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What if Star Wars respected Asimov’s Laws of Robotics?

Imagem de: E se Star Wars respeitasse as Leis da Robótica de Asimov?

Isaac Asimov was one of the most important science fiction writers of all time. In addition, he was also one of the most visionary, having “predicted” several technological advances that are now realities. In literature, Asimov was responsible for introducing several concepts, such as the Laws of Roboticswithin their stories that have become increasingly common.

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The idea of ​​a galactic empire, for example, came up with his most important saga published between 1951 and 1953: Foundation. Another important and common element in his books and short stories are robots. Even though it was not Asimov’s creation, it was he who developed the idea of ​​robotics in literature, giving more depth and relevance to these mechanical beings.

Isaac Asimov in 1984. (Source: El Pais/Reproduction)

This two concepts were extremely important to the future of science fiction. Since Asimov, they have become increasingly common in the genre; one of the best examples of this is in Star Warswhich very well unites the ideas of intergalactic empire and robotics in one of the most iconic franchises in science fiction, cinema and entertainment.

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That’s because the story created by George Lucas mixes countless elements, two of which are a galactic empire and robots —this second influence only partially made its way into Star Wars.

The 3 Laws of Robotics by Isaac Asimov

The robot Andrew (Robin Williams) presenting the three laws in the film The Bicentennial Man (1999). (Source: IMDb/Playback)

In 1942, Asimov published the story Vicious Circle (Runaround), in Astounding Science Fiction, one of the most important science fiction magazines between the 1930s and 1940s. introduce the calls 3 Laws of Robotics. His objective was to offer a new element for fictional androids, as an essential condition for the coexistence of robots with us humans.

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they should too ensure that artificial intelligences do not become a threat to humanity, as in the Terminator franchise, for example. Check out what Isaac Asimov’s Laws of Robotics said exactly:

  • 1st law of robotics: a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • 2nd law of robotics: a robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would be contrary to the First Law.
  • 3rd law of robotics: a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First and Second Laws.

Later, Asimov added the so-called Zero Law, which should supersede the others, in the book The Robots of Dawn.

  • Zeroth Law of Robotics: a robot may not harm mankind or, through inaction, allow mankind to come to harm.

And what would Star Wars look like if it respected the Laws of Robotics?

C3PO and R2D2. (Source: Disney/Disclosure)

This takes us back to the saga of George Lucas. Considering the nine main Star Wars films and all spin-offs, there is no lack of examples of robots or droids with the ability to injure and kill human beings. This happens because unlike Asimov’s ideas, in Star Wars each droid is created with a function and, to make it easier, they were divided into five different classes.

First Class Droids in Star Wars

Skilled in Mathematics, Physics and Medicine. Examples of this class are the JN-66 analysis droid, which appeared in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and the 2-1B series medical droid, which appeared in several films, such as Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and in Solo: A Star Wars Story, plus the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series.

JN-66 (left) and 2-1B (right). (Source: Disney/Disclosure)

Second Class Droids in Star Wars

They are droids specialized in Engineering and Technical Sciences. Both R2-D2 and BB-8 belong to this class.

BB-8 and R2-D2. (Source: Disney/Disclosure)

Third Class Droids in Star Wars

These robots specialize in Social Sciences and Service Functions. This is where C-3PO is, for example.

C-3PO with Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope. (Source:IMDb/Playback)

Fourth Class Droids in Star Wars

Skilled in military and security roles. The best-known examples are the KX-series security droid, which appears in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the B1 battle droid, which has appeared in several movies, series, books and games, but its main highlight is in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

B1 (left) and K-2SO (right). (Source: Disney/Disclosure)

Fifth Class Droids in Star Wars

They are programmed for manual and intensive jobs that do not require a high level of intelligence. There are several examples of this class, and the best known are those from the GNK series, which have already appeared in A New Hope, Rogue One, The Clone Wars and Rebels.

Droid Gonk. (Source: Disney/Disclosure)

Of all these, it is the droids of the fourth class of Star Wars that would suffer the most with the 3 laws of Robotics by Isaac Asimov. However, it is important to remember that R2-D2 and BB-8 have already injured humans in some moments of the franchise, in addition to sometimes not obeying the orders they receive. So what exactly would change in the movies if they were faithful to the Laws of Robotics?

The Clone Wars

This was certainly the main event to have massive support from droids. On the one hand, the Grand Army of the Republic was made up of clone troopers created in secret by the Sith. On the other, the Separatists used an army of B1 droids, led by the Sith Lord Count Dooku and General Grievous.

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A key part of the Separatists’ resistance was due to the size of the B1 droid army. Even though they were simple models, they were from a fast assembly line, which guaranteed a huge fleet throughout the War. If the franchise were according to the Laws of Robotics, the Republic would have won much sooner and certainly one of the most important events in Star Wars it wouldn’t have happened.

Rogue One

In the first spin-off of the “Disney era” of Star Wars, the droid K-2SO plays a key role in the team’s ability to infiltrate the Empire’s base and steal data from the Death Star. However, it is at the climax of the film that the 3 Laws of Robotics would have made all the difference in the story.

K-2SO decides to stay in a control room to delay the guards and allow Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor to complete the plan. For this, in addition to killing several people, conflicting with Asimov’s First Law, he accepts the mission that ended his own existence, going against the Third Law.


IG-11 in The Mandalorian. (Source: IMDb/Playback)

In the Disney + series The Mandalorian, while the Mandalorian played by Pedro Pascal is going to the place where Grogu (Baby Yoda) is, he has the help of the bounty hunter droid, IG-11. After finding Baby Yoda, the droid helps the Mandalorian escape, shooting several Stormtroopers. so here we are considering that the 3 laws of Robotics would not apply to aliens.

the franchise Star Wars it is gigantic, so there are several moments in which a robot attacked human beings, refused to obey orders from humans — R2-D2, for example, did not obey Luke Skywalker in several moments — or did not protect itself.

Even knowing that each universe creates its own rule, and that in Star Wars there are droids made for war and the defense of important people, it is interesting to imagine how the universe would have been different if George Lucas had followed all the rules created by Isaac Asimov for the robots.

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