Star Wars' Battle Droids Make First Live-Action Return Since the Prequels

Mandalorian, Battle Droids
By Savannah Sanders Posted:

The Mandalorian's Season 3 trailer included battle droids from the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Season 3 of The Mandalorian has been a long time coming; but from what Lucasfilm teased in the series' latest trailer, it will be worth the wait. 

Clocking in at just under two minutes, the Disney+ season teaser was a literal bounty of content for fans to dissect, courtesy of visuals of Mandalore, Coruscant, and possibly more of Grogu's Order 66 memories.

But interestingly enough, those clips weren't the only references to the Star Wars prequels and their occupants. 

Battle Droids Return in The Mandalorian Season 3

For the first time since 2005's Revenge of the Sith, functioning prequel trilogy battle droids were featured in live-action in the trailer for The Mandalorian Season 3. 

The droids can be seen in what looks like a droid-filled cantina at the 1:17 minute mark of the Disney+ series footage. 

The Mandalorian Battle Droids
Disney+

The following is a closer look at the active pre-Imperial "clankers."

The Mandalorian Battle Droids
Disney+

Battle droids first made their theatrical debut in 1999's The Phantom Menace.

These largely computer-generated droids made up the Separatist forces during the Clone Wars and often fought against the Galactic Republic's clone troopers. 

Star Wars Battle Droids
Star Wars

Following the Clone Wars, both clones and battle droids were replaced with Storm Troopers. 

Still, The Mandalorian's third season isn't the first live-action project to include this type of droid, nor is it the first recent Star Wars project to feature the prequel reference. 

Back in 2019, a B1 battle droid could be seen behind C-3PO during a scene in a trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, as noted by The Direct.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The Direct

What makes The Mandalorian trailer different, however, is that the battle droids appear to be activated, functioning, and practical as opposed to CGI.

The Return of Roger, Roger 

Throughout the prequels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, battle droids were a sharp contrast to the flesh-and-blood clones and the Jedi.

While it's true that they often provided comic relief, the droids also contributed to this Star Wars-era message concerning individuality, humanity, and choice instead of submission and control. 

As to why they're functioning in this post-Imperial era and what narrative they will serve in The Mandalorian remains to be seen. 

But at first glance, the fact that they're in a droid cantina while droids were famously not served in the cantina from A New Hope is an interesting and comical parallel. 

It seems that The Mandalorian's third season intends to continue the show's tradition of referencing past Star Wars projects

The question now is what other prequel trilogy surprises do Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau have in store?

Season 3 of The Mandalorian arrives on Disney+ on March 1.