Star Wars Minute 19: The Sad Death of R5-D4

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Bad Motivator.jpg


June 27th, 2013.


Minute 19 of Star Wars: Our second-favorite R2 unit meets an untimely demise. Was it...MURDER?


Tricia Allen



  • Takes us from the middle of Luke's whiny Tosche Station line to the sad death of the red droid R5-D4.
  • Editing mistake – After R5-D4 blows its motivator, it then re-appears in the droid lineup. It's exactly the same camera shot used twice.


  • A comic about R5-D4 depicts its bad motivator as an act of self-sacrifice to help R2-D2 achieve his mission. Alternatively, R2-D2 sabotaged R5-D4.
  • R5-D4 appeared in the early Star Wars cards – with Luke crouching down in front of him.
  • Luke is hopeless at checking the general condition of droids; the motivator is always the first part that you check.
  • Pete the Jawa appears again in this scene to calm R2-D2 down. Pete the Jawa will never be in charge – not confident / assertive enough.
  • C-3PO indifferently walking away from R2-D2—another example of C-3PO not really caring about R2 at this point in the movie.
  • What would have happened to C-3PO, R2-D2 and the other characters if R5-D4 hadn't of blown up.
  • The brief R5-D4 scene as a plot device and general scene-setter.
  • Did the Jawas know that R5-D4 was on his 'last legs' when they sold him to Uncle Owen? Also, do R5 units have a known / common fault with their motivators? The Jawas need to maintain their relationship with the Lars'.
  • Jawas as excellent retailers.

Meta Minute

  • 10:19 podcast episode length.
  • In reference to a later scene, did the Stormtroopers—while looking for the droids—kill everyone that the Jawas sold droids to on their paper route?
  • The story of R5-D4 comes from the Dark Horse Comics anthology "Star Wars Tales 1". In this comic, it is revealed that R5-D4 is also known as "Skippy the Droid".
  • R5-D4 and the Bad Motivator later make their way onto a shirt at


  • Tricia: I have a bad motivator too. Alex: I hear ya.


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