The 11 Best Star Wars Droids Ranked By Usefulness
Droids are one of the most ubiquitous and fantastic forms of technology in the Star Wars universe. Just about every character owns a droid, has access to a droid, or interacts with a droid in some capacity. Many of those droids are functional members of society, providing public or paid services, and some are confidants or even friends with their human counterparts. These robots utilize artificial intelligence far beyond what we are currently able to create, demonstrating a self-motivated general AI that may always be the subject of science fiction.
Star Wars lists have thoroughly explored the world of droids, but few pull those droids out of a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away and place them in the here and now, ranking these droids by their usefulness in the 21st century. Take a look at the Star Wars droids through the lens of our world and find out which robotic buddy should be on your virtual wish list.
R-3X had a rough start as the pilot at Disney's Hollywood Studios' "Star Tours" attraction, where he accidentally brought a Starspeeder 3000 packed with tourists into a battle between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. Thankfully, no paying customers were harmed during this unexpected detour to Endor's moon. Despite Rex's fast-thinking and his ability to navigate a Death Star trench run without any offensive weapons, he is not making this list as a chauffeur.
Instead, we're relegating R-3X to the passenger seat, putting him in the position of "systems and control," where he'll be calling upon his time spinning tracks in Oga's Cantina at the Black Spire Outpost. Whether you're jaunting around town or heading to the galaxy's edge, Rex will be responsible for selecting sweet tunes to accompany your journeys. Done with your travels and ready to party? Rex does his best work behind a mixer, putting together an out-of-this world playlist that's sure to get everyone on the dance floor. R-3X can also be booked for homecomings, high school reunions, weddings, or any occasion where you need to spread the love.
Looming over seven feet tall, K-2S0, the Imperial security droid from "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" can be an imposing figure with his distinctive slumped shoulders and blank face, but don't let his intimidating appearance fool you. After Cassian Andor wiped his memory and reprogrammed Kaytoo, he's been dedicated to the Rebellion -- and to giving Cassian a hard time. Thankfully, Kaytoo's dry humor and acerbic wit would also make him a great hang-out buddy, especially for a night making fun of terrible movies or heckling stand-up comics.
Let Kaytoo be the Statler to your Waldorf, or the Crow to your Tom Servo. And if Kaytoo happens to annoy someone to the point of violence, ask him to rise to his full height. The aggressors will be backing down in no time. While Kaytoo may have to slouch while you're at the theater, his long arms are perfect for loading up a bucket of popcorn, candy, drinks, and other snacks. And if you're enjoying a night in, Kaytoo will have no difficulties popping corn in the microwave or ordering delivery (though don't boss him around too much; Kaytoo isn't the biggest fan of following orders).
C1-10P, commonly known as Chopper, is the astromech droid from "Star Wars Rebels." Astromechs are a class of droids that do everything from repairing spaceships and navigating hyperspace to picking locks and downloading blueprints. During Chopper's time on the Ghost, a VCX-100 light freighter, he performed repairs, ran errands, retrieved sensitive data, and even engaged in combat, meaning that Chopper is equipped to fix up your car wherever you break down. This little droid isn't big enough to give you a tow, but he can change a tire, hotwire an engine, and deploy a fire extinguisher if something goes horribly wrong.
Chopper's an older droid with some miles on his chassis, and he's developed a unique personality that might not meet everyone's tastes. Surly, stubborn, and a wee bit selfish, Chopper can be difficult to deal with. But if you show him how much you value his contributions (perhaps by saving him from a Ryloth battlefield like Hera Syndula did), he'll be a loyal friend. Just watch out -- if this Swiss Army knife cuts you, it wasn't an accident.
The IG series of droids are merciless assassins and bounty hunters. In "The Empire Strikes Back," Darth Vader hired IG-88, along with Boba Fett and a few others, to hunt the Millennium Falcon, but it wasn't until IG-11 appeared in "The Mandalorian" with his heartless programming and rotating torso that we finally saw the gruesome power of these killing machines fully unleashed.
