• Michael Sue


Updated: Aug 29, 2020

In celebration of the new Star Wars moving coming out tonight, Rise of Skywalker, I thought it’d be interesting to look back at some of the more interesting droids from the movies. Sure, everybody has heard of C3P0 and R2D2. But what about that droid that looked like a giant trashcan with feet? Or that droid that scurried around the deathstar like a mouse? Unfortunately, although everybody has seen these droids, they had less than five seconds of screen time, and were offered no explanation or backstory. It is only through Star Wars cannon that we’re able to explore the droids that you’re not looking for.

First up on the chopping block is this handsome droid.

You may recall seeing this guy in Star Wars: A New Hope, when the Jawa Sandcrawler started up and all of its droid victims and passengers began to boot up and walk around the ship. All of a sudden, we see this particular droid begin making a distinct “gonk” noise and start walking around.

This droid was one of my dad’s favorite characters. I don’t know why. Maybe it was the simple design of this droid? Maybe it was because it reminded him of a walking trash can? Whatever the reason, I remember him having this toy proudly displayed next to his collectible snow globes above his Commodore 64 and I always wondered what the backstory of this droid was. It almost seemed like this droid appeared to be a throwback to the robots from the 1950s, which often appeared very simple, corny, and unsophisticated. I wonder if George Lucas was just rushed for droids and decided, “Hey, I have an idea! Let’s put a box over a guy with metal big bird feet and viola!”

In fact, this droid was popular not just to my dad, but apparently is a fan favorite to millions of fans around the world. According to Star Wars.com, it’s model name is a GNK Power Droid, or is also known as the “gonk” droid for the “gonk” noise it makes. In actuality, the purpose and function of the GNK Power Droid is as simple as it appears. It really is just a large battery with two feet. It’s purpose is to walk from point A to point B charging whatever needs to be charged. Although it can listen to simple directions about what needs charged, it doesn’t communicate very well, hence, the only noise that it makes is “gonk.” According to Star Wars.com, these power droids are seen frequently throughout the galaxy and are commonly used by both the Empire and Rebel Alliance. Hardworking and full of energy, no pun intended, this power droid comes in different colors and shapes, but is composed of the basic design of a box with two feet.

So, the next time you’re watching Star Wars again for the one millionth time, and you see this walking ice box, now you’ll have some trivia to impress your friends.

This is Part I of “These Aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For.” More droids to follow.

Do you have a favorite Star Wards droid? What’s your story?

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