R5-K6 was an R5 unit that served in the Alliance to Restore the Republic's Red Squadron during the Galactic Civil War against the Galactic Empire. Based on the moon Yavin 4, the droid was part of the forces scrambled to engage the Empire in the Scarif system while a Rebel strike team attempted to steal the Death Star plans on the planet Scarif below. R5-K6 flew with Red Leader Garven Dreis in a T-65B X-wing starfighter and engaged enemies starships in space while the strike team successfully stole the plans, after which R5-K6 and Dreis retreated.
Shortly after the plans were stolen, the Empire's Death Star superweapon traveled to the Yavin system to destroy the Rebel base and Yavin 4 entirely. R5-K6 once again flew with Dreis as part of the forces that attacked the Death Star, engaging enemy starfighters while the BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bombers of Gold Squadron attempted to exploit the vulnerable thermal exhaust port that the Alliance had learned about from the Death Star plans. After Gold Squadron were mostly destroyed, R5-K6 and Dreis made an attack run on the port themselves, but failed to hit their target, after which the pair were killed when the Sith Lord Darth Vader destroyed their X-wing starfighter.
R5-K6 was an R5 unit astromech droid manufactured by Industrial Automaton that served the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War against the Galactic Empire. The droid was part of the Massassi Group based out of the Great Temple, the Alliance's headquarters on the moon Yavin 4. It flew with the pilot Garven Dreis, who flew in his T-65B X-wing starfighter as Red Leader of the Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps' Red Squadron.
Battle of Scarif
In 0 BBY, the Rebel forces at Yavin were scrambled when it was discovered that a Rebel strike team had disobeyed orders and infiltrated the Imperial security complex on the planet Scarif in order to steal the plans to the Empire's Death Star superweapon. Red Squadron, including Dreis and R5-K6, were amongst the forces that accompanied Admiral Raddus to the Scarif system in order to try and support the strike team.
Upon arriving in the star system, the Rebels immediately engaged the Imperial forces present above the planet. R5-K6 and the rest of Red Squadron fought alongside Gold Squadron in engaging the Imperial starships in space while Blue Squadron attempted to enter the planet's atmosphere to provide air support. Despite taking heavy loses, the Rebels were ultimately victorious and managed to successfully steal the plans before the surviving forces, including Dreis and R5-K6, retreated.
Battle of Yavin
Shortly after the Battle of Scarif, the Empire learned the location of the Rebel's base on Yavin 4 and sent the Death Star to the Yavin system in order to destroy it. In preparation for the battle, General Jan Dodonna gave a briefing to rebel pilots in the temple covering the Death Star's vulnerable thermal exhaust port. R5-K6 attended the meeting, standing beside the Wookiee Chewbacca. Armed with the knowledge of the Death Star's weakness, R5-K6 and Dreis once again launched as part of Red Squadron alongside Gold Squadron in order to try and destroy the superweapon looming above the moon before it could destroy the moon itself. Dreis and the rest of Red Squadron initially attempted to draw fire from the Imperial TIE/ln space superiority starfighters and turret emplacement, so that the BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bombers of Gold Squadron could attempt to hit the Death Star's vulnerable thermal exhaust port.
After most of Gold Squadron was destroyed however, Dreis and R5-K6 made an attack run on the port themselves with two wingmen. Both other pilots were killed in the attempt, and although Dreis made the shot it only impacted on the surface of the Death Star rather than entering the port. Dreis and R5-K6 were then also killed when the Sith Lord Darth Vader shot down their craft himself, causing it to crash into the surface of the Death Star and explode. Ultimately Red Squadron was able to destroy the Death Star and win the battle.
Behind the scenes
R5-K6 first appeared in the 1977 original trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Footage of Dreis and R5-K6 originally shot for A New Hope was then used in the 2016 Anthology film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In the current canon, the droid was first identified on an action figure set from the Star Wars: The Black Series released in 2018 by Hasbro Inc. The name originated in the Star Wars Legends continuity, where it was first used in a 2009 Hasbro action figure set titled "Scramble on Yavin".
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which includes R5-K6's appearance and destruction, to 0 BBY.
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded states that all R5 units are manufactured by Industrial Automaton and stand ninety-seven centimeters tall. As R5-K6 is shown to be an R5 unit in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, it must share these characteristics.
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which includes R5-K6's appearance, to 0 BBY.
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story