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"The IT-O's greatest tool is its reputation. Tell the suspect you have one, and show it waiting in the wings. This alone will often elicit a confession."
Grand Inquisitor Torbin[3]

The IT-O was an interrogation droid designed by the Imperial Security Bureau and employed by the Galactic Empire. Use of the IT-O was carefully controlled by the ISB, though some models found their way into the hands of senior Moffs, military intelligence, and even CompForce. They were also employed by Imperial Inquisitors and Stormtrooper garrison commanders.


"I've heard whispers about these droids — torture devices invented by twisted Imperial minds. It is said that they can deliver unimaginable pain. Pain so intense that it has never been experienced before — worse than pain from any disease or wound known in the universe."
―Princess Leia Organa, prior to her first encounter with an IT-O Interrogator[4]
Interrogation by Juta

An Imperial officer proceeding to an interrogation with an IT-O.

It was a hovering droid similar in appearance to a remote, perhaps a third of a meter in diameter, with various attachments, deliberately frightening in appearance, used in torture. The droid was generally successful in getting information from prisoners using elaborate and scientific torture methods. First, it would inject the prisoner with a mentally disabling chemical that would decrease the pain threshold, while also forcing the subject to remain conscious. IT-O would do a read on the body, detecting the most sensitive areas like the genitals, joints, neck and many other less obvious body parts. Occasionally, the prisoner's vision may be obscured. A single torture session would usually last well over an hour. The droid had onboard systems to record the entire process, in case any information was lost in the screams of the prisoner. Its reputation was so feared that many prisoners began reciting their sins as soon as they saw an IT-O floating into their cell.

The IT-O's injection reservoirs could be filled with the latest drugs engineered by Imperial experts, such as Bavo Six[5] and OV600. The droid could perform interrogation by itself or in conjunction with living questioners. It was designed with an emotionless personality to ask questions in flat monotone. When working with a living assistant the IT-O would often say nothing at all, thus making the prisoner fear and hate the droid, while viewing the living interrogator as a source of potential mercy.

Many Imperial Officers realized that the droid's fearsome reputation was so great that they would make good guard droids and so posted them at access points to sensitive areas of their bases and starships. This worked for all but the most determined opponent, as the droid would often cause the infiltrator to panic and run, usually straight into the arms of a stormtrooper.


"And now, your highness, we will discuss the location of your hidden Rebel base."
―Darth Vader[6]

One such droid was used by Darth Vader in his interrogation of Princess Leia Organa in 0 BBY. When Leia Organa underwent her mind probe, she was injected with a powerful mind-altering hallucinogen that made her very susceptible to suggestion. With mere words from Darth Vader, Leia imagined herself in unbearable pain, though she was not undergoing any physical harm whatsoever. Her uncanny fortitude prevented her from divulging any Alliance secrets during this torment. IT-O models also did guard duty within Detention Block AA-23, with Luke Skywalker encountering such a model while trying to rescue Leia.

IT-O models, along with Remotes and Arakyd Viper probe droids, were used heavily as guard droids in Moff Rebus's underground sewer lair, as well as the Imperial Detention Facility on Orinackra, the ISO Building on Imperial Center, the Executor, and the Arc Hammer.

Eventually, the IT-O model would be succeeded by the IT-3 Interrogator and the BL-39 interrogator droid.

Behind the scenes[]


An RA-7 interrogates Leia in the Marvel comics

The IT-O prop used during the filming of A New Hope had the words "British Made" as well as "200° C" on its hypodermic needle. Although the lettering on the droid's hypodermic is illegible to most viewers when examining the scene on VHS, DVD, and high-definition television broadcasts, some viewers claim to be able to read the writing.[7]

A New Hope's listing on the Internet Movie Database used to claim that the label reads "Made in England". The actual prop used for the interrogation droid has been exhibited in museums. Photographs of the prop as displayed show that lettering does appear on the syringe, but that it actually reads "British Made." The IMDb entry has since been updated.[8]

In the Marvel Star Wars adaptation of A New Hope, the mind probe of Princess Leia is performed by what appears to be a RA-7 protocol droid rather than an IT-O.

A reference to the IT-O was made in the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, in which the droid G0-T0 is similar in appearance, but seems to be inverted.


IT-0 is British Made

A clearer picture of the prop, revealing the "British Made" label.

Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

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