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Saga Droids aren't welcome in restaurants and clubs but it's okay if they serve the food?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Jason79, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Jason79

    Jason79 Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 31, 2012
    In Episode IV R2 and 3P0 are kicked out of the cantina because they don't serve droids. In Episode II there's a scene I believe in the diner where Anakin and Padme are eating. A server droid tells R2 to "get out of here". I never understood that. It's like droids are useless unless they are performing some task. Poor R2 never gets to go anywhere. It's always "stay with the ship R2" Droids sure have it rough.
    SithLord_1270 and Maul Plagueis like this.
  2. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    It's a parallel with how certain ethnic minorities have been treated over the ages. Droids are regarded as second-class citizens. No way an African-American could join a country club in 1948, but I'm sure there were plenty working at the same clubs as caddies.

    Like many such parallels, it doesn't bear too much close investigation (you can't say Droids = African-Americans), it's just meant to indicate that such prejudices exist in the GFFA.
  3. Jason79

    Jason79 Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 31, 2012
    Ah well that makes sense. It's strange though how any other being isn't treated that way. It's just droids.
    A wookie comes in and no one says a word. Then again he'll rip your arms out of their sockets so I can see why.
  4. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Now that I think about it, there's a certain hypocrisy at play, particularly in the PT. Droids aren't even second-class citizens, they're practically slaves, as evidenced by their restraining bolts. Despite Padme insisting in TPM that slavery is outlawed in the Republic, droids are still treated like slaves, despite obviously being self-aware, with individual personalities. As you mentioned, in AOTC Artoo is told to get out of the cantina (or was it the cafeteria on the refugee ship?), and Obi-Wan also displays his contempt for droids by suggesting that they can't think.

    The droids aren't being brutalised, but there's uncomfortable echoes of the way blacks were regarded as sub-human by supposed scientists and anthropologists in the US, even in the 20th century. Take a look at the opening of Red Tails - after the familiar Lucasfilm logo, which hadn't preceded anything other than Indiana Jones and Star Wars film for nearly two decades, there's some titles in a familiar blue shade, but it sure as hell doesn't say "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away":
    I've no doubt that the moments of prejudice towards droids in SW are there to make a point - the audience will always regard Artoo & Threepio the same as any of the other characters, yet they're constantly being put down in-universe as somewhat inferior (it also serves as a handy plot device, as the droids are constantly underestimated, yet save the day frequently).
    Anakin and Luke, however, display far more humanity towards their mechanical friends. Anakin's bond with the droids was established early on, and he immediately defends Artoo in ROTS when Obi-Wan simply mentions his name. There was also a small deleted moment in SW/ANH in Ben's hut - after fixing Threepio's arm, Luke goes to put his restraining bolt back on, Threepio recoils slightly, so Luke simply decides not to put it on at all, effectively 'freeing' Threepio from slavery.
  5. codex of tython

    codex of tython Jedi Knight

    Nov 4, 2012
    This is how they artificially make conflicts in the story, there are a lot of scenes that wouldn't have happened without R2 staying with the ship.
    I think it was pure a choice the producers made for making the story more interesting
  6. Gilad bel Iblis

    Gilad bel Iblis Jedi Youngling

    Dec 1, 2012
    Tatooine is populated by backwards hillibilies.
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  7. DarthRelaxus

    DarthRelaxus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 23, 2007
    Droids aren't allowed because they're not paying customers. It's not like they're going to order lunch or a beverage, or tip the waitstaff. Who wants someone in their cafe/cantina that's just going to stand around and not order anything?
    sethg, ILNP, J_Girl and 4 others like this.
  8. TheMadHatter

    TheMadHatter Jedi Knight star 4

    Sep 16, 2009
    everyone in the galaxy is droidist,

    they hate anything robotic

    as evident when Palpy was looking at Artoo in the invisible hand when it was crashing ;) :p

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  9. Maul Plagueis

    Maul Plagueis Jedi Youngling

    Nov 30, 2012
    Well, when the droid is a customer, it's not like they can eat or drink anything, so they wouldnt order. Therefore, they would just be taking up space in the restaurant without pay. A droid you own will work without pay, so it's different. I wouldn't compare it to slavery, as slavery was with real human beings, whereas droid are just droids.
    Death T likes this.
  10. TheMadHatter

    TheMadHatter Jedi Knight star 4

    Sep 16, 2009
    Obi-wan: if droids could think, there'll be none of us here would there?

    C-3PO: I think we better go indoors

    - I don't think they're going to let us in Artoo

    mine of contradictions the mind of the Saga is.
  11. Narutakikun

    Narutakikun Jedi Knight star 4

    Nov 8, 2012
    Well, sorta. I think the parallel is valid, but not for those reasons.

