droid theme

The plight of the battle droids isn’t an emotional linchpin of the films, but it’s certainly a part of the longstanding motif in Star Wars whereby droids are depicted as hapless peons whose lot in life is to suffer in tragicomic ways due to events beyond their control. The battle droids are given a certain degree of comic personality and charm befitting their role as hopelessly outmatched mooks, and then they’re depicted being sliced in half, chopped to pieces, and otherwise blithely mutilated by the heroes, at times even exhibiting a pitiable degree of fear and running away before being violently destroyed. Almost everything having to do with the battle droids is tinged with an obvious element of black comedy, which wouldn’t be possible unless the viewer recognizes the battle droids as being feeling entities–which I suspect most everyone watching the movies actually does, automatically and unconsciously. This is taken even further in [The Clone Wars], where the battle droids are constantly acting in the traditional Star Wars robot role as relatable workaday Joes commenting on the unbelievable events transpiring before them, as well as the absurdity of their own hopeless situation. There’s a clear and undeniable presence through all this of a well-established series theme regarding droids and their place in the universe.

What you’re doing is the equivalent of arguing that since the philosophical issues of droid suffering aren’t explored in very much explicit depth in the films (which is true, as far as it goes), that means that, say, the random power droid who’s being tortured in Jabba’s palace isn’t intended to elicit any sympathy from the viewer or further the motif. It’s a willful denial of obvious (if characteristically breezily treated) philosophical content simply because it’s present in films which you do not like.

—  Cnut on the SA forums. Paging @boojum42