- "Forgive the programming. He's a little rough around the edges. But he is the best."
- ―Ranzar Malk, on Q9-0
Q9-0, also known as Zero or Z, was a protocol droid who worked as a mercenary during the time of the New Republic. Zero was part of a crew of mercenaries led by Ranzar Malk, consisting of Migs Mayfeld, Burg, Xi'an, and the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin, who were sent by Malk to rescue Qin, a prisoner aboard the New Republic prison ship Bothan-Five.
During the mission, the team betrayed Djarin and left him behind, and Zero, who stayed aboard the bounty hunter's gunship, Razor Crest, discovered Grogu, an infant who Djarin had previously rescued from a client of the Bounty Hunters' Guild. Zero attempted to kill the infant, but was destroyed by Djarin, who had managed to escape.
The wreckage of Zero remained in storage aboard the Razor Crest for some time, and a passenger who Djarin was tasked with transporting later used the droid's vocabulator to communicate with the bounty hunter while stranded on the planet Maldo Kreis.
A rescue mission
- "It's not possible. Even for the Crest."
"That's why he's flyin'."
- ―Din Djarin and Ranzar Malk, on Q9-0
During the time of the New Republic, Q9-0 worked as a mercenary. Around 9 ABY, Zero was part of a team of mercenaries recruited by Ranzar Malk to rescue Qin, an associate who had been imprisoned aboard the New Republic Correctional Transport Bothan-Five. The mission was to be led by the former Imperial sharpshooter Migs Mayfeld, and the crew consisted of the Devaronian muscle Burg and the Twi'lek Xi'an. Malk also hired the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin, requiring the use of his gunship, the Razor Crest, as it was not on the grid of either the Galactic Empire or the New Republic.
The mercenaries gathered aboard the Roost space station, where Malk operated, and Mayfeld introduced Djarin to Zero. Zero inspected the Razor Crest, finding a distorted holographic message from Greef Karga of the Bounty Hunters' Guild in its communications system. While the team planned the mission, Zero disembarked from the Razor Crest, remarking on several issues with the ship. Zero, who was chosen to pilot the Razor Crest due to the maneuvers required to land on the prison transport without being detected, reassured Djarin of his superior response time. Once the crew had boarded the gunship, Zero piloted the ship out of the station's hangar and into hyperspace.
Some time later, Zero dropped the Razor Crest out of hyperspace in the vicinity of the Dilestri system, approaching Bothan-Five. After cloaking the ship's signal, Zero maneuvered the Razor Crest along their planned path, though the sudden movements of his piloting unsettled his passengers. After the Razor Crest landed on the prison transport, the team boarded the vessel while Zero waited aboard the gunship, accessing the transport's systems. Zero directed the team to the control room, disabling surveillance on board the prison ship. When the crew reached the control room, Zero was reluctant to open the door, detecting an organic signature inside. The crew entered regardless, finding the New Republic soldier Davan, who was killed by Xi'an after a brief standoff. As he died, Davan activated a tracker, and Zero informed the crew of a New Republic distress signal homing in on them.
- "Zero to Mayfeld. Mayfeld, do you copy? It seems comms are no longer functioning, therefore you cannot hear me. You are on your own."
- ―Q9-0, shortly before noticing the Child
The crew found Qin's cell, rescuing the prisoner. However, the mercenaries turned on Djarin, trapping him in the cell and leaving him for the incoming New Republic attack team. Meanwhile, Zero continued to look at the Razor Crest's communications, viewing Karga's full message, which spoke of making a delivery to a client. Djarin managed to escape the cell, and Zero warned Mayfeld of the situation. The Razor Crest's communications ceased to function, preventing the crew and Zero from making contact. Behind him, Zero noticed the infant Grogu, the subject of Karga's message, who Djarin had rescued shortly after delivering him to the Client.
Zero picked up his blaster rifle and left to search for Grogu, who was hiding elsewhere in the ship. While Zero hunted for the infant, Djarin managed to defeat the other members of the team, locking them in a cell aboard Bothan-Five. Zero located Grogu in a hidden compartment of the ship, targeting him with his rifle. However, Djarin boarded the Razor Crest and shot Zero in the back, destroying the protocol droid before he could fire.
- "Do not be alarmed. I bypassed the droid's security protocols and accessed its vocabulator."
"What the hell are you doing? That droid is a killer."
