Obscure Heroes and Villains of the Galaxy: Droids
For today's article, we're not just going to look at one obscure character, but three! Once again we're digging deep into the Expanded Universe to find obscure but fascinating characters, so get ready because this week we've got three droids for you.
When we hear the name Captain Rex, most people will often start thinking of the 501st Clone Captain introduced in 2008's CG Clone Wars. However, what most people don't realize is that long before the clone character, another Captain Rex existed in the Star Wars universe. His real name is RX-24, a Star Tours pilot droid notable for his extraordinary adventures after the Battle of Endor.
The story all starts with Star Tours, an intergalactic travel agency dedicated to showing tourists popular planets and attractions throughout the Galaxy. RX-24 would be built for the company to fly their StarSpeeder 1000 spaceships, however remained defective until 4 ABY, sometime around the Battle of Endor. His first task was to take a new StarSpeeder 3000 craft with passengers to the Endor system, which recently became famous after the battle there. Rex did so, and was even assigned R2-D2 as his co-pilot. The two droids set off with their passengers but ran into danger quickly when they arrived in the middle of a battle between the New Republic and Imperial forces. Over Endor, Imperial warlord Ennix Devian had brought two modified Habitation Spheres (nicknamed the "Death Star III") to attack the Alliance of Free Planets base on the forest moon. Captain Rex would end up helping Red Squadron attack the battlestation and after X-Wings had fired proton torpedoes into to destroy it, RX and R2 jumped away into hyperspace. Months after, Star Tours would go out of business, likely in part to RX's maiden voyage with a ship full of civilian passengers…
Captain Rex was originally created for the 1987 Star Tours amusement ride at Disneyland. In the ride, visitors were taken on a journey through many of the famous planets from the Star Wars trilogy and even got the experience of blowing up the Death Star. Years later, the events and characters from Star Tours would be incorporated into the mainstream EU and the story would help flesh out more of the New Republic's early days. It goes to show just how much variety the EU had, not only did it span novels and comics, but it even leaped into our own world!
Tem Chesko & Millie:
The next droid we'll be looking at is MILL-247-EE, nicknamed Millie. To understand this droid's bizarre story we have to start with a cargo hauler named Tem Chesko. In 68 BBY Chesko would begin his two-week return trip from Syntonium crystal mining on Cirus II to reunite with his wife at home. As he prepared to relax on the short trip his new freighter was struck by a rogue asteroid, damaging the hyperdrive beyond repair. Unable to fly at lightspeed, he was made a prisoner to the stars, with his navicomputer calculating the nearest planet to be a sixty-year trip away. For several years Chesko remained alone in his ship until finding something hidden in the cargo hold. Behind a glass case stood a service droid by the name MILL-247-EE, whom Tem then activated its steel, hydrolic heart. The Droid came to life and began to help Chesko around the ship, even playing Dejarik with him on occasion. The two would form a close bond over the years, Chesko assuring Millie she always had a place in his heart. Then as Chesko turned 61, his health started deteriorating.
Millie would do whatever she could to help treat him but for Chesko it seemed his time was up.
Chesko finally arrived on Tatooine to deliver the crystals, still alive at the old age of 86. While there the starpilot would make his way into Chalmun's Cantina for a drink, where he would meet an alien named Bezzem. Chesko would begin telling Bezzem about his adventures, and when the alien asked what happened to Millie, Chesko ripped open his shirt to reveal Millie's steel heart implanted in his chest.
Millie and Tem's story can be found in the comic Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina. The comic is a single-issue comic that contains three stories within it. All of them are very chilling tales, reminiscent of the strange sci-fi stories one might see in The Twilight Zone. Millie's story is bizarre and out there, which goes to show that Star Wars isn't limited to one sub-genre, it can have western themed stories, gritty war tales, and even happy-go-lucky kids stories like in Ewoks.
The third and final droid in today's article is a diabolical sadist, who working with the Separatist leader Passel Argente, almost caused an entire planet to fall. The droid's name is Doctor, an upgraded and modified T-Series Tactical Droid, who viewed himself above living beings and relied heavily on statistics and math. In 21 BBY Passel Argente had the Droid plan Project Instinction, meant to render the planet Ukio useless to the Republic. Ukio was an agricultural world helping produce food for the Republic's clone army, and Argente knew that disturbing the planet would help set back Republic forces.
Doctor and Argente would launch their attack and engage Republic forces immediately over the planet. Doctor's plan involved using Seismic Tanks (the same kind Mace Windu faced on Dantooine) to disperse an electromagnetic soil over the planet's energy shield, blocking out the sun and killing the crops. To save the plants, the shield was dropped which was unfortunately what Doctor had planned, as he now sent his forces to the planet's surface.
Once there Doctor installed devices on the ground which sent out a frequency causing any living thing to go mad. Arriving just in time to save the day, however, was Jedi Knight Reus and her padawan Xebec. The two destroyed Doctor and his devices, bringing peace to the planet. Above, Kit Fisto and his Republic forces beat back the Separatist ships in orbit and Ukio was saved.
Doctor only appeared in the Clone Wars webcomic Act on Instinct, however his evil exploits are surely remarkable. All three of these droids were chosen for this article because they all bring something unique and interesting to the table, whether it's their in-universe lore or their real-world story. The Expanded Universe is filled with thousands of unique characters, all with their own lives and backstories. It's what makes the EU feel more realistic than many other fictional universes.
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