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Inspired by this question. Are droids in the Star Wars universe referred to with gendered pronouns (i.e. he or she), or are they referred to as objects (i.e. it)?

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    I'm sure there are many droids designed to be very attractive, shes and hes and whatever gender you can think of.
    – Tango
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 18:18
  • @TangoOversway - I seem to recall threepio encountering a female protocol droid somewhere. – Chad 9 mins ago
    – Chad
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 18:41
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    Dot Matrix was clearly female. God save us all from Joan Rivers.
    – geoffc
    Commented Dec 15, 2011 at 16:35

6 Answers 6

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Droids have personality, and that personality can be masculine or feminine.

R2-D2 and C-3P0 have (arguably) masculine personalities, either because they developed that way or they were initially programmed that way. Or, potentially, because I have a cultural bias that paints the actions of both as 'more male' than 'more female'.

Therefore it's not incorrect to apply gendered pronouns to them. 'It', however, would also be accurate.

Some droids, rarely referenced, are more appropriate to be called 'male' or 'female' due to...enhancements made to suit their primary purpose, but they are rarely touched upon even in the books.

There's more evidence that C-3P0 is male, quite famously.

As this NSFW photo attests to

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    Well, even if he can't fully extend his arms, he can still fully extend something else! ;)
    – gnovice
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 19:46
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    THAT explain why Han call him "goldenrod"!
    – DavRob60
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 19:58
  • While funny I am not sure its appropriate as I am fairly certian it would be inappropriate to put on my cube wall. A link with potentially nsfw would be more appropriate.
    – Chad
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 18:35
  • @Jeff: What exactly makes you say R2-D2 has a masculine personality? Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 16:23
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    @ThePopMachine - largely my US-culture-derived perspectives on gender roles. Artoo being assertive and self-directed is commonly associated with masculinity. It helped that Threepio always referred to Artoo with masculine pronouns.
    – Jeff
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 20:16
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According to the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia, droids can have programmed genders or no gender at all.

For example:

(apologies for the poor image quality, no apologies for the free-hand red circles.)

Male:

C-3PO R2-D2

Female:

Luxury Droid RZ-Z67

None:

Crab Droid Destroyer Droid

Varied:

LEP

Therefore, a droid should be referred to as "he," "she" or "it" based on what gender (if any) it had been programmed to have.

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  • +1 for awsome find. -100 for that riddiculous looking abomination in the end. Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 19:52
  • It seems to me this answer isn't complete with a mention of L3-37 Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 23:18
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The script refers to both R2-D2 and C-3PO as male, and although we don't know what R2 is saying in his dialogue, we do hear 3PO refer to R2 as a male on several occasions.

An explosion rocks the ship as two robots, Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) and See-Threepio (C-3PO) struggle to make their way through the shaking, bouncing passageway. Both robots are old and battered. Artoo is a short, claw-armed tripod. His face is a mass of computer lights surrounding a radar eye. Threepio, on the other hand, is a tall, slender robot of human proportions. He has a gleaming bronze-like metallic surface of an Art Deco design.

And later:

THREEPIO That malfunctioning little twerp. This is all his fault! He tricked me into going this way, but he'll do no better.

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FLO (WA-7), the waitress droid from Dex's Diner in Attack of the Clones, was obviously intended to look and sound female.

enter image description here

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There are definitely droids that have an apparent gender.

There are definitely droids that have no gender as well.

Star wars. I'd say a lot of the droids there have no personality, limited personality, or hidden personality. Either way, they definitely look androgynous.

There's a cultural bias, that when a AI expresses a personality that has neither masculine or feminine traits, they are seen as masculine anyway. See R2-D2.

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The obviously female ones shouldn't be called 'droids' anyway, assuming that the term is a contraction of 'android'. Strictly speaking 'androids' are male and 'gynoids' are female, so they'd be called 'noids'.

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