    In 1948, it was certainly legal for people to ban blacks (and other minorities) from their businesses, but it was by no means universal. Some places did, and some places didn't. More did in the south, and less did in the north.

    I figure the droids are kind of the same way. Some places don't let them in, and some places do. More don't in the Outer Rim, and less don't in the Deep Core.
  12. LordMortis315

    LordMortis315 Jedi Knight star 4

    Sep 2, 2012
    1. Different places, different rules...
    2. ...and different time periods. It's likely that after the Clone Wars, droids were looked down upon, considering one of the two opposing sides had an army of them!
  13. Yunners

    Yunners Jedi Master star 2

    Mar 30, 2006
    AFAIK the No Droids rule was introduced to Chalmun's because a droid was caught in there using built-in surveillance equipment.
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  14. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Which is exactly the point. Tatooine might have been Alabama, Cloud City could have been New York. Twenty years before, different situation on Coruscant.

    Like I said, it's not a direct, specific parallel across the board in terms of times & places, just a quick indication of such prejudices existing.
  15. DarthRelaxus

    DarthRelaxus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 23, 2007
    Droids are tools. You wouldn't fault the bartender if Luke had entered the cantina with a washing machine in tow.
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  16. AdmiralSteven

    AdmiralSteven Jedi Knight star 1

    Dec 23, 2010
    I was going to respond with this until I read it. I see it, at least with regards to certain establisments, that the above is the reason for droids not being allowed in those types of businesses. This, I think, also leads to LordMortis315 second point.
  17. natureboy76

    natureboy76 Jedi Knight star 2

    Dec 11, 2009
    Intergalactic racism at it's worst! I'd hate to think of my daughter on the senate bringing a protocol droid to dinner. Hmmmph! :p
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  18. StarWarsVerses

    StarWarsVerses Jedi Knight star 1

    Feb 14, 2013
    Irony, where is thy sting.
  19. drg4

    drg4 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 30, 2005
    The lefty in me says The Phantom Menace is an allegory about how oligarchs use despised minorities as foot soldiers in their occupations of sovereign nations.

    But if you're looking for a cinematic touchstone, perhaps the Battle Droids are the African hunters in those old Johnny Weismueller Tarzan flicks: non-entities, cowardly cannon fodder for the protagonists and antagonists. The effect is simultaneously comical and disturbing.
  20. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 3, 2013
    Call me an organic supremacist, but I just don't see why it's particularly unfair to not want droids in a place where people are supposed to be eating.
    Death T likes this.
  21. Darth Vader's Chest Plate

    Darth Vader's Chest Plate Jedi Knight star 2

    Mar 18, 2013
    I'd probably say it's more to do with the type of customers in the cantina and them not wanting a potential surveillance of their activities. Let's not forget that droids are essentially electronic aids. I wouldn't read the whole slavery and prejudice into it as they are not a race of people, in the same way my mobile, laptop and fridgefeezer aren't people.
    Death T and J_Girl like this.
  22. Ingram_I

    Ingram_I Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 7, 2012
    A while ago I posted some thoughts about this on IMDB, which I’ve lazily cut-and-pasted here, with some augmentation. In the Attack of the Clones message board I was expressing my fascination with the Geonosis battle sequence and how it places center stage the unsung tragedy of the prequel trilogy: the droids. No other character demographic gets a bigger shaft or a shorter end of the stick. And yes, I do view the droid army as a wholly individual character, even with the possibility of being individual characters. It’s a genuinely interesting premise when you really get into it. Droids may not have the ability to think freely or creatively but it seems clear to me that they do have some rudiment degree of personality. Non-autonomous doesn’t necessarily mean non-sentient, which makes their particular case a rather sad one. As silly as it sounds, a part of me actually roots for the droid army during the Battle of Geonosis; not for the Geonosians (though I suppose a case could be made in their favor as well) and certainly not for Dooku, but for the droids themselves. Theirs is a grim, thankless existence, programmed to serve as cannon fodder. Take for example the DSD1 dwarf spider droid:


    Nobody gives a damn about this guy. He drudges along ever-so dutifully (Wookieepedia even attributes him with basic emotions including frustration) until he’s likely blasted away into scrapheap by the superior clone forces. What must the world be like for him/it?

    "I'm programmed for etiquette, not destruction!"

    C-3PO's misadventure on Geonosis makes for gag involving a head switch with that of a battle droid. But does it also make a point? Perhaps Lucas is putting a "human" face on the alleged enemy -- while the clones remain faceless -- which, of course, is a double play on the idea in that Threepio himself is not human but droid. It also emphasizes the notion of war seemingly without consequence. Droids are mere things to be laid to waste by gunships or cut down with a lightsaber. No blood, no death, no agony. For all its bells and whistles extravaganza, the "War" in Star Wars has always rang with a certain hollowness or naiveté. The wanton destruction of Gungans, clones, storm troopers, rebel pilots/cruisers/soldiers, even an entire planet wholesale, amounts to little more than spilt milk. A few exceptions include a single nameless Ewok lamenting over the death of his fellow tribesmen and the Jedi purge, which evokes tragedy not so much for the fallen Jedi themselves but as a sum representation of all the wrong choices and exploited weakness depicted throughout prequel trilogy, the fall of democracy giving rise to the Empire.

