When Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit movie theaters back in 2015, fans of the franchise fell in love with the new droid BB-8. The adorable orange and white BB unit rolled its way into the Resistance as Poe Dameron’s astromech and trusted companion. Its story paralleled that of R2-D2; with a mission to deliver a clue of Luke’s last known whereabouts to General Organa and the Rebellion.
BB-8 is a key member of the Resistance, and with its big heart and even bigger personality, provided great comic relief — not to mention it’s also very, very cute. Rian Johnson once joked he was the “Buster Keaton of the The Last Jedi.” As a result of BB-8’s breakout stardom, it came as no surprise when a darker and more evil BB unit arrived during the run up to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fans were very excited to see what the movie had in store for the sinister new droid known only as BB-9E.
Sporting a flat head, a black and chrome body, and distinctly more threatening beeps and boops, BB-9E is the anti-BB-8. A soldier for the First Order, BB-9E is unequivocally an evil little dude and yet there’s something about its roly-poly body that you can’t help but love. As a result of this, BB-9E has become the adorably evil droid that has rolled its way into our hearts.
Here are the 15 Things You Never Knew About BB-9E.
15. BB-9E’s Nickname On Set Was “BB-H8”
Nicknames and monikers are nothing new in the Star Wars canon, especially in the early stages of shooting when everything was kept top secret. Being BB-8’s evil twin, the sinister BB-9E earned himself a great nickname on the set of The Last Jedi.
Director Rian Johnson revealed a glorious tidbit of trivia over the summer after BB-9E hit the internet. An article on Twitter brought up the possibility of The Last Jedi possibly being the cutest edition of the franchise ever, due to the incorporation of the Porgs and now the evil little droid known as BB-9E. Johnson replied by saying: “Just be thankful we didn’t stick with his obscenely adorable on set nickname, BB-H8.”
While some people think BB-H8 would have been a much better name for this little ball of terror, his final name is equally sinister, given what the “E” in BB-9E actually stands for.
14. The “E” in BB-9E Actually Stands For “Evil”
This one has yet to be disputed by anyone from the Star Wars camp. This rolling menace earned its name for one simple reason: it is pure evil. It is also an upgraded version of BB-8 — BB-9 — and just in case you weren’t sure by looking at it, the E is thrown in there for extra flair and a touch more evilness.
Of course this is just conjecture, but it would be pretty awesome if it was confirmed. When it comes to naming droids, the letters in their titles are not as arbitrary as ordinary moviegoers might assume.
R2-D2 actually stands for Reel 2, Dialog Track 2, which is an homage to George Lucas’s 1973 movie American Graffiti. C-3PO on the the other hand is theorized to reference the post office which stood in Lucas’ hometown.
13. BB-9E snitches for Snoke
Like all good droids, BB-9E isn’t just there to look great, it has a job to do. BB-8 accompanies Poe around the galaxy in his X-Wing, helping him deliver messages and serving as a mechanic/very intelligent Swiss Army Knife.
BB-9E’s job is somewhat similar, but he is responsible for Snoke’s Mega Star Destroyer. It roams the ship making sure everything is in order, while alerting Stormtroopers and First Order Guards of any mishaps onboard.
While BB-8 is very much Poe’s friend and companion, BB-9E is more of a cog in the First Order machine. It was thought he would have a similar partnership with Kylo Ren, but Ren is too much of a lone ranger to warrant companionship from a lesser being. Instead, BB-9E roams Snoke’s Star Destroyer alone, keeping his beady red eye on what’s going on at all times.
12. BB-8 and BB-9E Were Meant To Have A Smackdown
In the run up to The Last Jedi, rumors were circulating that BB-8 and BB-9E would meet face-to-face and maybe get involved in a kind of Sumo Wrestling-style confrontation.
Many outlets were reporting that this adorable battle would mimic the famous reveal from The Empire Strikes Back. Once again, the light would face-off against the dark. Maybe BB-9E would have revealed he is BB-8’s father of sorts. Perhaps BB-8 would have even lost his cute little flame thumb in the process.
