The Battle droid problem...

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Stormtroopers always get a lot of guff. They can't hit the broad side of a barn, why do they even wear armor if it doesn't stop blaster fire, they're so dimwitted that Jedi mind tricks easily deceive them, there's the bumbling one who hits his head off the door of course. It goes on and on. However, for as comical as a lot of those memes are, I always find myself sticking up for the Imperial troopers. It's pretty much Hollywood or even just media standard that minion type characters be portrayed as essentially inept. When you really look at the stormtroopers though, I do believe they have a menace and intimidation factor to them. The script necessitates that sure, they can't shoot and kill our main players or there wouldn't be a story! Yet this is the army that help conquer and maintained dominance of the galaxy for quite some time. When you look at anything but our main roles, Imperial shock troopers are pretty deadly and effective. They wipe the floor with the rebel fleet troopers in the opening of A New Hope. They brutally murder Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen as well as senselessly slaughter a whole crawler full of innocent Jawa. They're absolutely not played for laughs in most of the Mos Eisley sequence. The checkpoint where Obi-Wan is forced to use a mind trick is certainly played for suspense, their search through the cantina displays that the general populace clearly fears them. Take the battle of Hoth, the Empire annihilated the rebel forces and ground forces stormed and conquered Echo base. The battle of Endor may be a low point, but even then they're still shown accomplishing things general minion type characters usually don't. Leia is successfully shot in the arm, a main player, an Ewok is even shown to get killed. Casualties are displayed! So I think the stormtrooper gets kind of a bum reputation when I believe there is a much more worthy culprit for criticism out there...

Roger roger! I want to preference this by saying I believe Doug Chaing's use of African designs in the creation of the Trade Federation Battle droid is brilliant. The visual look is stunningly awesome, one of my all-time favorite prequel designs. I remember just staring at the Battle droids months before the film released, I was completely infatuated. However, the actual execution of the Battle droids within the plot is a bit different. I don't often see this discussed, but I can't be the only one who noticed the de-escalation of them in the trilogy. They started out, predominately, fairly serious. There's really only one somewhat comedic scene I can recall in The Phantom Menace, that being the "Does not compute" moment with Qui-Gon. By the time you reach Revenge of the Sith however, they're a complete novelty joke. They're shown quipping and cowardly and even devolve into slap-stick cartoon like characters. The literally vocalization even becomes comedic, the voice changed. But then there's, of course, they're not remotely intimidating! Even when they are at most, arguably The Phantom Menace, they're still shown as rather ineffective. My favorite scene that includes them is probably when the MTT's release them on the Naboo field and they unfold. It's a very well done scene, it echos the Federations corporate and political-like greed with the metaphoric use of marionette-like soldiers deployed in an assemble-line way to a military drum-like march. Yet...never once, to my knowledge, is any Gungan shown killed. It's also juxtaposition by Jar Jar antics, when he's accidentally wiping them out. That really removes any tension they had! Mock stormtroopers as much as you like, but at least the heroes had to put some effort into running from or taking them out.

Battle droids appear more a nuisance or irritation rather than an actual threat in many scenes. Perhaps their greatest achievement would be taking out a few generic Jedi in the Geonosis arena, but when you really look at the numbers...it's quite pitiful. Just how many droids were needed and that's all they could accomplish? Plus you can likely give the victory more to the Destroyers and the newly debut Super Battle droid. It basically establishes that these things are nothing if not outgunning you with astronomical numbers. I'm not afraid of something when it needs their 50 to my 1 odds. It evokes a feeling of, "There's 12 of them guarding the hallway!" and if your characters charge in with guns blazing shouting "Meh! Big deal!" ...I'm afraid you've failed. It defuses any fear they might have evoked. Tension, suspense, and intimidation are all thrown out the window, something that even stormtroopers have at times. But the most grievous of errors (see what I did there?) comes in Revenge of the Sith. I found them to be so mishandled. For me, their behavior is so...random. They're behaving almost as if their programming has been tampered with...and don't give me some expanded universe crap. Don't set up things on film without explaining them ON film! Why would a BATTLE droid be snarky with its general? Why would you program them to literally be cowardly? Their primary function is to soldier! Be it to pilot, to be security, to command, or to be a generic grunt. Why are they behaving like Larry, Curly, and Moe? These aren't astromech droids, these aren't protocol droids, these aren't pit droids. They're BATTLE droids! The scene that best summarizes what they've become is when Anakin and Obi-Wan enter into the elevator aboard the Invisible Hand. Unknowingly there is a troupe of droids behind them. What's done? They casually turn around and scrap about twelve without breaking a sweat. So that's what's become of the opposing forces, they're so meek and useless they've been basically resorted to sight gags? I mean, R2-D2 pours oil all over Super Battle droids, what's supposed to be a large upgrade, and proceeds to light them on fire. Is this a Bugs Bunny cartoon?!

