- "Master, they just delivered your replacement astromech droid. This is R3-S6. I've heard that the new R3s are far faster in thinking skills and more powerful than the old R2 units."
- ―Ahsoka Tano introduces R3-S6 to Anakin Skywalker
R3-S6 was a masculine programmed R3-series astromech droid manufactured by Industrial Automaton on the planet Nubia around the time of the Clone Wars. On his homeworld, R3-S6 was stolen by a group of agents hired by the Confederate General Grievous. They took R3-S6 to the planet Milagro where the astromech droid underwent reprogramming to become a spy for Grievous. The reprogrammed R3-S6 was sold to the Galactic Republic to become Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker's new astromech droid, as a replacement droid for R2-D2, Skywalker's previous astromech droid. R3-S6 accompanied Skywalker and his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, as the two Jedi searched for Skywalker's previous astromech droid in the remnants of the Battle of Bothawui in Bothawui space. When the group came across a Trandoshan scavenging freighter in the battle aftermath's debris field, R3-S6, Skywalker, and Tano boarded the vessel to find R2-D2.
After the unsuccessful search aboard the freighter, R3-S6 and Skywalker embarked on a new mission to sweep through suspected Confederate space. The operation was thwarted by Grievous, who tracked Skywalker via the Jedi Knight's starfighter homing beacon, though R3-S6 and Skywalker were rescued by the timely arrival of Tano aboard Skywalker's freighter. Inside the ship, R3-S6 and Tano received a transmission from R2-D2, and Skywalker ordered them to track the signal which led the group to Skytop Station, a Confederate listening post. In the station, Skywalker went to find R2-D2, while R3-S6, Tano, and a group of clone troopers left to destroy the station's reactor core. R3-S6 watched as Grievous confronted Tano's group and attacked Tano, though the Padawan retreated with R3-S6 to a storage room. As the Padawan hid from Grievous in the room for some time, Tano spotted R3-S6 conferring with Grievous and found out the droid's true allegiance. The droid soon left Tano, and found Skywalker in the base's hangar, who also found out that R3-S6 was a spy droid. R3-S6 was destroyed when he was hit by flying debris after a brawl with R2-D2 on a catwalk outside the listening post.
- "A gold droid…for Gold Leader…of Gold Squadron!"
- ―Ahsoka Tano to Anakin Skywalker
A second-degree R3-series astromech droid, R3-S6 was manufactured by Industrial Automaton on the planet Nubia around the time of the Clone Wars. While most R3-series astromech droids had clear-transparent domes, some droids—such as R3-S6—were shipped with salvaged R2-series domes; during the Clone Wars, the Galactic Republic needed droid units available for purchase even with such minor defects. In 22 BBY, the Confederate General Grievous hired agents to steal an astromech droid from Industrial Automaton on Nubia. The agents took R3-S6 to the planet Milagro, and inside a Republic base, it was reprogrammed to become a spy for Grievous.
The reconditioning succeeded, and R3-S6 was sold to the Galactic Republic newly reprogrammed as a Confederate spy. After Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker lost his previous droid, R2-D2, during the Battle of Bothawui, he contacted Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Yoda via hologram and told them of his dilemma. Skywalker was told that his new droid—R3-S6—was to be delivered to him. Right after R3-S6 was dropped off inside Skywalker's Venator-class Star Destroyer, he met Skywalker's Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, and was inspected by Tano near her master's freighter, the Twilight. When Tano introduced the astromech droid to its newly assigned owner, she attempted to relieve Skywalker's melancholy over the loss of R2-D2 by pointing out R3-S6's color scheme—gold; since her master was the leader of the Republic Navy's Gold Squadron, Tano believed R3-S6 would make a good companion for the Jedi Knight. Likewise, Tano nicknamed the droid "Goldie."
However, Skywalker wanted to find R2-D2, and once R3, Skywalker, and Tano boarded the Twilight, Skywalker piloted the craft through a debris field—remnants of the Battle of Bothawui—to search for the droid. After the Jedi spotted a Trandoshan scavenging freighter, named the Vulture's Claw, in the debris field, Skywalker docked with the freighter, and left the Twilight with R3-S6 and Tano to find R2-D2. The freighter's owner, Gha Nachkt, greeted the two Jedi, took interest in R3-S6, and offered to trade a C-14 droid for him; Tano, however, rejected his deal. With R3-S6 and Tano by his side, Skywalker told Nachkt they wanted to find his R2-series astromech droid and would pay him credits if he had R2-D2 in his ship. Having accepted Skywalker's offer, Nachkt allowed him, R3-S6, and Tano to search through his storage room. There, Skywalker ordered R3-S6 to search through the ship's computer manifest to locate R2-D2. The Jedi Knight then heard a sound, which he concluded was R2-D2.
