Imperial communication droids, also known as Imperial courier droids, were repurposed R4 astromech droids used by the Galactic Empire designed to carry information from one place to another, avoiding the use of networks. Courier droids wore the badge of the Imperial Press Corps, which allowed them access to top-secret information, and often featured unique markings to help differentiate them. After Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin ordered the destruction of Lothal's Imperial Communications Center, the Empire began using Imperial communication droids as a means to physically transport data to and from the planet's surface.


Imperial courier droids were used to transport information from place to place when computer networks were not available. Courier droids were usually repurposed astromech droids the featured special markings to differentiate them.[2] The Empire did not program their communication droids to have personalities. As a result, courier droids could only beep yes and no.[7]


Courier Droid XWM Greg Bobrowski

An Imperial communication droid

When Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin ordered the destruction of Lothal's Imperial Communications Center in 4 BBY, the Imperial authorities there began using Imperial communication droids to physically transport sensitive data. The Spectres took advantage of the situation to try to discover the whereabouts of Kanan Jarrus, stealing a courier droid designated 264 and substituting their own repainted droid, C1-10P. The rebel droid infiltrated an Arquitens-class command cruiser in orbit of Lothal, obtained information on Jarrus' whereabouts, and returned to his own ship, the Ghost, that ship being under heavy fire.[3]

Aboard the Ghost, 264 was making itself useful putting out fires, much to the surprise and approval of the rebel crew. So impressed was the crew that they openly considered making the Imperial droid a permanent member of their crew. The temperamental C1-10P, however, would not tolerate this, and pushed its rival out of the cargo doors while the ship was still in flight. On the grasslands below, two Loth-cats were surprised when the Imperial Droid fell from the sky into their midst. The droid was not destroyed, and righted itself, finding itself in curious company.[3]

On several undercover missions, the rebel astromech droid Chopper was disguised as an Imperial communication droid. This enabled Chopper to infiltrate and destroy an Imperial Interdictor in the Del Zennis system in 3 BBY.[8] Later in 2 BBY, Chopper was disguised as an Imperial communication droid during a mission undertaken by Hera Syndulla and Ezra Bridger to reclaim a family heirloom, the kalikori, from Grand Admiral Thrawn. Chopper's disguise managed to fool the stormtroopers stationed at the former Syndulla residence and allowed him to plant bombs throughout the building to aid Hera and Ezra's escape.[9]

Chopper RACC

Chopper destroys an Imperial communication droid

The Galactic Empire also stationed several Imperial communication droids at the Imperial Armory Complex in Lothal's Capital City. During a mission to infiltrate the factory, Chopper was disguised as a communication droid. To enter Section A2 and steal secret Imperial plans, Chopper electrocuted an Imperial communication droid and stole its clearance code. Despite his disguise, Thrawn discovered that an unauthorized C1-series astromech droid had breach the chamber and stolen his blue prints for a prototype starfighter.[10]

Behind the scenesEdit

Imperial communication droids first appeared in "Rebel Resolve", the twelfth episode of the canon animated series Star Wars Rebels' first season. More information about the droids were furnished in a Databank entry and Michael Kogge's chapter book Battle to the End, which summarizes the plot of several Star Wars Rebels episodes including "Rebel Resolve." Imperial communication droids also appeared in "An Inside Man", the eighth episode of the third season of Star Wars Rebels.


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Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Facebook icon R4 courier droid. Star Wars Rebels (October 16, 2014, 11:11 pm). Retrieved on September 27, 2015, 12:46 am. "When Grand Moff Tarkin ordered the destruction of the primary communications tower on Lothal, the Empire used courier droids as a means to physically transport data." (screenshot)
  2. 2.0 2.1 StarWars-DatabankII Courier Droid in the Databank (backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Rebel Resolve"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rebels Imperial Press Corps Pin. Retrieved on October 14, 2014.
  5. StarWars-DatabankII HoloNet News in the Databank (backup link)
  6. New HNN HoloNet News Special Report: Journalists Across Galaxy Join Press Corps (link)
  7. Battle to the End
  8. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Stealth Strike"
  9. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Hera's Heroes"
  10. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "An Inside Man"
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