Needless to say, I'd have done things quite differently. I'd have emphasized these things as cold, calculating, and efficient killers. Now by no means do I expect them to gun down Qui-Gon or Mace Windu or any vital character, but I certainly expected them to be more productive than what we got! As a child, I was obsessed with IG-88. I always considered him, in my own head lore, to be what I'd imagine the Star Wars equivalent of the Terminator would be. So when I first saw what a Battle droid was, I thought that dream would come true. I'd get the equivalent of the Terminator in one of these films. Alas, I was way off! I've also often wondered, could an issue also be that Battle droids suffered not only from being written relatively non-threatening...but also that Jedi were written far too overpowered in the prequels?
 
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in the OT we didn't see much lightsaber action. only three guys in the GFFA even had a lightsaber, and they mostly just used them on each other.
but in the PT we were going to see all kinds of Jedi running around, and GL needed to create a sort of "PT stormtrooper" that the Jedi could slice up like butter (and still maintain a "G" rating).
--> enter the battle droids. these things were DESIGNED to be "lightsaber fodder". with a "G" rating.

I agree, they should have been more menacing, on par with James Cameron's "Terminators". they should have been SCARY evil robots. RELENTLESS evil robots.
but as you say, by the end of ROTS, they were basically harmless. the only "scary" lightsaber-fodder-droid that we actually saw on screen, was General Grievous.

by the end, GL was just using them as 'comic relief' , like the pit droids in TPM -- I think that was the biggest problem -- this destroyed the 'threat level'.
(at no point did Cameron ever use his "Evil Robots" as comic relief -- as that would completely destroy their dramatic purpose).
 
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[h=2]The Battle droid problem...[/h]
is that they were utter *****.

/thread
 
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I would love to see a OT movie spin off where the Stormtroopers are shown to be competent. They get a bad rap because everyone glosses over the line where the MF was ment to escape. I could easily see a EU scene where Commander Jar Jar tells the troops don’t kill the bosses kid or else he’ll slice you up. Then show Troopers debating in it’s ok to shoot the Wookiee.

The clone Wars series actually showed the war side of Star Wars, & both troopers & droids come off as pretty competent. As the series did have a few storylines that were better than what the movies were doing.
 
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The Battle droid problem...


is that they were utter *****.

/thread
I wouldn't say that, just misused. Though I suppose, in canon, it's kind of established that they basically are cannon fodder garbage. Highly expendable. But I think the design of them is awesome and I do still think they're kind of fun, just mishandled. I really wanted them to be, at least, intimidating. I mean, here's a case in point: they're guarding the hanger on Naboo in Phantom Menace. What do our heroes do? LITERALLY just walk up to them and begin conversing. HOW TERRIFYING! I don't expect them to really achieve all that much, minion type characters never do, but stormtroopers look like freaking assassins compared.
 
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I wouldn't say that, just misused. Though I suppose, in canon, it's kind of established that they basically are cannon fodder garbage. Highly expendable.
But, what's the point in that though Max? When you make your antagonists crap, there's no reason to give a damn about anything that happens to the protagonists.

But I think the design of them is awesome and I do still think they're kind of fun, just mishandled. I really wanted them to be, at least, intimidating. I mean, here's a case in point: they're guarding the hanger on Naboo in Phantom Menace. What do our heroes do? LITERALLY just walk up to them and begin conversing. HOW TERRIFYING! I don't expect them to really achieve all that much, minion type characters never do, but stormtroopers look like freaking assassins compared.
I thought the design was meh. Too cutesy and with their little voices going "Roger, Roger..." Gawd...