Skywalker came across a door and guessed that R2-D2 was being held behind it and ordered R3-S6 to open the portal, but the gold-colored droid instead activated the cargo room's lights and a pair of IG-86 sentinel droids. After Skywalker and Tano destroyed the two droids, Skywalker berated R3-S6 for disobeying him. Unbeknownst to Skywalker and Tano, Nachkt overheard the two Jedi from behind a nearby door. R3-S6 opened the portal, and Skywalker pointed his lightsaber at the Trandoshan's neck and demanded that he reveal R2-D2. However, Tano insisted that R2-D2 was not on the ship. Conceding failure, the two Jedi and R3-S6 boarded the Twilight and redocked with the Resolute. Skywalker told his Padawan that he was preparing for a mission to sweep through suspected Confederate space. Tano realized her master needed a droid for the task and suggested he bring R3-S6; however, Skywalker still had doubts about the droid due to his disobedience on the Vulture's Claw.
Nevertheless, Skywalker gave into Tano's wish and jumped to hyperspace in his starfighter—with R3-S6 in the astromech socket. Upon their return to realspace, Skywalker ordered R3-S6 to activate the starfighter's long-range scanners. However, R3-S6 instead activated the fighter's tracking beacon. The signal alerted Grievous' nearby fleet, and a group of Munificent-class frigates jumped to R3-S6's and Skywalker's location. Skywalker ordered R3-S6 to prepare to jump into hyperspace, but the droid detached the starfighter from the hyperdrive docking ring, negating their chance to escape. Eventually, Vulture droids left the frigates and attacked the starfighter, but Skywalker successfully destroyed them with his fighter's blaster cannons. When R3-S6 deactivated the blaster cannons and the starfighter's engines, more Vulture droids appeared. The droids, however, were destroyed by the timely intervention of Tano and Clone Captain CT-7567, nicknamed "Rex," who both decided to help R3-S6 and Skywalker after they noticed Skywalker's tracking beacon had been activated. Tano and Rex, who were on board the Twilight, lowered the freighter's aft cargo bay door, which would allow Skywalker's starfighter to board the ship. R3-S6 reactivated the fighter's engines and enabled Skywalker to pilot the starfighter into the Twilight's aft cargo bay, and, once inside the Twilight, Skywalker and R3-S6 joined Tano and Rex inside the freighter's cockpit.
- "R3, what do you have to report?"
- ―Grievous to R3-S6
R2-D2 was, in fact, aboard the Vulture's Claw and sent a transmission to the Twilight. R3-S6 and Tano received the message and reported it to Skywalker. The Jedi Knight ordered R3-S6 to strengthen the signal, but the droid decreased its reception instead. Skywalker restored the signal's strength himself and ordered his pilot, Rex, to track the message. The trail led the group to the moon Ruusan 2. As the Twilight hovered above the discovered Confederate listening post, Skytop Station, Skywalker wanted to let Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi know of the station's presence. Skywalker ordered R3-S6 to contact Kenobi using scramble code "1477" and told Kenobi of his plan to rescue R2-D2 in the station with R3-S6, his Padawan, and a group of clones. As the Jedi Knight prepared for the mission, Tano placed R3-S6 in Rex's care to hold during the free-fall to the station.
Behind the Twilight's rear cargo bay, R3-S6, Skywalker, Tano, Rex, and a group of clones plummeted toward Skytop Station's hull. While the two Jedi used the Force to help them descend toward the station, Rex and his men used their JT-12 jetpacks. Having landed on top of the station, Skywalker cut a hole through the station's hull with his lightsaber, allowing R3-S6 and the group to enter. Inside, R3-S6 used his scomp link to access a port and bring up a holomap of the station. Skywalker ordered Tano and Rex to destroy the station's reactor core; he would separate from the group to find his lost droid. As R3-S6 and the party searched for the reactor core room, R3-S6 broke away to report to Grievous that Skywalker planned to destroy the station via hologram. R3-S6 ended his transmission with the cyborg general when Tano appeared near him, and he rejoined her and the clones. R3-S6 and the group made their way to the reactor room, which was protected by a ray shielded door. Tano ordered the gold droid to deactivate the ray shield, but a group of B1 and B2 battle droids spotted the group from a nearby hallway.
