26

Droids in Star Wars are known to have their own personality. Even astrodroids, like R2-D2 or BB-8 sometimes do not listen to a direct order, or do things based on their "moral" evaluation (e.g. when BB-8 told about secret Rebellion base simply because it trusted Finn).

Therefore, it must have happened that droids didn't listen to its owner. I know that there are supposed to be "restriction collars" which pretty much force droids to do what you want them to do, but apart from that, what are other possibilities of enforcing a command on a droid?

Specifically: is there any way to externally turn off a droid? Via a remote or some button located on its metal body? In case the droid don't want to be turned off? I know droids may shut down due to damage (for example ion blast), or because they want to (R2-D2 in Force Awakens), but is there a way for the owner to do it? Or possibly even for non-owner?

Looking mostly for canon answer, if there is such information in any of the books, but any information is fine.

  • 3
    Apparently a droid can switch itself off! – Wikis Dec 1 '16 at 12:34
  • 1
    Somewhat related: Why did C-3PO close down while Luke talked to Ben in A New Hope?. – Wikis Dec 1 '16 at 12:35
  • 3
    I'd have to go dig for my novelisation so not an answer, but I'm pretty sure that Han shut C-3PO down in Empire Strikes Back when they hid on the hull of the Star Destroyer. Leia was quite indignant that he'd done it. The tone seemed to imply that C-3PO hadn't shut himself down on request. – Jane S Dec 1 '16 at 12:57
  • 2
    @JaneS That sounds familiar, I believe Ginasius has found what we are thinking of in the answer below – TheLethalCarrot Dec 1 '16 at 13:04
  • 1
    @TheLethalCoder Ahh, I was close :) – Jane S Dec 1 '16 at 13:06
61

Leia switched off C3PO in "The Empire Strikes Back".

This is a transcription:

C-3PO: "Surrender is a perfectly acceptable alternative in extreme circumstances. The Empire may be gracious enough to—" [Leia switches him off]

Han: "Thank you."

enter image description here

  • 13
    That's about as "canon" as it gets :) – Steve-O Dec 1 '16 at 14:31
  • I think he is also switched on and off in Phantom Menace – Jeremy French Dec 1 '16 at 16:43
  • 7
    You might want to say she "shut him down," following dialog a few lines before that: "Shut him up or shut him down!" – Angew Dec 1 '16 at 19:43
  • @Angew There are several versions of this quote where she "shuts him down", like this imdb.com/character/ch0000048/quotes and others where she "switches him off", like starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wookieepedia:Quote_of_the_Day/… – Ginasius Dec 2 '16 at 8:09
  • 1
    I don't think that C3PO can be used as generalisation since AFAIR it has been custom-made by Anakin. – hindmost Dec 2 '16 at 15:53
15

You agreed to include "via a remote" option. Therefore, we can count Invasion of Naboo mass turn-off as young Anakin Skywalker turned off droids because he destroyed the orbital command center.

Another case where that happened is when older Anakin Skywalker turned off all Trade Federation battle droids while assaulting their main command center on Mustafaar.

One singular case of manual turn-off is when Leia switched off C3PO manually during Empire Strikes Back.

If we get a little bit technical then destroyed droids are also turned off, via manually swinging the lightsaber through them or else.

  • Would loss of command signal be the same as manual shutdown though? – NZKshatriya Dec 3 '16 at 3:25
  • The droids behaved the same, so I assumed yes (without further canon information). – DreamOnJava Dec 5 '16 at 7:21
4

In one of the Force Awakens novelisations (based on an earlier version of the script) Rey turns BB-8 off by flipping a switch.

Rey was stunned. That was more food than she had ever seen in her life. With all that food, she could stop living in uncertainty, worrying about scavenging enough parts for a decent meal. With that food saved up, she could start planning for a future.

She reached down and gently flipped a switch behind BB-8’s head. The droid immediately powered down, his beeping silenced for the moment.

The Force Awakens: Rey's story

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.