Thursday, May 12, 2011

E is also for Empire Strikes Back Probe Droid

Probe droids (also known as probots or recon droids) were droids that were specifically designed and programmed to perform reconnaissance duties. These units were often dispatched by various space navies to gather information from a variety of different locations, reporting anything of significance as defined by specific pre-programmed protocols.

Some models were equipped with a self-destruct mechanism in order to prevent those whom it had been sent to observe from studying them and determining their source, as well as a small blaster-type weapon for defense.

This is the Star Wars Galactic Empire Deluxe Probe Droid by Kenner, released in1997. It came with proton torpedo and self-destruct exploding head. It isn't an action figure but it is certainly a FUN toy :)

The first Probe Droid I ever saw was in the film "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back", released in 1980. The probot first shown was the Imperial Viper Probe Droid that landed on the ice planet Hoth and discovered the Rebellion's Echo Base.

Viper probe droid schematics

According to Star Wars Wiki (Wookiepedia): The lightly-armored Viper droid measured 1.6 meters in height with six manipulator arms extending from a central pod and several retractable sensor arms for gathering samples.

The Kenner Star Wars probe droid also has an extendable head with hidden defensive weapons.

High resolution receivers and sensors covered the domed head—including motion, acoustic, sonic, and seismic sensors, a radiation meter, magnetic imager, and holo-cam.

It had an atmosphere sensor capable of determining a planet's atmosphere class within one half-hour.

It moved on a repulsorlift generator which was equipped to operate over any terrain.

Following the Battle of Yavin, the Empire committed thousands of these modified probe droids to scour the galaxy for hidden Alliance to Restore the Republic bases, specifically the Alliance High Command headquarters.

Upon landing on the frozen world, the probe droid appeared to the casual onlooker, and even the base's sensor readings, as one of many meteorites streaking to Hoth's surface.

The Viper probe droid soon detected the presence of a large shield generator and immediately began audio-visual recording of the contact.

Darth Vader on board the Star Dreadnought Executor knew from the information received that the Hoth system was indeed the location of the Rebel base, and he ordered his Death Squadron there in preparation of a full-scale ground assault.

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