After a firefight broke out, Tano and the clones destroyed the droids, although soon Grievous, who had come to their location through the reactor room, confronted the group. R3-S6 watched as Tano engaged the cyborg general in a lightsaber duel, though Tano underestimated her adversary's strength and soon fled the area and ran inside a storage room with R3-S6. Near a dark corridor, Tano saw R3-S6 and beckoned him to come toward her, but the droid turned on his astromech droid light and flashed it at Tano, simultaneously alerting Grievous of her location. The Padawan evaded the General's attack and hid once again. Soon, R3-S6 conferred with Grievous, a conversation Tano overheard; she realized then that R3-S6 was a Separatist spy. R3-S6 departed the storage room and found Rex and clone trooper Denal near the reactor core room where they had placed explosive charges. The trio made their way toward the station's hangar bay, only to find the rescued R2-D2 with Skywalker near the Twilight. Skywalker asked of his Padawan's whereabouts, and Rex revealed that she had engaged Grievous in a lightsaber duel. The clone captain offered to take Skywalker to her last reported location, but R3-S6 closed the hangar bay's entry blast doors and activated a pair of Vulture droids.
The maneuver led Skywalker as well to conclude that R3-S6 was a spy. When the Vulture droids attacked Skywalker and the clones, the Jedi Knight ordered R2-D2 to open the hangar bay's door through an astromech port in the station so that the Twilight could evacuate, and R3-S6 secretly followed R2-D2. On a catwalk, which led to the astromech port, R3-S6 slammed into the other droid, and the two engaged one another with their slicing tools. To end the brawl, R2-D2 used his shock arm, which briefly incapacitated R3-S6. The R2 unit then activated his rocket boost jets and released a stream of oil on the catwalk. R3-S6 evaded the resultant inferno, but he failed to notice R2-D2's followup attack, a full-body shove that knocked R3-S6 off the catwalk. R3-S6 used his tow cable to hang onto R2-D2 and avoid the fall, but R2-D2 severed the cord with his cutting tool. R3-S6 fell from the catwalk, collided with falling debris, and was destroyed. The Republic strike team and Grievous both evacuated Skytop Station, just as the planted charges detonated, destroying the listening post.
- "What is the matter with you? Are you trying to get us killed?"
- ―Anakin Skywalker to R3-S6
An R3-series astromech droid, R3-S3 had masculine programming and stood 1.09 meters in height. After being taken by the Confederacy, R3-S6 was reprogrammed to sabotage. Due to his reprogramming, R3-S6 feigned a lack of competence around Republic personnel. Upon entering service to the Republic, R3-S6 was ordered to remain undetected and not reveal himself as a spy. When he was given to Anakin Skywalker, the droid's main objective was to spy on the Jedi Knight.
His reprogramming corrupted his ability to comply and understand Skywalker; the droid could only obey his true master, General Grievous, whom the droid obeyed faithfully. When with Skywalker, R3-S6 disobeyed him, leading the Jedi to doubt the droid. At times, R3-S6 ignored Ahsoka Tano's orders as well. Clone Captain Rex noticed the droid's disobedience during the Mission to Skytop Station, during which Rex did not entrust R3-S6 with the task of opening the ray-shielded blast door that protected the main reactor room of the station. R3-S6 had a number of tools and equipment which he used on occasion. Within his dome, R3-S6 had a holographic projector, scomp link, and a scanner antenna. His body featured a power charge arm and a periscope. The droid also had a retractable third leg.
Behind the scenes
The astromech droid R3-S6 was created for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. Before the program had begun airing, R3-S6 was first mentioned in the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Visual Guide, in which he received a dual-page spread. On November 7 of the same year, R3-S6 appeared in the episode "Downfall of a Droid." In the following week, the character appeared in the episode "Duel of the Droids," in which R3-S6 was destroyed. In December of the same year, R3-S6 received an entry in the The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. In 2009, R3-S6 was featured in The Clone Wars–related sourcebooks—such as The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Official Episode Guide: Season 1. The details of R3-S6's manufacture and reprogramming were revealed in the The Clone Wars season one "decoded" episodes and in the featurette for the "Downfall of a Droid" episode that was included in The Clone Wars season one DVD set. The Nintendo DS version of the 2009 video game Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes featured an alternate portrayal of the mission to Skytop Station. R3-S6 appeared in the mission's opening cutscene, taken directly from "Duel of the Droids," but was absent from the mission itself. However, he received an entry in the in-game databank. In July 2010, R3-S6 received an entry in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia.
