Saga Are Droids slaves?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by 07jonesj, Sep 24, 2013.

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  1. 07jonesj Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 4
    Mia Mesharad likes this.
  2. mes520 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 3
    In the movies I'd say they're the comedy relief/sidekick and the useful tool- R2 can hack into computers for example

    In some of the books I've read, droids can be treated pretty poorly in some areas of the Galaxy. Not trusted, called names, memories constantly wiped, and I doubt all or most have a choice about it. So some are basically slaves, yes.
    Last edited by mes520, Sep 24, 2013
  3. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Tools, utilities, etc... Not slaves.
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  4. Alessandro Sanfilippo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2013
    star 1
    Droid are not living things, they have no feelings, they are tools. Like your washing machine, or your dish washer. They are unable to be slaves.
  5. Dinos4Ever Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2013
    star 2
    Yes, and so is my computer. Poor thing has to endure me forcing it to search cute kitten videos all day on YouTube. :p
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  6. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    Droids in the SW universe seem to exist on a continuum ranging from mere automata to self-aware creatures. They certainly don't fall in the same category here.

    Anyway, I'm not sure where the slavery issue would come in. I mean, yeah, droids are property in the SW universe, but they don't seem to disagree with that notion, presumably because they're programmed to accept that. If they're motivated to accept that they're owned, is it really slavery?

    One might argue--for argument's sake-that in real life, some actual slaves might have been so well-off (or for whatever other reason) that they didn't object to their position as slaves. Well, at least those real-life individuals had the option to object to their slavery; droids programmed to accept ownership don't have that option. Does that make them slaves? I don't know. But it certainly doesn't make them slaves in the same way that human beings with "free will" (whatever that means, in this context) can be enslaved. Or, for that matter, where droids who lack this kind of programming could potentially by enslaved.
    Last edited by Count Yubnub, Sep 26, 2013
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  7. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Droids? No. Clones? Yes.
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  8. Loupgarou Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2010
    star 3
    Most people, including GL in interviews, are intent on maintaining that droids are not self-aware or experiencing. But that's not what the films told me. They wanted me to care if threepio and artoo made it in the escape pod, wanted me to be sad when r2 was hit in the Trench run, wanted me to see the medical droid on hoth as a gentleman. They are portrayed as characters with emotions and because of this I can't accept that answer. Yes, certain droids are no more than computers (like most battle droids, it's how they're portrayed) but enough have fully developed personalities for me to think the way they're treated is wrong.
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  9. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    This is another reason why I dislike the PT...its depiction of droids makes them more like sentient beings than droids in the OT were, but even as it does this these droids are simply being used as lightsaber fodder in order so that all the dismemberment and mutilation that happens on-screen is acceptable to the audience.
  10. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    How? You barely see droids in the OT, and those you do are as close to sentient as they can (3PO, R2, etc). Who can forget the whole droid torture scene?
    Last edited by Alexrd, Sep 29, 2013
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  11. Loupgarou Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2010
    star 3
    Not sure if alpha meant what it sounded like he said Alex, because it sorta contradicts his complaint, but i agree with the main complaint. If Battledroids in the PT are supposed to be lifeless lightsaber fodder, why give them squeaky voices and senses of humor and feelings of frustration in ROTS? It's worse in the clone wars, with droids yelling 'why meeee?!' ploayed for laughs. Sure, in a black comedy situation, but i don't like to think of the main Star Wars universe as black comedy. If battledroids can actually feel fear, they're just as tragic as Clones, if not moreso because they get literally no respect.

    There's a comic (one of the clone wars short story ones) where a battledroid gets blasted in the head while marching, which disconnects him from the control-ship hivemind and give him sapience. He tries to desert, but a super battle -droid stops him. When that droid falls off a cliff and breaks, he gains sapience in his last moments because he's disconnected as well, since his battery is running dry. He says he's afraid to go offline, and the battle-droid tries to comfort him as he 'dies'. Eventually the still-running battle-droid runs out of power, but is found by farmers with the implication they'll power him back on and try to re-purpose him. Aside from being a sad tale on it's own, it raises a disturbing implication; do all battle-droids that are destroyed in non-instant matters gain enough sapience to comprehend their mortality just before it ends? That's insanely tragic.
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  12. jacktherack Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2008
    star 4
    Even if the droids were somehow semi sentient. They are made to serve whoever buys them, and most of them seem happy about doing that.
  13. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    ^ Because they're programmed to be happy slaves. Does that make it right? Or even more wrong?
  14. Skywalkin' Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2013
    I've often felt that Lucas wanted to have his cake and eat it too with the droids. Some of them function as real characters that the audience can relate to and fear for. But they're also used as comedic relief in circumstances that would certainly not be funny if humans (or aliens, as the case may be) were on the receiving end. Why would restraining bolts exist if droids were programmed to serve willingly? Surely they could be programmed to understand the concepts of ownership and being sold to new masters.

