A new toy leak for Star Wars: The Last Jedi introduces the Resistance BB unit to the world. As many fans know by now, the highly-anticipated sequel has been subject to a plethora of leaks, showcasing most of the tie-in merchandise that will be available come Force Friday II in September. Included in the reveals was a new character called BB-9, who is the First Order's answer to BB-8. It would appear in the 30 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, BB units overtook R2 units as the most prominent astromech droids in the galaxy.
In Episode VII, Poe Dameron told Finn that BB-8 was "one of a kind" due to his color scheme, and the hotshot pilot wasn't just saying that out of fondness for his friend. Everyone's new favorite robot isn't the only BB unit in service of the Resistance, but the orange and white soccer ball definitely stands out from the crowd when one sees the design for his colleagues.
Earlier in the week, the first wave of Last Jedi Funko Pop figures made their way online, and the company apparently has more in store. Appearing on Reddit is an image of the Wal-Mart exclusive Resistance BB unit vinyl bobblehead. As one can see, the droid has a very steampunk aesthetic, further illustrating how under-resourced the Resistance is when compared to their enemies. The most noteworthy detail is that this BB unit does not have a complete dome head, making it look worse for wear. You can see the picture by clicking on the link below.
Since this is the first we've seen of this new droid, one can assume that the Resistance BB units will primarily be used to fill in the background of some scenes. Perhaps some of them will be incorporated in the space battle (which can be seen in the trailer), but it's unlikely a specific one factors heavily into the story. It's interesting that BB-8 varies so greatly from the rest of his droid friends, which look like they were salvaged from a scrap heap. Perhaps the film (or another piece of canon material) will provide an explanation as to why BB-8 is unique, but that certainly is not the most pressing Star Wars mystery at this point in time.
The presence of the Resistance BB unit in the first wave of merchandise is further confirmation The Last Jedi is set to do a deep dive into the Resistance as they continue to push back against the First Order. One of the main criticisms of Force Awakens was that it barely established the context for this new galactic conflict (running through the necessary exposition in the opening crawl), but that ultimately might have been a silver lining. Episode VIII gave Rian Johnson a chance to really explore the group during an extremely trying and vulnerable time, placing the chaotic war for control at the forefront of the picture. A lot of attention is being placed on Luke Skywalker and Rey, but the Resistance has enough drama going on to sustain its own movie.
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