With characters like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Obi-Wan and a new generation of potential cinema icons within the franchise, there is an argument to be made that the droids themselves are even more recognizable than any other Star Wars character - except for Vader. C-3PO and R2-D2 have been around since the beginning and have so far appeared in all eight installments in the franchise. With the new relaunch of the universe, Disney/Lucasfilm have added to their bounty of fan favorite droids by introducing BB-8 and K-2SO.
As the universe continues to grow, so does the studio's ability to create even more droids. While C-3PO, R2-D2, BB-8, and K-2SO are each wildly different in personality and design, they do share the fact that they are all "male" droids. With the young Han Solo movie officially underway, Phoebe Waller-Bridge recently joined the cast in a CGI role, which is now reportedly as a droid.
Jeff Sneider of Tracking-Board reported on Meet the Movie Press that Waller-Bridge "is going to be the first female droid in Star Wars history." This reported role certainly lines up with her casting announcement, and with it being a CGI-heavy role, the most accurate comparison could be Alan Tudyk's portrayal of K-2SO in Rogue One. This would not only have her providing the voice, but also doing motion capture for her robot persona.
The first thing to address is the title appointed to Waller-Bridge being the "first female droid" since TC-14 from The Phantom Menace is the rightful holder of that title - though the character was voiced by John Fensom. Star Wars: The Clone Wars has also added to the feminine history of droids by introducing BD-3000 and Bettie-Bot VJ.
That said, all of these aforementioned droids are merely background figures and do not play prominent roles in the story or the Star Wars universe as a whole. The distinction that Sneider is making is that Waller-Bridge's female droid will be the first prominent/leading droid in not just the feature films, but in the history of the galaxy far, far away.
As the role will require a lot of VFX work from Waller-Bridge it should be interesting to see the design of the character later on down the road. Her character being a droid meanwhile does not indicate what side of the story she will be aligned on. Is she the young nerfherder's first droid that helps him learn to speak Wookie? Or, could she be a part of the villainous plot that continues to remain a mystery. She could even be involved with the newest addition Thandie Newton, so truly the possibilities are endless at this point. Now, we can only wait to see how she factors into the story and where this female droid ends up.
Source: Meet the Movie Press
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019