Warning! This article contains spoilers for Star Wars #38 While droids were presented as antagonists in Star Wars’ Clone Wars era, they were far more helpful and harmless during the events of the original trilogy. However, with the rise of a new, terrifying villain in the galaxy far, far away, Star Wars is turning one OT droid into a killer, which could explain how they ended up in the position they were in when fans met them in Return of the Jedi – and could spell trouble further down the line.
In Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, C-3PO and R2-D2 infiltrate Jabba’s Palace as a part of the larger plan to rescue Han Solo. They came with a recording of Luke Skywalker telling Jabba that the two droids were gifts for him, at which point Jabba sent Threepio and Artoo to get logged and assigned by his EV-series supervisor droid, EV-9D9. When the droids meet EV-9D9, they find that she is reveling in the torture she’s inflicting on the droids surrounding her – or, at the very least, chillingly indifferent to their obvious torment. While only on-screen for a few moments, EV-9D9 came across as a droid who’s unafraid to inflict great pain on other life forms. Now, it seems EV-9D9 will get plenty of chances to do just that, when the droid gets infected by the Scourge.
EV-9D9 Gets Infected By The Scourge In New Star Wars Preview
In a preview shared by League of Comic Geeks of Star Wars #38 by Charles Soule and Madibek Musabekov, the main cover of the issue by artists Stephen Segovia and Rain Beredo is revealed, depicting a corrupted EV-9D9 assaulting both Lando Calrissian and Lobot. The cover shows 9D9’s eyes glowing purple, which is the clear sign of Scourge infection. The preview description explains that Lando is on a mission within Jabba’s Palace to save Lobot, though the dangers within may be too much for them to handle. While there’s no mention of the Scourge, the cover art tells fans everything they need to know about the true nature of these dangers Lando and Lobot are in for, while setting up many more dangers to come for the entire galaxy.
The Scourge is something of an infection spread only through droids that makes them act violent, primarily towards organic life forms. It started with the leader of the droid uprising Ajax Sigma, who made it their mission to take back the galaxy from organics, and rule the cosmos alongside their fellow droids. This story will fully kick off in Star Wars: Dark Droids, though the groundwork for this droid rebellion is already being laid, and it seems EV-9D9 is the latest to join the cause. What’s interesting about 9D9’s connection with the Scourge is that it happened between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, meaning the reason EV-9D9 is so cruel in Episode VI could be linked to this hyper-aggressive droid infection – which is worrisome for the future of Star Wars.
EV-9D9 Could Bring the Scourge to Live-Action Star Wars
EV-9D9 was last seen tending bar at Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina in The Mandalorian, meaning she’s still well-connected within Tatooine’s criminal underworld. Perhaps the Scourge is not only responsible for 9D9’s cruelty in Return of the Jedi, but also still lives within this droid as well, only to make a comeback when the galaxy least expects it. This could bring the Scourge into the realm of live-action Star Wars, making it a very real threat for the future of the franchise. While the prospect of the Scourge returning through EV-9D9 after Dark Droids remains to be seen, the one thing that is clear is that EV-9D9 will have a large role to play in its initial outbreak, as Star Wars is turning this relatively harmless (albeit insidiously cruel) original trilogy droid into a bonafide killer.
Star Wars #38 by Marvel Comics is available September 6, 2023.
Source: League of Comic Geeks