They're so crap, even an army of Gungans - the dumbest aliens in the Star Wars universe - could stop them with the greatest of ease. So, again, what was the point.

It's just bad design from beginning to end.

This is how you do good guy/bad guy robots:





I've just realised that V.I.N. Cent is probably the inspiration for BB-8.
 
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I would love to see a OT movie spin off where the Stormtroopers are shown to be competent. They get a bad rap because everyone glosses over the line where the MF was ment to escape.
Well, this is the problem with plot armour isn't it. Plot armour allows the heroes to get out of scrapes which, in reality, they'd be dead a thousand times over. But Star Wars isn't alone in this. We've had 70+ years of WWII films where the German army are portrayed as useless nazi morons there to be slaughtered in their hundreds by the good guys. Or Indians in westerns that were mere savages to be used as target practice by whatever big Hollywood name happened to be in the film.

In fairness to Star Wars, when we first see troopers, they routinely do away with a whole company of Rebel Fleet personnel with great ease and but for Luke Skywalker's budding Force abilities, they were going to finish the Rebels completely on Yavin. Plus, they sort out the rebel scum
on Hoth without even committing superior forces.

So they're not as useless as the heroes plot armour may suggest.
 
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Well, this is the problem with plot armour isn't it. Plot armour allows the heroes to get out of scrapes which, in reality, they'd be dead a thousand times over. But Star Wars isn't alone in this. We've had 70+ years of WWII films where the German army are portrayed as useless nazi morons there to be slaughtered in their hundreds by the good guys. Or Indians in westerns that were mere savages to be used as target practice by whatever big Hollywood name happened to be in the film.

In fairness to Star Wars, when we first see troopers, they routinely do away with a whole company of Rebel Fleet personnel with great ease and but for Luke Skywalker's budding Force abilities, they were going to finish the Rebels completely on Yavin. Plus, they sort out the rebel scum
on Hoth without even committing superior forces.

So they're not as useless as the heroes plot armour may suggest.
The German army should be portrayed as useless Nazi morons in WWII movies... because the German army was a bunch of useless Nazi morons.
 
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But, what's the point in that though Max? When you make your antagonists crap, there's no reason to give a damn about anything that happens to the protagonists.



I thought the design was meh. Too cutesy and with their little voices going "Roger, Roger..." Gawd...



They're so crap, even an army of Gungans - the dumbest aliens in the Star Wars universe - could stop them with the greatest of ease. So, again, what was the point.

It's just bad design from beginning to end.

This is how you do good guy/bad guy robots:





I've just realised that V.I.N. Cent is probably the inspiration for BB-8.
Oh no bud, don't get me wrong! I'm with you here all the way! I just kind of like the design is all. You know, one thing I DID always wonder though? Is it just me or do the eyes appear more painted on instead of actual eyes? Now I'm sure that's largely due them ACTUALLY just being painted onto the prop, but I wonder what the in-universe explanation for that is. Sensors I guess? I was alright with the voice, though, in Phantom Menace. The original voice. It sounded more mechanical. But once it hit Revenge of the Sith, the vocals on the Battle droids are AWFUL! Very animated and cartoonish.

But absolutely, to your next point and perhaps my entire point of the whole post, there are def. ways of still retaining a minion like character that (ultimately) doesn't really accomplish much (particularly over on our main protagonists obviously) but can STILL be threatening! Good examples would be Stormtroopers and perhaps the best usage of minions that are still expendable but def. ooze intimidation are the Uruk Hai and Orcs in LOTR. I don't think that's because they essentually are monsters either, because the Orcs/Goblins in The Hobbit are very far from frightening. It's all in how you do minions, so when you make them a joke like the Battle droids, well...you just lack any tension and the lack of that can really take you out of a film.

