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BT-1 (Beetee)

Star Wars
by yo go re

We know what 0-0-0 sounds like, but how about this little guy?

A hostile astromech droid, BT-1 (Beetee) works with Doctor Aphra alongside the protochol droid 0-0-0 on destructive missions. The black metal-plated droid is heavily armed with flamethrowers and other destructive weapons.

That's not entirely accurate: BT isn't an astromech droid, he's a "blastromech": he's designed to look like and perform most of the functions of a normal astromech, while secretly being an assassin droid. Lets him get closer to his targets. He was created by the Tarkin Initiative, the same think tank that employed Orson Krennic. Upon activation, he killed everyone in the building, set the base to self destruct, and jettisoned himself into space. That's dedication!

BT-1 is, of course, the R2-D2 to 0-0-0's C-3PO; Dr. Aphra didn't just dress kind of like Han Solo, she also picked up a whole coterie of sinister doppelgangers (including an evil Wookie). In fact, BT is the only reason Aphra retrieved Triple-Zero's personality matrix in the first place: BT went on his little killing spree before anyone had programmed him with any common languages, and 0-0-0 was the only one who could speak "Tarkin Initiative R&D code." Anyway, from the neck down, this is the same mold as Black Series R2, just done in black instead of white. On the plus side, that means he's the perfect height, and that he has the little dextrous arms that hide within the panels on his chest; on the negative side, that means he still has the action feature that extends his extra ambulatory strut when you turn his head (thus negating all the lessons learned from Chopper).

The head is a new piece. His upper bit is more conical than dome-shaped, about the size of an R5 unit. It only has one great and dire eye in the center of its "face," and the outer chassis is split down the center with the eye inset, while the wires radiating out therefrom giving him a look quite a bit like Sauron. Despite being very inhuman, R2 (and the other astromechs by extension) are designed to look friendly and trustworthy, but BT definitely looks evil.

BT's dark grey colorscheme matches 0-0-0, but the addition of the silver and bronze accents seems to come from the R5s seen on the second Death Star. The paint apps on this toy are better than it was on Black Series R2-D2, with the pigment actually staying within the lines this time. The eye is a dark orangey brick red, and there's a single small point of light blue right near the lower edge of the head, keeping the design from being oppressively dark.

What makes BT-1 shine is his fine selection of accessories. R2-D2 was pretty heavily armed, with a taser, a buzz saw, a clamp, some rocket boosters he could use to burn Battle Droids to death, but that's nothing! If R2 is Iron Man, then BT is War Machine. In addition to the two thin tools that emerge from his chest, weapons pods extend from his legs, and panels on the dome can be removed and replaced with a Gatling gun on one side and a missile launcher on the other - the War Machine comparison was not just idle. The head-cannons mount in place solidly, but have their own points of articulation so they can be aimed at different targets. Good stuff! The only thing we'd say he's missing are the flip-out panels on his heels and shoulders that allowed 0-0-0 to hop on and ride him like a scooter (since protocol droid bodies aren't built for quick getaways).

Sometimes it takes Hasbro a while to complete "sets" of figures (cf. Boba Fett in 2014, and Dengar in 2019), but Aphra, BT, and Triple-Zero were released as numbers 87, 88, and 89 in The Black Series - fans didn't have to wait a second to complete the trio, with them all being in one series. But now, however, we're left to wonder when they're going to throw a new head on their Chewbacca mold and give us Black Krrsantan?

BT-1 | Doctor Aphra | 0-0-0

-- 04/05/20

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