    And if droids have no feelings, one wonders why Jabba lets EV-9D9 mess around torturing droids. Surely if his head mechanic droid set up in a corner of the hanger bay and spent hours upon hours punishing engine parts that displeased him, Jabba would have the droid reprogrammed. Presumably both the droid and the engine parts have better uses they could be put to. Same with EV-9D9 and her droids. Her continued existence only makes sense if Jabba likes the idea of his other droids being tortured, and that only makes sense if droids have emotions.
  15. Mia Mesharad Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    If a droid is sophisticated enough to achieve sapience—a sense of self-awareness—and acts with intelligence comparable to that of an average human-analogous being, then it should be granted rights equal to organic beings of equivalent cognitive capabilities. If a droid of said caliber is then being forced to perform tasks against its established will, then it is indeed a slave.

    In plain Earth speak: if it thinks like a human, if it behaves like a human, and recognizes itself to be the equal of a human, then it should damn well be treated like a human.
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  16. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    There's also the issue of granting rights to beings with reduced cognitive abilities, without granting privileges.

    Like, mentally disabled people having all the normal rights under law- but not permitted to sign legal contracts.

    Or children, for that matter, or senile adults.

    In Star Wars, there may be examples "semi-sentient" beings being given some legal protections to prevent them from being abused (I think Savrips might be one that the New Republic tried to protect).

    I could see "lower-level" droids deserving the same treatment.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Oct 10, 2013
    Contessa likes this.
  17. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    That's basically how the wealthy few tend to see the rest of us.

    So, are the droids, slaves? Um, yeah, I'd say so.

    The real question is...

    What can they -- and we -- do about it?

    Liberation, I feel, doesn't just come from without, but within.
  18. TX-20 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2013
    star 3
    Looking forward to the Oscar bait film: 12 Years a Droid
  19. Alessandro Sanfilippo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2013
    star 1
    A droid is like your washing machine. Is a Tool. Now ask yourself. Is your Stove your slave?
  20. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    In the absence of life, classifying any droid or computerized-machine as a slave is patently absurd. What's next? G'vmt regulations for the fair and ethical treatment of Windows-based PC's? Lord knows I've bashed more than one with a baseball bat, just for kicks.

    Buckets of bolts and overweight globs of grease.

    Jokes aside, Lucas should get more credit for how deeply fans care about "talking lawnmowers" every time we try to "humanize" one like its Pinocchio.
  21. Hansa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2013
    star 1
    In my opinion, to qualify as a worker or a slave, you'll need to be a sentient being and conscious, not programmed to function and appear as such. It's artificial intelligence. However. If a droid was built in such a way that it would not just react to programming and upload experiences to change and adapt it to new situations like the droids in Star Wars do, but actually be self aware and have the ability to reason without a pre-programmed set of logic, then yes, they would be slaves if they worked without reward.

    But droids in Star Wars get rewarded. They react to maintainance in much the same way as Humans experience pleasure. Charging up is like feeding and oil baths are like baths and going to the spa. And working and be rewarded with basic needs is salary. No need for credits if those needs are met. We work for money so we can buy food, clothing, have a place to live and if we have extra, we can buy something nice for ourselves. Droids have no need for bling, so if those needs are met, they definitely aren't slaves in any sense.

    But like the poster above said -- they are tools built by organic meatbags to make their lives easier and perform complicated functions often beyond the capabilities of said organic meatbags. No organic can learn 6 million forms of communications. Droids can. ;)
  22. Dinos4Ever Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2013
    star 2
    With the way I cook, I'm sure it certainly feels that way. :p
    Sarge likes this.
  23. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Humans "have no need for bling" too - nevertheless, we enjoy having it.

    Slaves frequently got rewarded by their more generous masters (Roman gladiators, for example, after a spectacular win). Having rewards doesn't affect the basic state of a droid- which is- they are treated as property, can be bought and sold- and there is no legal penalty for an owner destroying one.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Oct 17, 2013
  24. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3

    If my stove could care whether I liked what it produced, or felt pain if I kicked it...is it still just a stove?
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  25. Alessandro Sanfilippo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2013
    star 1
    Being programed to have a personality and feeling , and having real feeling and personality are 2 different things.

    Robots are Programmed by someone to have those feelings, to instead of saying "my arm is malfunctioning, needs repair". To say something like, "my arms is in pain, need to check it".
    Last edited by Alessandro Sanfilippo, Oct 17, 2013
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