Actually, forget it.
LMFAO! I toooooooooooootally know what you were going to say...because I was going to say it. Then it also dawned on me, know what, it's not worth it. Don't even go there! =P
 
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Oh no bud, don't get me wrong! I'm with you here all the way! I just kind of like the design is all. You know, one thing I DID always wonder though? Is it just me or do the eyes appear more painted on instead of actual eyes? Now I'm sure that's largely due them ACTUALLY just being painted onto the prop, but I wonder what the in-universe explanation for that is. Sensors I guess? I was alright with the voice, though, in Phantom Menace. The original voice. It sounded more mechanical. But once it hit Revenge of the Sith, the vocals on the Battle droids are AWFUL! Very animated and cartoonish.
If you like it, that's perfectly fine. Never let anyone tell you what your entertainment is, and that goes for everyone on here. At the end of the day, it's just a bit of self indulgent rubbish that we use as a pass time.

But absolutely, to your next point and perhaps my entire point of the whole post, there are def. ways of still retaining a minion like character that (ultimately) doesn't really accomplish much (particularly over on our main protagonists obviously) but can STILL be threatening! Good examples would be Stormtroopers and perhaps the best usage of minions that are still expendable but def. ooze intimidation are the Uruk Hai and Orcs in LOTR. I don't think that's because they essentually are monsters either, because the Orcs/Goblins in The Hobbit are very far from frightening. It's all in how you do minions, so when you make them a joke like the Battle droids, well...you just lack any tension and the lack of that can really take you out of a film.
Well, nobody's designed any real battle droids yet, but I'm sure that those things in the prequels will fail every single requirement there is.

As for the Uruk Hai (and I'm no Tolkien scholar), but I think that Saruman was desirous of breeding them, because he wanted truly fearsome fighting unts that were completely under his control and they were the ultimate evolution of orcs. Orcs, while menacing, are descended from elves and were deemed useful, but not completely under his will. Goblins, while related to the greenskin peoples were always of a treacherous nature and deemed untrustworthy, but they bolstered armies. But both Orcs and Goblins had existed in Middle Earth alongside the other races for many years, so their neighbours were well used to them. The Uruk Hai (at least Saruman's version of them), on the other hand, were created in Isengard and the other people of Middle Earth had little to no experience of them.

But, your point stands. Battle Droid threat level = 0. Uruk Hai threat level = 11.

I would not like to face off against something like that.
 
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If you like it, that's perfectly fine. Never let anyone tell you what your entertainment is, and that goes for everyone on here. At the end of the day, it's just a bit of self indulgent rubbish that we use as a pass time.



Well, nobody's designed any real battle droids yet, but I'm sure that those things in the prequels will fail every single requirement there is.

As for the Uruk Hai (and I'm no Tolkien scholar), but I think that Saruman was desirous of breeding them, because he wanted truly fearsome fighting unts that were completely under his control and they were the ultimate evolution of orcs. Orcs, while menacing, are descended from elves and were deemed useful, but not completely under his will. Goblins, while related to the greenskin peoples were always of a treacherous nature and deemed untrustworthy, but they bolstered armies. But both Orcs and Goblins had existed in Middle Earth alongside the other races for many years, so their neighbours were well used to them. The Uruk Hai (at least Saruman's version of them), on the other hand, were created in Isengard and the other people of Middle Earth had little to no experience of them.

But, your point stands. Battle Droid threat level = 0. Uruk Hai threat level = 11.

I would not like to face off against something like that.
I want to say Uruk Hai may be the most successful minion type faction in pop culture. While granted, in the film, that made the leader somewhat of an individual character (Lurtz), in the book it's just a nameless horde of them. But they do manage to successful kill a pretty prominent character in Boromir. That's pretty darn rare for subservient grunt type roles.

I'd say, maybe have the Battle droids, in order to establish they're at least competent and a challenge, maybe have them off a more minor role. Someone like Panaka, where the audience does know who he is, but he's not integral either. That would make them far more menacing. But really, they require much more of a re-write than just that.
 
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LOL

Naboo is a world of idiots, sadly. (What do you expect from a people that continuously elect teen girls to rule over them…???) :sigh:
It always makes me laugh when Boss Nass says the surface dwellers "Tink der brains so big..." Really?! They elect children, they allowed a complete invasion because they're so-call peaceful pacifists, but...they have starfighters and eventually fight back? Wha? Their culture is easily one of the most beautiful, but their government is full of utter idiots. I mean they elected Jar Jar. JAR JAR!!!
 