However, IG-11's fate changed after being destroyed, rebuilt, and reprogrammed, which changed his primary function from assassination to child care. That makes IG-11 the preferred babysitter of overprotective parents. During his re-training, IG-11 learned to make and serve tea, feed pets like blurrgs, and shoo small lizards out of the way without crushing them. That means that Eyegee can feed your cat in addition to your younglings, and will avoid crushing their favorite toys (there's no need to worry if he ends up stepping on a Lego, either).
Because of Eyegee's background as an assassin droid, he's able to protect his charges using blasters or hand-to-hand combat. He can also lift weight well beyond the limits of most babysitters, ensuring he can carry your brood to safety. If, however, the worst should happen and your child is about to be captured, IG-11 will follow his manufacturer's protocol and sacrifice himself by initiating his self-destruct sequence. Expect the extended warranty on IG-11 to be very expensive.
Introduced in "The Rise of Skywalker," D-O is a small droid who has a single wheel for movement and a cone-like head. D-O's function as a droid is unspecified. He's not shown to have arc welders, holographic projectors, scomp links, buzzsaws, or any of the other bells and whistles identifiable on astromechs. However, D-O is able to learn and retain information, is capable of speaking Basic, is curious, and understands human emotions. Those traits, along with his size, make D-O the perfect emotional support droid.
While emotional support animals are becoming more common, there are certain situations in which a dog or cat is impractical or unwelcome. Bring your dog into a restaurant, and it's suddenly a health hazard. D-O is about the same size as a Shih Tzu and has no fur. He also doesn't need to be on a leash, and responds to voice commands. Add that D-O's vocalized responses are polite and direct, and he may be able to talk himself beyond the most reluctant maître d'.
D-O was treated badly by his previous owner and understands the importance of kindness. Rey and BB-8 demonstrated care and generosity by recharging his battery, fixing his squeaky wheel, and encouraging his curiosity. Those actions endeared him to them both, so much so that when Rey took off on her own, D-O said that he missed her. With equal kindness and care, D-O can meet your needs and provide emotional support in this stressful world.
C-3P0, human-cyborg relations, is a protocol droid re-constructed by none other than Anakin Skywalker. Over time, Threepio quickly rose beyond his humble Tatooine origins, acting in service to senators and Jedi Knights and showing the value of a good translator and cultural anthropologist on his many missions deep in the heart of the Republic and the Outer Rim.
Threepio is fluent in over six million forms of communication, including binary languages, making him the perfect escort for international travel. Not only will Threepio be able to find the bathroom and order a decent meal when you visit foreign locations, but he'll also be able to argue with the airline program that randomly assigned you an aisle seat instead of a window seat.
Threepio's knowledge of protocol will ensure that you'll never make a faux-pax in any social setting, and if you do find yourself making a cultural blunder, Threepio has experience impersonating a god, which may just get you out of hot water (or a camp fire). C-3P0 is an essential companion for diplomats, international models, and anyone attempting to bargain with a thermal detonator.
The original Star Wars Swiss Army knife, astromech droid R2-D2 can do nearly anything with a data port. Called upon to unlock doors, download schematics, skim information for prisoner locations, and basically control the entire Death Star from a single computer terminal, Artoo should have no trouble answering that question Google can't quite parse, or managing control of your smart home's climate and security systems.
Artoo is voice activated, too, but unlike Alexa and Siri, he's not listening for keywords (or reporting back to his robot overlords). Using his computer interface, R2-D2 can provide navigational data, correct software malfunctions, identify relevant information more accurately than current AI algorithms, and, if you're sad, can (probably) play Despacito.
Artoo is entirely self-motivated and portable, one of the reasons so many people opt for the complete Threepio-Artoo set. Coming in at three-and-a-half-feet tall, Artoo will have to travel with the checked luggage, but he's used to carrying lightsabers along with digital data and other sensitive materials, meaning he's a good place to stash your valuables (he's also not afraid to wield his arc welder as a weapon). If you forget to pack your toothbrush, send Artoo to the hotel lobby, and he'll be happy to retrieve whatever you need. He might need some help with the elevator button, though; Artoo's rocket booster's warranty seems to have expired during the Clone Wars.