Unfortunately, those who have already seen The Last Jedi will know this didn’t happen. BB-9E and BB-8 almost met when 9E was prowling the Star Destroyer looking for the stowaways, but then simply glowered at a disguised BB-8 and alerted the ship to Finn and Rose’s presence.
11. The Droids Did Meet In An Adorable Short Film
Star Wars fans who were disappointed that BB-8 and BB-9E didn’t really face-off with each other can find solace on the internet. The official Star Wars YouTube account released another of their highly adorable Blips.
These animated shorts don’t give much away and have featured Porgs, Chewbacca and R2-D2 in the past. They were mostly released during Force Friday II which definitely helped build anticipation for The Last Jedi.
Titled Hey You, the animated clip features BB-8 as its playful and carefree self and BB-9E having none of it, opting to be as stoic and stern as possible. Eventually, BB-8 knocks off BB-9E’s head leaving it as a disorientated little soccer ball. How can something evil be so cute?
10. BB-9E’s TV Debut
Not only has BB-9E starred in his own animated short, but he also made his small-screen debut with the cell phone company Verizon. The ad — which also served as a TV Spot for The Last Jedi — featured BB-9E catching BB-8 uploading some data to the Rebellion and subsequently alerting the First Order.
What’s so frustrating about this Verizon spot is that it offers us pretty much exactly the same amount of BB-9E as the actual movie did. Having said this, the trailer did give us our first look at the place BB-9E calls home. The BB unit definitely looks a lot more menacing surrounded by the steel panelling and dulcet tones of the Mega Star Destroyer.
It’s just a shame we didn’t get to see more of him rolling around in his natural habitat on the big screen.
9. BB-9E is more advanced than BB-8
First Order BB astromech units are made using only the greatest and most sophisticated materials. This likely makes BB-9E technologically superior to BB-8.
However, BB-9E absolutely lacks the social skills and personality that made BB-8 so adored in The Force Awakens. Similar to the soldiers of the First Order, the BB droids onboard the Star Destroyers follow rules and obey orders.
BB-9E also looks a lot like another highly obedient droid with a rhombus-shaped head — R5-J2. J2 looks a lot like R2-D2’s twin brother and it served onboard the Death Star. The similarities between the two could indicate that the forces of evil may always be more technologically advanced than the good guys, but they treat their droids more like slaves than companions.
8. BB-9E Was Leaked by Lego
It feels like it’s becoming a bit of a habit for plot points and characters to be spoiled through merchandising and Star Wars is no different. BB-9E was accidentally unveiled a couple of months before his official reveal as part of Force Friday.
Sneaky Redditors were the first to drop the leaks in the/R/LegoLeaks subreddit all the way back in May. The leaks showed off some rudimentary looks at Episode 8 Finn and helmet-less Kylo Ren. It also gave us our first glimpse of a First Order Shuttle Pilot with a tiny BB-9E at his side.
They could be found together in the LEGO First Order Star Destroyer set. The set also came with a tiny Snoke figure which first hinted at his bigger role in The Last Jedi.
7. BB-9E Already Has A Ton Of Merchandise
LEGO sets are only just the tip of the iceberg for BB-9E. The merchandising juggernaut has been in full force since the summer, providing Star Wars fans with every conceivable type of merchandise you can think of. Despite BB-9E having a relatively tiny role in the movie, it’s insane how many plastic versions of the droid you can own already.
Along with LEGO, Funko POP! have produced their own adorable BB-9E Vinyl Bobble Head to add to your collection. For any collector and fan, the crown jewel of your BB-9E collection should be Sphero’s smartphone-controlled droid.
The company has created similar versions of the toy for BB-8 and R2-D2, which were a huge hit around the release of The Force Awakens. At $150, it’s totally worth it to scare the dog, right?
6. BB-9E Is Not The First Evil Droid In The Star Wars Universe
While R5-J2, which made a brief appearance in Return of the Jedi, was an early example of evil droids, there are several more among the galaxy that came long before our roly-poly BB-9E did.
