Pint-size droidsmith Babu Frik was one of the best things about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (though to be honest, that’s a short list). The visit to his workshop saw our heroes translating a Sith message, which tragically involved wiping C-3PO’s memory. That sacrifice was somewhat undermined by R2-D2 restoring his memory soon afterwards, but whatever.
Anyways, eagle-eyed fans have now noticed a very subtle appearance from a key droid model from the prequels. If you look in the background, Frik has a decommissioned B1 Battle Droid. These will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s watched The Phantom Menace as the goofy, flimsy droids that say “Roger Roger” a lot. Given how many of them got smashed up in that film alone, I’m surprised one of them has stayed intact throughout the entire Star Wars saga.
In case you missed it, you can see it for yourself in the gallery down below. Though as CinemaBlend points out, “it’s clearer in the movie, as long as you notice the backgrounds and not simply the cute alien in the foreground.”
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In-universe, the B1 model was soon replaced by the B2 Super Battle Droid. These were recently seen in The Mandalorian, where they killed the titular character’s parents and caused him to be adopted by the Mandalorian clan. Of course, the canon reason we don’t see any battle droids beyond the prequels is that the Empire officially outlawed them, giving stormtroopers orders to shoot any “clankers” on sight.
It’s a nice little Easter Egg and shows the attention to detail of the set designers. This cameo also joins a fairly short list of prequels references in the Sequel Trilogy, too. Disney was initially at pains to distinguish themselves from the prequels at the time of The Force Awakens’ release, but their stance has softened over the years. However, with rumors that Lucasfilm cut a cameo by Hayden Christensen for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, many fans will be wishing they’d have gone the whole hog.