"Solo: A Star Wars Story" introduced a young Lando Calrissian and his droid companion L3-37, co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon. Elthree is unique, pieced together from fragments of protocol droids, astromechs, and even an espionage droid. Her piecemeal creation is part of her charm, and the reason she ranks so highly on this list.
Elthree is a role model who rebuilt herself from scraps. Sure, someone in a factory made her and programmed her, but her experiences have molded her. She's her own maker now (shockingly, nothing in her biography suggests years of therapy to get to this enlightened point, either).
In addition to her literal self-actualization, Elthree encourages others to do better, to seek more for themselves, and to reach for their full potential instead of resigning themselves to suffer under the boot heels of humanity. Considering how demoralizing and intimidating the 21st century can be, we could all use an Elthree to lift us up and remind us that our destinies are ours to assemble.
2-1B may not be the most well-known droid on this list, but Luke Skywalker and other Rebels gratefully submitted to this medical droid's care during the Rebellion. In "The Empire Strikes Back," it's 2-1B who monitors Luke's recovery following the wampa attack on Hoth, and who calibrated Luke's robotic prosthesis after the lightsaber duel on Bespin.
21st century technology is light-years away from the AI necessary to run a droid like 2-1B, although the medical community is already headed in this direction, using artificial intelligence to screen X-rays and biopsy samples to help identify cancerous cells and aid in diagnostics. 2-1B is more reliable and accurate than our current technology, however, and is able to connect to vast libraries of medical knowledge to make decisions about treatment. His processing abilities allow him to make correct decisions about a wider range of illnesses and injuries than modern-day devices, making him more effective than a whole committee of human doctors.
In terms of direct patient contact, 2-1B is superior to human doctors, who are susceptible to contracting and transmitting pesky human diseases. Modular limbs also mean that 2-1B can serve as primary care doctor, specialist, and surgeon. He's also likely to have about the same bedside manner as many doctors.
Poe Dameron's distinctive white and orange astromech, first seen in "The Force Awakens," is as expressive and adorable as he is round. BB-8 has many of the same skills as the other astromechs on this list, navigating Poe's X-wing through the wilds of space and keeping the pilot's fighter in top shape when facing off against the First Order. Astromechs' versatility and adaptability are why they keep popping up on this list; it's BB-8's design that has elevates him above the rest.
While Chopper and Artoo rely on their ambulatory struts for balance, Beebee's round body means he may wobble, but he won't ever fall down. Even stairs aren't a challenge for this rolly-polly droid, who uses his grappling spike to gain elevation (you, uh, may want to invest in some spackle if you're taking him into a multi-story home). BB-8's agile design means he can take corners at speed, and his smaller size (Beebee is about a foot shorter than the other astromechs on this list) means he's more compatible with tight living quarters and easier to fit into a compact car or public transport.
BB-8 is also relatively unintimidating to pets, so he should be able to entertain your cat with his holographic projector or take your dog for a walk (though, given BB-8's luck, that walk might lead to an intergalactic adventure).
An unexpected choice for "Most Useful Droid," this Imperial inventory droid from "Star Wars Rebels" is invaluable for anyone with a large digital footprint. AP-5 is an RA-7 protocol droid who served as a navigator and military analyst during the Clone Wars, but was relegated to inventory duties following the fall of the Republic. With a head for numbers, a penchant for punctuality, and a couple decades of experience organizing cargo on transport 241, AP-5 is the droid to finally organize your busy life.
AP-5 will transfer and organize photos, eliminate duplicate contacts, set up a filter for your email, streamline backups to the cloud, and create a regimented personal schedule that mimics the clockwork efficiency of the Galactic Empire. He doesn't understand the Marie Kondo lifestyle (he has a rather limited grasp on what "sparks joy"), but appreciates the way she folds clothing to maximize space, and would be happy to optimize efficiency in any closet.
While AP-5's organizational enthusiasm and overall pessimism makes him a less pleasant companion (don't ask him the odds on whether you'll actually get to bed on time), anyone in need of a personal assistant or help getting a handle on their disorganized digital life will immediately find that AP-5 is essential. As you can imagine, AP-5 should be very popular among graduate students, researchers, and librarians.