In Star Wars, droids are frequently treated as second-class citizens by most of the galaxy. Even your working class people don't treat them with respect (see Owen Lars, A New Hope). Why is this? I mean, you could say that it's because they're man-made beings, but various canon sources have shown that they seem to be no less sentient than an organic being. Various examples of this include (and this barely begins to cover it):

  • Star Wars Rebels - C1-10P (Chopper) reluctantly accompanies Ezra Bridger to Tatooine and through the desert.
  • The Legends of Luke Skywalker - One story is told from a worker droid's point of view, as it is captured and reprogrammed into a cruel enforcer, feeling regret as it is forced to abuse others of its kind and inflict pain while being powerless to stop it.
  • From a Certain Point of View - R5-D4 finds enough emotion (hope) to damage his motivator and allow R2-D2 to come into the possession of Luke Skywalker and save the galaxy.

All of these examples that I just listed are canon. Now, with thoughts and feelings such as this, why are droids not considered sentient?

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    Well, if droids could think, there'd be none of us here, would there? – Valorum Apr 8 '18 at 22:38
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    Fantastic Racism. ObWarning: TV Tropes. – Harry Johnston Apr 8 '18 at 23:09
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    You said: "Treated as second-class citizens." I thought: "Huh? They weren't citizens at all; they were simply property to be bought and sold at the drop of a hat!" (Heck, we saw that happen to R2-D2 and C-3PO early on in the first film.) – Lorendiac Apr 9 '18 at 0:00
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    ... of course, Anakin and his mother were property too. It isn't just droids, though IIRC that varies from planet to planet. – Harry Johnston Apr 9 '18 at 1:25
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    Okay, this is something that probably bothers only me, but do you mean sentient or sapient? Because there's a pretty big difference and while normally you can use them interchangeably for organic races (although you probably shouldn't), it just gets even more confusing when you add "made" life into the mix. I'd think it's pretty easy to argue that the droids are sentient, but as far as whether they are considered sapient goes (because it's pretty obvious that they are), that's an entirely different story, and I think your real question. – Pleiades Apr 9 '18 at 5:06

Technically, droids are sentient beings. There is a droid torture area in Jabba's ship, used to give "pain" to droids. R2-D2 reacts with an alarmed noise, so it means that they have sensors for "feeling", and a way to "think".

According to the dictionary definition of the words, yes droids are sentient. They have the ability to feel and perceive things.

They are slaves to humans and other creatures in the movies, and they can be sold, bought and have their memory wiped. It's a rather strange world.

The actual answer to this question is: sometimes. The truth is that droids in star wars act in a sentient/non-sentient manner in different parts of the movie. After all, this is a fictional world from a fictional story.


Droids are never sentient. Can't feel emotions or pain. No pain receptors for that. But technically they could be built with them if someone wanted.

Droids are not built sapient normally although the tech exists. Fourth degree droids like the B1 or Tactical droids, are built enhanced subroutines to allow better combat abilities.

Still, the tech in star wars includes a so called 'restraining bolt' created specifically to prevent droids from achieving full sapience. Rarely some droids do achieve sapience and/or freedom like you see with bounty hunter droids.

What you should ask instead is 'are clone troopers sentient?'They are not paid a salary and are forced to fight in the wars but they certainly feel emotions and pain.

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    "They are not paid a salary and are forced to fight in the wars" - that doesn't raise the question of whether they're sentient, but whether they're slaves. – F1Krazy Apr 13 '18 at 7:43
  • Well, from a certain point of view they could be considered slaves. But as the Jedi agreed to use them for the Clone Wars, they obviously didn't consider the clones sentient. – Pef Apr 13 '18 at 9:30
  • @Pef They were perfectly willing to use the human clone troopers... – Rogue Jedi Jul 20 '18 at 2:42
  • @F1Krazy - As a rule, humans try very hard to convince themselves that people and groups they use as slaves are not sentient, and not human. So I'll bet there's quite a lot of people in-universe dedicated to the idea that droids are not sentient. – VBartilucci Jul 20 '18 at 13:19
  • Seriously, you don't think C-3PO has emotions? – Harry Johnston Jul 21 '18 at 23:00

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