A Positive Force: BB-9E

I love Star Wars and I know a lot of other people do too, millions in fact, all across the world. Despite all the love, there’s still plenty of hate and anger. I’d like to do my part to remedy that malice with a little celebration of my own by highlighting things about Star Wars that bring me joy.

Each week I’ll discuss something different and topics won’t necessarily be related to divisive conversation. Instead, I’ll reflect on anything Star Wars that makes me smile. This week, I’ll be discussing one of my favorite Last Jedi characters: BB-9E. 

BB-9E is barely in the film. You could blink and miss his appearance. He’s a First Order BB unit with a shiny black coat of paint and a devilishly red sensor. He menaces Rose, Finn and BB-8 but his contributions are short lived. What makes him so memorable? I think it’s the mystery, the chance for imagination that makes him so intriguing. That’s not to say he’s unique but he’s a great example of this phenomenon. Star Wars is filled with characters like this. These are characters that come and go but fill us with imagination and spark our creativity. BB-9E has inspired artwork, pins, stickers and more.

Image from starwars.com

His half-second of screen time is more than enough to leave people dreaming. I ask myself who is BB-9E, what’s his history, where did he go after the movie? Did he survive the Holdo Maneuver? Was he at Exegol? Was he ever redeemed? My mind races with possibilities and that’s the fun of the character. I love Rey and Luke and Obi-Wan but those characters are fully realized. They have back-stories, history and a strong identity.

BB-9E is a cipher. You can attach almost anything to him. He could be a robot holding the ghost of a dead Sith Lord for all we know and that’s what I love. I can write his story myself. Anyone can. He’s just a jumping off point for your creativity. Imagination is the best part of Star Wars. Even as an adult it conjures my imagination like nothing else. Whether I’m watching a movie, reading a book or holding a lightsaber Star Wars brings my creativity to life and what’s better than that?

This joy of imagination is much like my love of Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride. 999 ghosts and 999 stories you can write yourself. I love thinking about the Hatbox Ghost, Ezra, Gus and Constance among others. Riding the ride leaves me with such joy and mind can’t help but dream up the wonderful stories these characters must inhabit.

Image from starwars.com

Star Wars is no different. BB-9E is just one character. I love wondering what Paploo did after the Battle of Endor. He’s seen stories since but Dengar remains one of my favorite bounty hunters. The first time I saw Ki-Adi-Muni on screen he immediately became a Jedi I had to know more about.

BB-9E is one of many wonderful enigmas created by Star Wars that allows fans to dream about a galaxy far, far away with their own imaginations and their own stories.


Kyle Scully is a regular contributor at From a Certain Point of View. He also enjoys discussing sports, movies, comic books and more, as well as writing at puckjunk.com! Follow him on Twitter at @socal_scully.

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