    So, as you can imagine, the droids end up at the very bottom of this (un)sentimental food chain, with nary a single pained horn nor string from John Williams’ orchestra ever spent on their continuing demise. An Imperial probe droid blown to bits by Han Solo is a mere blip off the Empire’s radar screen. The ASN-121 courier droid delivers in earnest two poisonous bugs into Padme’s apartment -- the little guy did his job proper -- and when hooked by a Jedi, he can only do as he’s programmed by returning to his master, Zam Wessel, like a dog. Except Wessel snipes the droid from afar. And that’s it. That is the story of ASN-121: a disposable tool, nothing more. Demanding that audiences should feel sympathy outright for every droid casualty is perhaps going a bit too far. Rather, I simply find it interesting the way they’re illustrated throughout the films, on scales both massive and individual. A little throwaway detail during the arena battle reveals temperaments of the B2 super battle droid, who moves into better firing position by knocking aside a standard issued B1 regular; supers, the school yard bullies of the bunch. And just watch the battle droids in general throughout all three films as they occasionally give each other glances or utter quirky sound bites:

    "Check it out, Corporal. We’ll cover you."

    "Roger Roger."

    "Uh, that doesn’t compute, uh, wait, uh, your under arrest!"

    "My legs aren’t moving. I must need maintenance."

    "What dat?"

    "Dat nothin'."

    "Hands up, Jedi!"

    "You stupid little astro droid!"

    "We’re leveling out, sir!"

    "You’re welcome!"

    I can’t help but find endearing these curious little creations. And while I think it is worth noting the initial logic already stated that droids are non-patrons taking up space in a food serving establishment, their treatment nonetheless evoke a larger prejudice tone. I can’t help but feel for them. The belly of the sand crawler in A New Hope is one of my favorite places in Star Wars, and I find slightly hypnotic the Chroon-Tan B-Machine:


    Just think; the first face Luke and Leia see in this saga is an artificial one, designed and colored like a baby toy, impossibly benevolent, with soft, photoreceptor eyes and a cooing voice.
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  23. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 8

    Sep 2, 2012
    The Clone Wars takes it even further, with the last words of a droid in one of the first episodes (before being hacked apart by, I think, Yoda) are "But I just got promoteeeed!"

    In the ANH novel, after Wuher's insistance that the droids wait outside, Luke is thinking "Now is not the time to raise the issue of droid rights"

    Implying that droid rights can actually be an issue.
  24. Death T

    Death T Jedi Knight star 1

    Nov 12, 2012
    I always equated it more to something like "no dogs allowed" as opposed to minority discrimination. R2D2 is more like a pet than a black guy. And of course they (droids) shouldn't be viewed as citizens. lol

    Maybe the bar isn't spacious enough for everyone and their droids to come along. Or maybe they don't want to be held responsible for any broken droids. Or they might be dangerous. Who knows.
  25. J_Girl

    J_Girl Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 18, 2001

    I disagree. Droids are not a race of beings or people being discriminated against.. They are machines. The same as my laptop or smartphone. Individual personalities? Oh, I can attest to everything from my car to my smartphone seemingly having distinct personalities and quirks. I can talk to my smartphone and it talks back and sometimes seems to have a mind of it's own, but it doesn't qualify it as a being capable of being enslaved.

    Restraining bolts serve as passwords and physical locks because droids are mobile. Electronics that one doesn't have to carry around. People buy cables and attach them to laptops to prevent them from being stolen. Install programs to find their smartphone should it be stolen. Same with cars. Finger pads to lock/unlock anything from a laptop to a USB stick. I think it's going a little far to imply one is enslaving a droid.

    No droids in the cantina? Well I was just in a candy shop buying homemade chocolate and there were no less than 4 signs banning cellphones. People can be annoying with their electronics, right? How are droids any different? Do I really need to mention the most annoying nattering droid in the galaxy? I wouldn't want him driving my customers away either.

    Padme & Anakin sent R2 up to the buffet style line to fetch food. Well, he didn't stand in line did he? R2 just rolled up to what he was sent for and cut in line. Nobody likes a cutter. Perhaps droids don't have the concept of standing in line and that's why they didn't want droids getting food for organics.

    I thought part of the Rebellion's mission was to deal with the general prejudice against and enslavement of non-humans throughout the galaxy. Droids are treated like the tools that they are - some are smarter than others based on their primary programming.