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^^^ It’s SW’s version of dumb and dumber :sigh:

Boss Nass: The worst designed, CG-rendered, written and performed “character”. Scooby-Doo villains has more nuances to them than this thing. He is literally king of the dipsh*ts.
 
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^^^ It’s SW’s version of dumb and dumber :sigh:

Boss Nass: The worst designed, CG-rendered, written and performed “character”. Scooby-Doo villains has more nuances to them than this thing. He is literally king of the dipsh*ts.
Boss Nass is easily among my least favorite SW characters. Firstly, the dude doesn't even look like a gungan. Secondly, even as a stupid teenager who, upon originally seeing enjoyed TPM, I was like "What is UP with the spitting gimmick!?" It's like a cartoon. It's so cringe! Then lastly, he's a complete idiot. For my money, only Dexter Jettster, Holdo, and Rose rival him for the crown of my least favorite SW character.
 
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^^^ All I can think of with all that odd spitting is maybe George was mocking/mimicking Richard Nixon’s characteristic jowl-shake???? But then I don’t get where the slobber/spit comes from… Is Boss Nass like a giant dumb, slobbering cartoon bulldog???? He comes off totally “special”. Brian must have thought he was doing another Flash Gordon with TPM— but for the kiddies. Flash was absolutely brilliant cheese, as was the entire cast. But that brand of high camp just doesn’t work for SW, no matter how kiddified George may have wanted the Prequel to be.

SW is filled with brilliant designs that sadly sometimes, sort of make little to no sense, when seen in action and in context of their scenes— but Boss Nass is just awfully useless in every aspect. One of my fav design is Boussh with a chained Chewbacca. It’s a great visual impact: How does this diminutive being able to dominate this huge beast… Then you watch the scene and it make zero sense LOL Boussh leads and tugs at this dinky chain that Chewbacca could have broken easily. Or, he could have wrapped that chain around Boussh easily and choked her to death. But he doesn’t do either, and she doesn’t seem to have any mind-control over him— other than it’s a B&D thing… No wonder Jabba saw through their silly act! But it’s such a gorgeous design— like most of TPM’s, that I can easily overlook the weak narrative context.

Frankly, if it weren’t for the best of its designs— which are untouchably brilliant 20-40+ years alter, none of us would be here.
 
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^^^ All I can think of with all that odd spitting is maybe George was mocking/mimicking Richard Nixon’s characteristic jowl-shake???? But then I don’t get where the slobber/spit comes from… Is Boss Nass like a giant dumb, slobbering cartoon bulldog???? He comes off totally “special”. Brian must have thought he was doing another Flash Gordon with TPM— but for the kiddies. Flash was absolutely brilliant cheese, as was the entire cast. But that brand of high camp just doesn’t work for SW, no matter how kiddified George may have wanted the Prequel to be.

SW is filled with brilliant designs that sadly sometimes, sort of make little to no sense, when seen in action and in context of their scenes— but Boss Nass is just awfully useless in every aspect. One of my fav design is Boussh with a chained Chewbacca. It’s a great visual impact: How does this diminutive being able to dominate this huge beast… Then you watch the scene and it make zero sense LOL Boussh leads and tugs at this dinky chain that Chewbacca could have broken easily. Or, he could have wrapped that chain around Boussh easily and choked her to death. But he doesn’t do either, and she doesn’t seem to have any mind-control over him— other than it’s a B&D thing… No wonder Jabba saw through their silly act! But it’s such a gorgeous design— like most of TPM’s, that I can easily overlook the weak narrative context.

Frankly, if it weren’t for the best of its designs— which are untouchably brilliant 20-40+ years alter, none of us would be here.
You know, I never really thought of that, but you're right: it was a pretty weak act to pull with the captured Chewbacca. CLEARLY at just face value, something was UP! Something smelled fishy and Jabba knew it. Because you're spot on, when you really look at it...how is this a threat to Chewbacca? He EASILY could have broken that chain. That's one of the fun aspects of Jabba. He's not an idiot, he's actually quite brilliant. I've often argued that Jabba is every bit as evil as Palpatine, just on a smaller scale. I mean the dude literally uses gruesome death as a form of entertainment. I really think the Jabba sequences are among the best SW has ever offered. Just visuals alone are so unique.
 
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