a model of assassin droid. During the time of the Galactic Empire and New Republic, they served as bodyguards and enforcers. Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth utilized two such droids in her army while ruling over the city of Calodan on the forest planet Corvus. When the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano and the Mandalorian Din Djarin worked together in an attempt to defeat Elsbeth, the magistrate sent the two droids to assist in hunting down the attackers. One of the two droids was destroyed by Tano, while the other was shot by Djarin after Elsbeth was defeated, freeing the citizens of Calodan.

Characteristics

"Combined, not even your laser swords would be able to protect you from all that firepower."
―Din Djarin, to Ahsoka Tano on Elsbeth's forces[2]
HK87-TMCh13

A HK-87 unit of one of the several coloration variants

A model of assassin droid[2] based on an antiquated design,[5] the HK-87 assassin droid had a humanoid form. The droids had plating of various colors throughout their bodies, with the specific variation of coloring varying on the individual HK-87 in question.[3] Some possessed a lighter colored torso and red limbs. Their heads had a curved shape that tapered towards the back, while the droid's face consisted of various ridges and tubes. The HK-87 assassin droid had the agility to leap from the ground onto the edge of a rooftop, flipping over to pull itself up. The droids communicated in an alien language, vocalizing with a deep tone.[2]

The HK-87 assassin droids owned by Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth carried blasters and wore cloaks across one side of their body.[2] The chimaera symbol utilized by the Galactic Empire's Seventh Fleet[6] was depicted on the side of the droids' heads.[2]

History

Imperial Era

Two HK-87 assassin droids stood near the gate to Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth's residence in the city of Calodan on the forest planet of Corvus, pushing back the angry citizens who criticized the Nightsister of the Empire only wanting the planet's resources instead of them getting jobs. Two more stood next to Elsbeth on a balcony when she felt the citizens were not grateful to her despite promising them that the Empire will help them. Eventually, a small intruder slipped in and fought Elsbeth, dispatching her mechanical guards, but the Magistrate proved to be a quicker opponent, fighting on equal footing, until Captain Gilad Pellaeon ordered both of the combatants to stand down, since the fight was a test for Admiral Thrawn, his superior in the Imperial Navy.

New Republic Era

"Cage him."
―Morgan Elsbeth gives an order to her HK-87 assassin droids[2]
HK-87 chimaera

An HK-87 assassin droid bearing a depiction of a chimaera on the side of its head

In 9 ABY,[7] in the time after the fall of the Galactic Empire, two HK-87 assassin droids were in the possession of Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth, whose forces ruled over the city[2] of Calodan on the forest planet[8] of Corvus. When the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano—who was attempting to defeat Elsbeth and interrogate her on the whereabouts of her master, Thrawn, who was by then a Grand Admiralkilled the guards posted outside the city, Elsbeth had her assassin droids bring forward a prisoner, threatening to kill him and the other citizens of Calodan.[2]

Tano ordered Elsbeth to surrender and departed, giving the magistrate one day to respond. Elsbeth commanded her droids to cage the prisoner, and the two droids led the man away. When the Mandalorian[2] Din Djarin[9] visited Calodan in search of Tano, Elsbeth met with Djarin, accompanied by an HK-87 assassin droid that wielded her beskar spear. Elsbeth had the droid hand her the weapon, offering it to Djarin as a reward for killing Tano.[2]

Liberation of Calodan

"I'll take care of this."
"Take them with you."
―Morgan Elsbeth sends the assassin droids to accompany Lang[2]
DjarinBlastsHK87-TMCh13

Din Djarin destroys one of Elsbeth's HK-87 droids.

Djarin had no intention of killing Tano, however, and the two chose to work together to defeat Elsbeth and free the citizens of Calodan. Once Tano had dealt with the guards stationed at the city's entrance, Magistrate Elsbeth exited her quarters, flanked by her two HK-87 assassin droids. When Tano entered the city, the assassin droids aimed their blaster rifles at her, but were stood down by Elsbeth. Claiming to have defeated Djarin, Tano questioned Elsbeth about her master, leading the magistrate to order her forces to kill the Jedi. Tano escaped, drawing away the guards, and Elsbeth sent her droids to accompany her hired gunfighter, Lang, in pursuit.[2]

As Lang and the droids hunted Tano through the city, the former Jedi leapt down from above, disarming Lang. The two droids fired at Tano, but she used her lightsabers to deflect the shots. After destroying one of the assassin droids, Tano escaped, and Lang ordered the other to climb onto the roof of a building to pursue her. Tano managed to defeat Elsbeth in combat, while Djarin shot and killed Lang. The surviving HK-87 assassin droid aimed at Djarin from a rooftop, but the Mandalorian was warned of its presence by Governor Wing and shot the droid before it could fire, sending its body tumbling to the ground.[2]

Hunting the Map

"No HK-class?"
"Assassin droids? I should think not."
―Ahsoka Tano and Myn Weaver[1]

HK droids continued to be in service to Morgan following the Liberation of Calodan, and were sent to Arcana to look for a star map that could lead to the location of Grand Admiral Thrawn. After a battle with Tano, the remaining droids self destructed, obliterating the stronghold. Droids would later accompany the mercenary Shin Hati to Lothal and successfully steal the map from Sabine Wren.[3] During the subsequent mission to Corellia, an HK unit fought alongside the Inquisitor Marrok during his duel with Tano, who would destroy the droid.[1]

Behind the scenes

HK87FiresAtAhsoka-TMCh13

An HK-87 fires at Ahsoka Tano.

The HK-87 assassin droid appeared in "Chapter 13: The Jedi," the fifth episode of the second season of the television series The Mandalorian, released on Disney+[2] on November 27, 2020.[10] The design of the HK-87 assassin droid resembles[2] concept art made by Ralph McQuarrie of a droid bounty hunter for Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.[11]

Despite looking different, the droid model's name[2] resembles those of the Jedi hunter droids known as the HK-series assassin droid from the Legends continuity.[12] most notably unit HK-47.[13] The HK series has a counterpart in the new Star Wars canon in the form of the HK-model of gladiator[14] and assassin droid,[15] a droid line of which the HK-87 is a model of.[1] Canonically, the HK-87 is also noted to be inspired by an antiquated design,[5] matching the HK-series's usage as far back as the Old Republic era in Legends.[12]

Appearances

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Sources

Notes and references

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