B1 Battle Droid

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Battle droids deploying at Naboo

Battle droids are a model of droid built by Baktoid Combat Automata[1] to serve as military foot-soldiers. Humanoid in form, they can operate weapons and vehicles designed for humanoid infantry.

Although they can be produced rapidly in large numbers and never question their orders, battle droids lack the capacity for "original thinking", making them inferior to living opponents without a large numerical advantage. B1 battle droids, in particular, appear to be painfully stupid.

Battle droids require less logistical support than living troops. Having no need for food, water, or air, they can be folded and stored on racks indefinitely when not in use.

Remote Control

The battle droids deployed in the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo had extremely limited autonomy. They required some kind of support from a "droid control ship" in orbit above the planet; when Naboo starfighters destroyed the control ship, the entire droid army on the planet's surface shut down.

The exact role of the droid control ship is the subject of speculation. Hypotheses include:

  • The droids were remotely controlled from the ship. This seems odd, since the droids audibly conversed with each other to give and receive orders, notify each other of events, and discuss courses of action; remotely controlled droids should not need to converse. A possible explanation is that individual droid bodies were remotely-operated by individual droid brains kept on the control ship.
  • The droids were remotely powered by a broadcast power system on the control ship.
  • The control ship sent a "stay alive" signal, which the control ship could stop if necessary to prevent a droid rebellion.

Whatever the reason, the manufacturer apparently corrected the problem after the Battle of Naboo, as battle droids stopped having this vulnerability in later engagements.