As a First Order astromech droid, BB-9E caused quite the commotion in the Star Wars world when it was officially introduced last week.
This little emo ‘bot — revealed on “Force Friday” eve — is a shiny, black, flat-headed version of the beloved Resistance droid BB-8. While fans likely won’t learn much about it before Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres and BB-9E gets screen time, the chill little droid seems to be an undeniable foil for BB-8.
But maybe the similarities aren’t merely superficial. Maybe Kylo Ren missed BB-8 so much that he made his own evil version.
Did Kylo Ren know BB-8 before Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Maybe. I wonder: did Kylo make some poor First Order tech person make him a blacked-out version of BB-8 after he joined the ranks just because he missed the cutesy orange-and-white droid? BB-8 has proven himself to be one hell of a droid, verging on “man’s best friend” territory in his loyalty and versatility. He immediately charmed Rey, dragged Finn into his mission, and wanted nothing more than to get back to his master, Poe Dameron. If Kylo was once friends with BB-8, it’s no wonder he might want another one.
How likely is it that BB-8 and BB-9E are directly connected through the First Order and the Resistance’s singular link, Ben “Kylo Ren” Solo? Let’s explore.
BB-8: Leia’s sons’ best friend
BB-8 is besties with Poe Dameron, who Poe actor Oscar Isaac has confirmed is like a “surrogate son” to General Leia Organa. He’s not the son Leia never had — even though her real son, Ben Solo, recently committed patricide — but Poe is certainly the loving, loyal kid who holds the same beliefs as Leia and is willing to die for their shared cause.
Obviously, Poe is the coolest dude in the Resistance and calls BB-8 “my buddy,” so, of course, BB-8 is going to love him. But what if there’s another reason for that love? What if BB-8 was once besties with Leia’s real son and when Ben Solo became Kylo Ren, BB-8 found a replacement bestie in Leia’s new “son”?
The birth of BB-9E
And that’s where BB-9E comes in. When angst child Kylo Ren joined up with the First Order, maybe he realized slashing things up with his lightsaber every once in a while and scaring Stormtroopers wasn’t enough. He needed a new friend. If he was friends with BB-8 back in the day, maybe he ordered his own First Order BB unit. An evil BB unit. The next BB unit in his life with an “E” for evil.
BB-9E is Kylo Ren’s evil security blanket.
Seriously, think about it. Kylo Ren is a dramatic lil’ shit who the Star Wars fandom has pegged as the strange emo kid of a galaxy far, far away. Clearly, he was a problem child while growing up and didn’t receive the kind of love and support he wanted from his parents, so he turned to the Dark side when his Uncle Luke couldn’t help him either. A troubled kid such as Kylo, one without people skills or living parental figures to look up to, would have turned to other things; namely, the sad ghost of his grandfather and droids hardwired to love him.
Ben Solo is more like Anakin Skywalker than you might think
Kylo’s grandpa Anakin did the same thing when he was a kid. Rather than spend too much time with his friends, playing ball and bugging local merchants, little Anakin built C3PO to help his mom around the house. He turned to the familiarity of wires and sheet metal when the unrelenting heat and sand of Tatooine became too much to handle.
The big difference between Anakin and Kylo is that Anakin had a mother he loved with all his heart. While that love might have been part of his undoing, at least he had it in the first place. Kylo abandoned his mother, killed his father, and fell to the Dark side anyway, taking a different route than his grandfather and coming to the same result.
But at least Kylo still has his droid, right?
Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters on December 15.