43

When Wuher—the bartender at the Cantina at Mos Eisley spaceport in the first Star Wars—says:

“We don’t serve their kind here.”

In reference to C-3PO and R2-D2 entering the bar, it’s certainly a bit prejudicial, but are these commonly held views in this universe? We don’t see it happen anywhere else in the films but is it implied elsewhere?

We don’t serve their kind here.

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    Not sure racism can be applied to this, droids in the Star Wars universe are bought and sold as equipment, it's the equivalent of a barman telling you that you can't bring a bicycle into a bar, you're (surely) not going to cry racism over that. Or if you want to consider the droids to have personalities, as C3P0 and R2D2 certainly show themselves to have then would you call it racism if a barman stops you bringing a dog, a living, thinking creature with a personality, into a bar? – Ally Morgan Mar 14 '13 at 21:15
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    What you're calling racism might simply be a barkeep that doesn't want machines taking up space that could be occupied by paying customers. – Kyle Jones Mar 14 '13 at 21:20
  • Species-ism... ? – John O Mar 14 '13 at 22:13
  • @KyleJones So if Bender visited the Star Wars universe he would be quite welcome? But then, I figure he'd try to avoid the bar tab.. – Andrew Thompson Mar 16 '13 at 4:52
  • @JohnO Alive-ism? – Shane Dec 1 '16 at 14:41
32

Active dislike of droids happened. The reasons for it varied.

Wuher (the Cantina bartender) had the following attitudes and reasons for them: (src: "Be Still My Heart - The Bartender’s Tale" by David Bischoff, from Tales From The Mos Eisley Cantina):

Still, as the human bartender bustled through the busy streets, sun hood up, squinting, he was bothered by that droid who had accosted him. Wuher was well aware that droids were essentially harmless. To hate them was like hating your latrine or stove or moisture vaporator if they’d somehow been overlaid with innocuous consciousness. True, droids tended to be essentially faithless, with no ethical or racial structure. So were a lot of biological aliens that Wuher had met. The truth, the bartender knew, was that droids were an easy target.

Wuher had been abandoned on Mos Eisley in early youth, a human amidst peoples who disliked humans. He’d been kicked about and spat upon all his squalid, hard life. His boss hated droids essentially because they didn’t drink and thus took up necessary room in the cantina that might be occupied by paying customers.

Wuher hated everyone, but droids were the only creatures he could actually kick with impunity.

So, in the case of the barkeep who told Luke to get his two droids out, it wasn’t so much "racism", as overall hatefulness. Droids weren’t really hated for being droids - they were hated same as anyone but were the only ones to whom the hate was expressed openly due to being the only safe outlet for it.

Revelation - at the end of the story, the bartender hires the droid, who ends up being a super-tremendous help (by making a new drink that Jabba the Hutt likes… using the shot-first-Greedo as an ingredient). Bon Appetit!

In the case of the Wookiee Cantina owner, it was pure pragmatism (he would likely have hated any species who didn’t eat or drink at his cantina as a species).

In the films, we also see Han Solo exhibiting less-than-positive attitude about C3PO, but that was mostly just Han’s abrasive scruffy personality… he wasn’t exactly much more pleasant to many if not most biologicals.

Another example in the EU was Marvel old time comics.

Those had Valance. Quoting from http://www.hftf.co.uk/?tag=droid-racism:

Valance’s motivation is a little shaky to say the least. He hates droids. Like, really hates them. He hates droids so much that he’s made it his mission to hunt down Luke Skywalker, not because of any sizable Imperial bounty on the boy’s head, but because he’s heard a rumour that Luke actually likes droids. Surely you could find better things to do with your time. And who wouldn’t like Threepio and Artoo? They’re adorable!

Marvel’s Star Wars series really ran with that “people hate droids” idea in its early days. Just because that bartender in the cantina wouldn’t serve them we got a few stories centred around the concept. In the very first post movie storyline Han and Chewie catch a ton of shit for helping an insectoid priest take a dead cyborg pilot to a burial ground. Yeah people hate cyborgs too, which is a bit like hating people who wear contact lenses, but whatever. I’m really surprised that no bright spark has retconned this droid racism as being a hangover from The Clone Wars. Plenty of planets were invaded by the Trade Federation and the armies of the Seperatists, that it stands to reason that some people who remembered back twenty years would be a bit ticked off when they saw any robots. Job done. You can have that one, Lucasfilm.

So anyway Valance fails to find Luke – he runs into our old mate Jaxxon instead. Then we learn that, shock horror, Valance is a cyborg himself. In fact his major passtime, aside from blasting the shit out of innocent robots, is sitting in his cockpit, stewing in anger and self hatred, and ripping away his fake skin to reveal his true semi mechanical nature. It’s a well used image, that probably appeared in a million 50s comics and pulp sci fi novels, but it looks good, hence the fact they reused the scene a couple of times.

  • You might also want to mention Trevagg's response; "Trevagg, sitting only a few feet away, heartily concurred. It was difficult enough to think in here, to determine what he should do, with Nightlily so soft and vulnerable and giggly on one side, and the dark vibrations of the assassins on the other. “Listen, why don’t you wait out by the speeder,” the boy said quietly-an unnecessary courtesy, in Trevagg’s opinion. A C-3PO only looked human, and an R2-D2 didn’t even do that. “We don’t want any trouble.” – Valorum Mar 16 '14 at 20:40
  • Han didn't shoot first. – Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica Jan 4 '17 at 22:01
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    @Anoplexian, are you trolling? Of course Han shot first. – Wildcard Jan 5 '17 at 21:25
  • @Wildcard I agree, but not according to Lucas. – Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica Jan 5 '17 at 21:27
  • @Anoplexian - according to latest Disney "canon" (interview with J.J. Abrams), of course he shot first. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 5 '17 at 21:43
3

I am going to think that the droid army of the Trade Federation and the Separatists that killed many of the native races caught in between the battle with the Republic in the Clone Wars had a bit to do with the resentment of machines. By their appearance it caused things to go bad and then guess what it got way worse by of the clone troopers that would become the Storm Troopers of the Empire. So someone around long enough in the thirty years and in between has enough reason to dislike droids.

  • That's a retcon, by the time the original Trilogy was filmed, there was no concept of separatist battke droids. But interesting nevertheless! – TimSparrow Jan 5 '18 at 14:26

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