He’s no R2-D2 — but for the ragtag, yet-to-be-introduced crew of the starship Ghost on Star Wars Rebels, he doesn’t need to be. Lucasfilm invites you to meet Chopper:
He can be cranky, he takes his time, and he can sometimes have a bad attitude. But he’s also incredibly loyal and heroic. Meet Chopper, astromech droid of the starship Ghost in the highly anticipated Star Wars Rebels animated series, revealed for the first time in this exclusive video.
According to Dave Filoni, executive producer of the series, “He likes to do things the way that he wants, not necessarily the way the crew wants, or as fast as the crew would like, but he gets the job done… If Artoo’s your favorite dog, Chopper’s the cat.”
There are some key differences between Artoo and Chopper. “Artoo actually cares whether or not you like him,” says Kilian Plunkett, art director of Star Wars Rebels, “whereas Chopper doesn’t care at all. Half the time he doesn’t even do what he was asked to do. He just decides to go off and do something else.”
Chopper is a new kind of droid in Star Wars — he is not completely subservient to his masters, and he can be gruff. This personality is echoed in the character’s look and sound: Chopper appears more beat up and run down than most astromech droids, and his beeps are in low, grunt-like tones. “He’s built from all these different parts. There’s not one part of him that’s original,” says concept artist Amy Beth Christenson. Chopper’s design, as seen in the video, takes direct inspiration from original trilogy concept artist Ralph McQuarrie’s initial ideas for R2-D2, including the expressive arms that fold out of his head.
In the end, Chopper is an essential part of the team, and often saves the day — even if he complains while doing it.
Notice how Chopper doesn’t have an alpha-numeric name, a la Artoo — at least not yet? It recalls the astromechs used by Rogue Squadron in the Expanded Universe novels (although they usually had matching alphabet-soup names, too).