- ―"Frog Lady," speaking through Q9-0, and Din Djarin
Djarin kept Zero's broken body aboard the Razor Crest, stored in a pile within the ship's hold. After the Razor Crest was damaged and became stuck within an ice cave on the planet Maldo Kreis while Djarin was transporting the being known as "Frog Lady" and her spawn to the moon of Trask, Frog Lady attempted to communicate the urgency of her journey, but the Mandalorian was unable to understand her language. As Djarin slept in the hold of the wrecked Razor Crest, Frog Lady bypassed Zero's security protocols in order to use the droid's vocabulator to communicate.
The bounty hunter awoke to the sound of Zero's voice and aimed his blaster at the wreckage, believing the droid himself to be speaking. Using Zero's vocabulator, Frog Lady reassured Djarin, explaining that her family line would become extinct if her eggs were not taken to safety. While Djarin was shocked over her usage of the droid due to the danger that Zero had posed, Frog Lady managed to convince him to repair the damaged Razor Crest. They eventually escaped the cave, though the hold of the vessel was left open to space during their journey to Trask. The Razor Crest fell into the ocean upon landing on Trask and was eventually repaired, but the vessel and most of Djarin's belongings aboard it were destroyed by turbolaser fire from the light cruiser of Moff Gideon on Tython.
- "My response time is quicker than organics. And I'm smarter, too."
Q9-0, nicknamed Zero and Z by his colleagues, was a bug-eyed protocol droid with modified programming, operating with precision timing. As a droid, Q9-0 had a faster response time and a higher intellect than organic beings, a fact Zero was keen to point out. He was able to use this to his advantage when piloting, and could make maneuvers that were impossible for others to do. Zero was able to operate a starship by connecting to it via a socket, and did not need to physically operate the controls. During the rescue of Qin, Zero sliced into the transport's systems, and was able to deactivate security measures on the ship.
Zero's programming was described as "rough" by Ranzar Malk. The droid boasted about his superiority over organics to Din Djarin, and Malk reassured Djarin that Zero was the best despite his programming. The droid also openly insulted the state of the bounty hunter's ship, the Razor Crest, pointing out its faults and questioning why the use of the ship was required. Q9-0 had a bipedal form, with two arms and two legs. His plating was dark gray in color, and he had two large silver-colored photoreceptors. Zero spoke with a voice of calm authority. The droid also had security protocols built into his systems.
- "We have much better ships. Why are we using this one?"
- ―Q9-0, on the Razor Crest
Zero carried an EE-3 carbine rifle, and wore several equipment pouches strapped to his torso. Ranzar Malk owned a number of starships at his space station, which Q9-0 was familiar with piloting. While carrying out the rescue of Qin, Zero flew the Razor Crest, the gunship owned by Djarin.
Behind the scenes
Q9-0 first appeared in Chapter 6 of the 2019 television series The Mandalorian, which aired on December 13, 2019. The character was voiced by Richard Ayoade and performed by Christopher Bartlett. While only identified as Zero in the episode itself, the name of Q9-0 was given in the credits. Bartlett claimed that, out of his various appearances in the series, Q9-0 was his favorite character to portray. Concept art of Ranzar Malk's crew, including Q9-0, was created by Brian Matyas.
A droid also portrayed by Bartlett with a similar appearance to Q9-0 previously appeared in the third chapter of the series, released on November 22, 2019, though no connection was made between the two droids. The droid participates in the Bounty Hunters' Guild's attempt to prevent Djarin escaping with Grogu, which Q9-0 is unaware of in Chapter 6.
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 6: The Prisoner" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Junior Novel
- The Mandalorian: Allies & Enemies
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 10: The Passenger" (Wreckage only)
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – "Directing"
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – "Technology"
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – "Score"
- "Jedi Master's Quiz"—Star Wars Insider 198
- The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season One
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: Making of Season Two (Parts only)
- "Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season One Companion"—Star Wars Insider 201
- "Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season Two Companion"—Star Wars Insider 202
- (Indirect mention only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- The Mandalorian is set about five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 4 ABY. Therefore, the events of The Mandalorian, including Q9-0's appearance and destruction aboard the Razor Crest in "Chapter 6: The Prisoner," must have taken place around 9 ABY. establishes that
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 6: The Prisoner"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 10: The Passenger"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 14: The Tragedy"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 8: Redemption"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 3: The Sin"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 11: The Heiress"
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 12: The Siege"
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian Junior Novel
- (Slide 5)