Star Wars Lore – Droidekas (Legends)
The Trade Federation, given their very title, were no experts when it came to war and battlefield tactics. They simply mass-produced millions upon millions of rather spindly, ineffective battle droids, in hopes of overwhelming opposition forces through sheer numbers alone. Yet their ability to adapt and make adjustments saw them become a real force to be reckoned with, as proven by one of their most prized possessions – the droideka. With twin blasters, personal energy shields and the ability to roll into battle, these destroyers were more or less extremely mobile and near-impenetrable turrets. They even continued to operate in the years prior to the Yuuzhan Vong War, thanks in no small part to their unyielding quest for death and destruction...
The Making of a “Destroyer”
Designed by the carnivorous Colicoids of Colla IV, droidekas were three-legged destroyers whose likeness mirrored that of their creators. This explains the stark aesthetic contrast in comparison to the spindly, somewhat brittle battle droids of the Trade Federation. In fact, droidekas were simply far more destructive than their robotic colleagues, and subsequently cost over two hundred times more per unit. But the interstellar conglomerate found a way to bypass these hefty fees by trading their partners various exotic meats.
What made droidekas so deadly, aside from the fact they answered to no central computer, was their ability to transform into a wheel-like configuration. This allowed them to rapidly traverse the battlefield, where they could pop up at any time to form a bronzium-armoured turret. But if their twin set of utterly devastating blaster cannons wasn't worrying enough, droidekas came equipped with personal energy shields, that were powerful enough to deflect wave after wave of enemy fire. Each of which were fueled by starship-class fusion generators housed near the base of every single unit. Unfortunately, the shields were subject to one major drawback, in that a Jedi could exploit a weakness in their apex with his or her lightsaber. They were also completely unusable whilst rolling, suffered from a lack of reinforcement when it came to flanking attacks, and could easily overheat due to a constant, demanding supply of energy.
The Clone Wars and Beyond
Despite their affiliation with the Clone Wars, droidekas made their presence known in at least two prior conflicts. Firstly, they were deployed on Alaris Prime in an effort to expel the planet's Wookiee populace. And secondly, hundreds, if not thousands of units rolled their way onto the great grass planes of Naboo for an epic encounter with the native Gungan species. And while their involvement failed to prevent a rather humiliating defeat, the merging of the Trade Federation and the Confederacy of Independent Systems only a mere ten years later, launched a scheme to mass-produce these destructive droids. This saw them participate in the initial Battle of Geonosis, where they then went onto terrorise clone troopers and Jedi alike. Even someone as skilled as Master Obi-Wan Kenobi would be forever scarred by their unyielding attacks, all while elite Republic units, such as Delta Squad, struggled to match their might.
With the culmination of the Clone Wars, an act which saw Darth Vader slay every single Separatist leader, droidekas were sold by the thousands to either completely legitimate security firms, or rather unsavoury criminal organisations. There was really no in-between. However, more and more units began to surface as guards in remote, undeveloped colonies, nearing the outbreak of the Yuuzhan Vong War. In fact, Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade both encountered a slightly modified droideka around 22 ABY. And to no surprise, they struggled to defeat it. So whether it be in their prime of the Clone Wars, or decades later as some “relics” of the past, droidekas truly were some of the most dangerous droids in the entire galaxy...
Now it's time for this week's question: which variation of battle droid do you believe was the greatest? Let us know in the comments below!