While not many of them made it on-screen, the Star Wars comic book canon featured more than one sinister robot. 0-0-0, also known as Triple-Zero made its first appearance in Marvel’s Darth Vader comic series and was an evil prototype of C-3PO who served the Galactic Empire.
Darth Vader 3: Vader, Part III introduced R2-D2’s evil twin in BT-1, referred to commonly as Bee-Tee. The robot was designed to fool others into thinking it’s simply an astromech droid, but it really serves as an assassin created by the Galactic Empire’s Tarkin Initiative.
5. BB-9E Was Inspired By 2001: A Space Odyssey
One of the coolest things about BB-9E is where the inspiration for its design came from. Beyond simply changing the colors on BB-8’s soccer ball-shaped body, BB-9E was actually inspired by one of the greatest science fiction baddies.
The beady red eye found on 9E’s head took its inspiration directly from Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. BB-9E’s little red eye is a direct nod to HAL 9000 — the evil and sentient super computer that acts as the main antagonist onboard the Discovery One spacecraft.
In the novel and Stanley Kubrick movie, HAL is a dependable part of the ship until small malfunctions put him in charge with deadly and terrifying consequences. Could this be the future for 9E in Episode 9?
4. BB-9E Was Designed To Make You Feel Fear
Not only is BB-9E inspired by some of sci-fi’s greatest hits, but his chrome body, flashing blue headlights and combination of colors are meant to inspire a much more common fear. Its sleek and shiny (not to mention cute) round body, combined with his little red eye and blue lights are meant to conjure the fear you might have when being pulled over by the cops.
Unlike the soft, round edges and oval shape of BB-8’s head, BB-9E’s flat top and slanted sides mimic an authoritarian haircut, the kind you might see in the armed forces. This is not a coincidence.
Not only does BB-9E look the part, but when it isn’t beeping and booping, it is a silent and effective alarm system that patrols the Star Destroyer for invading Rebellion fighters.
3. BB-9E Has Its Own Twitter account
Not only are physical toys of BB-9E popular with collectors and fans, but he has already worked up quite the internet presence. Since December 3, a fan-run Twitter account for BB-9E has been up and running.
Now with over 7,000 Twitter followers, @BB9__E has joined the likes of Emo Kylo Ren and BB-8 as stars of the social media website. @BB9__E is clearly a busy droid, so the account has only shared a handful of tweets with its fans.
The majority of its tweets involve “Evil Beeping” at its nemesis across the social media galaxy and “rolling around evilly.” BB-9E also has its own Facebook fan page which adorably only has 218 likes compared to BB-8’s 1.3K. Don’t worry buddy, you’ll catch up.
2. BB-9E Has Inspired Some Great Memes
With great internet comes great responsibility, so of course BB-9E has inspired a handful of truly excellent memes since its big reveal. The 9E memes will only grow in number now that the movie has been released.
Many fans have been having a lot of fun over on Twitter and Reddit by comparing the BB units to Taylor Swift’s “evil” persona in the Look What You Made Me Do video — you know the one: “I’m sorry, the old BB-8 can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, because he’s dead.”
Others compared him to Emo Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3, while some have decided BB-9E only shops at Hot Topic and listens to My Chemical Romance. One thing everyone can agree on is how lovable it is despite being a rolling ball of hate.
1. BB-9E Will Likely Appear In Episode IX
Even though we didn’t get much time with the evil little droid in The Last Jedi, there is a chance we might see more of him in 2019’s unnamed Star Wars: Episode IX.
While it’s pretty clear he won’t ever have a major role like BB-8, there’s a possibility we might get the face-off that was hinted at in pre-production. However, there is the possibility this scene was simply cut from the theatrical release of The Last Jedi so we might see it when it hits shelves in 2018.
It’s frustrating that BB-9E had so much hype for such little reward, but with one more movie and countless more droids hitting the future of the Star Wars universe, there is a very good chance his evil story didn’t end with The Last Jedi.
Do we miss any fun facts about BB-9E from Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Let us know in the comments!
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!