Inconsistencies and non-canon portrayals
Confusion has surrounded the location and timing of R3-S6's reprogramming by the Separatists. The Clone Wars visual guide said that Grievous' agents were in the Republic military, sabotaged R3-S6's programming, and arranged for the droid to be sent to Bothawui. This sequence of events indicated that R3-S6 was part of the Republic. However, later sources, such as The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, the "Downfall of a Droid" decoded episode, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia, said that R3-S6 was taken to Milagro to be reprogrammed.
A few discrepancies distinguish the events of "Downfall of a Droid" and the 2008 novel The Clone Wars: Wild Space by Karen Miller. In the novel, Anakin did his sweeps through suspected Confederate space soon after the ambush on the Vulture's Claw. When Skywalker contacted Yoda and Mace Windu, the Jedi Masters told Anakin that his new droid would be arriving shortly, indicating R3-S6 had not been assigned to him yet. In the episode, however, R3-S6 was assigned to Anakin before both missions. In Wild Space, the Jedi Council sent the droid to Anakin.
The 2009 young-readers book The Clone Wars: Forces of Darkness stated that Grievous was the one who reprogrammed R3-S6 to spy on Anakin and sabotage the Jedi's missions. The Clone Wars visual guide indicated that R3-S6 was built with a scavenged R2-series dome, but Forces of Darkness stated that R3-S6 originated with a clear/transparent R3-series dome.
R3-S6 appears in the 2010 video game Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures. In the game, R3-S6 is featured in a mini-game called "Rocket Rescue." During the level "Goldie," R3-S6 is featured as a non-playable character that tries to stop R2-D2 from completing his goal of finding Anakin Skywalker on the galactic capital of Coruscant. Because the events portrayed in "Rocket Rescue" cannot be fitted chronologically into the first-season storyline featuring R3-S6, and since no other source confirms that he was on Coruscant, this article assumes that the mini-game is not part of the Legends continuity.
R3-S6 was also featured in the video game LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, released on March 22, 2011, which presented a humorous and non-canonical take on the events from "Duel of the Droids." In the game, the final battle between R3-S6 and R2-D2 is reversed, with the latter pursuing the former on the catwalk. The same month, an article published in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Comic UK 6.18 offered an alternate, what-if storyline that would have unfolded had Skywalker not located R2-D2 at Skytop Station. Without R2-D2 to expose his true allegiance, R3-S6 remains as Skywalker's astromech, leading the Jedi into trap after trap, each time handing Grievous more power and causing Skywalker to believe that he is cursed. Mentally imbalanced, Skywalker eventually falls victim to the young Boba Fett's revenge attempt on Mace Windu, as he and Windu both die under the wreckage of the Venator-class Star Destroyer Endurance on the planet Vanqor, because without R2-D2's help, the search party fails to arrive in time to rescue them.
The fifth issue of the 2013 Star Wars Fact File contained an assortment of errors. In the issue, the events of "Downfall of a Droid" and "Duel of the Droids" were placed in 19 BBY. However, timelines as of 2013 placed the episodes in 22 BBY. The issue also stated that R3-S6 was "unknown to the Republic," when, in fact, he was originally a Republic-aligned droid. The line "R3, what do you have to report?" was spoken by Grievous in "Duel of the Droids." The issue attributes this line to Anakin Skywalker.
Originally, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia gave R3-S6's height as 1.1 meters. His entry on StarWars.com's Encyclopedia gave it as 1.09 meters, and the fifth issue of the new Star Wars Fact File gave it as 0.96 meters. Because StarWars.com retconned the height given in The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia, and due to the number of errors in the Star Wars Fact File Part 5, this article assumes that the height given in the StarWars.com Encyclopedia is valid.
- The Clone Wars: Wild Space (Indirect mention only)
- The Clone Wars: Wild Space audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid" (Decoded) (First appearance)
- The Clone Wars: Downfall of a Droid
- The Clone Wars: Grievous Attacks!
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Rocket Rescue"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids" (Decoded)
- The Clone Wars: Jedi in Training
- The Clone Wars: Forces of Darkness
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes (Nintendo DS version; archive footage from "Duel of the Droids")
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Non-canonical appearance)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season One, DVD Featurette for "Downfall of a Droid"
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duel of the Droids" (Decoded)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File (2013) Part 5 (GOL1–2, R2-S6 "Goldie")
- Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids specifies that astromech droids are second-degree droids.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Visual Guide
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Downfall of a Droid" (Decoded)
- The Clone Wars: Wild Space
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Official Episode Guide: Season 1
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Clone Wars: Forces of Darkness
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Rocket Rescue"
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars