“We knew that we needed a droid who was kinda like R2, but also not just another R2 unit”
- Kilian Plunket, Rebels Art Director
C1-10P or Chopper is a fan-favorite character from Star Wars Rebels. Everyone will agree that the astromech droid is a force to be reckoned with. He can take care of himself like when he rolls in blasters blazing to save the day. His antics bring laughter to those not directly affected. Despite his idiosyncrasies, his loyalty to his crew makes him endearing. Along with Ezra Bridger, he is the only character who appears in every episode of Rebels, showing how integral he is to the story and the ongoing Rebellion. In no particular order, these are a few things you might not know about him.
1. He Is Old
The young Hera found Chopper in the wreckage of a Y-wing starfighter that crashed on Ryloth during the Clone Wars. She would devote a lot of time rebuilding him using whatever parts she could find. Because of this, by the time of Rebels, Chopper is a few decades past his manufacturer’s expiry date, and most of his original components have been replaced with whatever spare parts the Rebels come across. Don’t let Chopper hear you call him old though.
2. His Equipment Loadout Has More Offensive Usage Than Typical Astromech Droids
In addition to the computer probe, arc welder, electro-shock prod, holoprojector, buzz saw, and fire extinguisher, Chopper is equipped with a rocker booster that allows him to fly for short distances and a spark projector that allows him to short-circuit electronics or electrocute a human to unconsciousness.
3. Only Chopper Can Interact With The Ghost’s Computer
His primary function as an astromech droid is to maintain and occasionally pilot the ship. However, he has modified it so much that only he could interact with the Ghost’s system. Incidentally, the Ghost’s computer does not like him very much.
4. He Demonstrated More Independent Thinking Than Other Droids
“If Artoo is the family dog, Chopper is the cat.”
- Dave Filoni
Unlike R2-D2, Chopper is belligerent and snarky. Zeb has attributed his “grumpiness” and attitude to damaged logic circuits from his parts being past the manufacturer’s recommendations and lack of consistent maintenance. Because of this, his behaviors are unlike other astromech droids. He does not always do what he is told and likes to only do what he wants. For example, due to his trauma with Y-wing fighters from the Clone Wars, he refuses to ride in one even after several decades later. He enjoys playing pranks on Ezra and Zeb and can be seen laughing at their suffering afterward. His selfish desire to obtain a new droid leg for himself causes him to ignore Hera’s orders to stay with the Ghost. He also has no qualms about harming fellow droids or organic lifeforms as seen when he knocks Ezra off the Ghost while in mid-air, and when he causes a group of stormtroopers to be sucked out into space with him.
Despite his quirks, Chopper is extremely loyal to Hera and has the Ghost crew’s best interests in mind, often swooping in to save the day.
5. He Is Very Experienced In Infiltration
Unlike other astromech droids, whose main function is maintaining, repairing, and sometimes piloting ships, Chopper is frequently used in infiltration missions. As astromech droids are largely ignored in Imperial facilities, he would often get a paint job to resemble an Imperial droid so that he can move around undetected.
The only time he was discovered was during the mission to infiltrate the Imperial Security Bureau base in Rebels Season Three. ISB successfully hijacked the droid when he was plugged into the ISB network, and used him to spy on the Ghost crew to discover the location of their base. The crew thought something was amiss because Chopper was too nice.
6. He Has His Hobbies Too
Like R2-D2, Chopper enjoys playing dejarik (aka. holochess). He often avoids doing his chores aboard the Ghost in favor of playing the game. He also loves playing pranks on Ezra and Zeb. In season 1, Chopper completely removed the bolts from the frame of Ezra’s top bunk bed, causing his bed to smash onto the sleeping Zeb below when Ezra climbs onto his bed. During Ezra’s Jedi training, at Sabine’s suggestion, Chopper magnetically locks his feet to the ship’s floor so that Ezra cannot use the Force to lift him.
7. He Was Inspired By Ralph McQuarrie’s Design Sketches For R2-D2
Chopper’s expressive articulated arms that fold out of his head take after McQuarrie’s design more so than R2-D2. The production team has decided to go back to the old design to come up with a fresh new look for the droid with a unique personality no one has encountered before.
8. He Was The First Main Character In Rebels To Physically Appear In Live-Action
Star Wars Celebration 2022 has recently announced that the Ghost crew Hera Syndulla Sabine Wren, and Chopper will be joining Ahsoka Tano in her quest to find Ezra Bridger in the upcoming live-action series Ahsoka. However, Chopper’s first live-action appearance was back in Rogue One. You can spot him in the background in the Yavin temple scene.
9. He Was Voiced By Dave Filoni Himself
Throughout the series, Chopper was credited as “Himself.” The truth was finally revealed in the after-credit scene of the series finale. Filoni kept the fact a secret from everyone including some of the other actors. He would record his “lines” after the recording session when all the actors had left. The writers type out Chopper’s lines for Filoni to say even though the dialogue would be distorted and incomprehensible in the finished product.
How Filoni got this role was not planned at all. The team had not yet finalized Chopper’s voice by the time they had to present the short “The Machine in the Ghost” to Disney. Filoni explained:
“[We] had to deliver the first short to Disney to watch and we didn't have a final Chopper voice. And I said, 'Alright, I'm going to just do this.' We did it right in the editorial in Lucasfilm. I knew what a likable jerk is like and what I wanted him to be like. Then when we screened it, [Disney boss] Bob Iger said, 'I really like that little droid.' And I was like, 'Well, now I'm stuck.'"
10. The Model Of Chopper Came Before His Appearance In The Animated Series
“It’s amazing how much emotions they have considering they have no facial expressions of any kind.”
- Dave Filoni
As the prop builders at Lucasfilm were working on building R2-D2 for the sequel trilogy, Michael McMaster of the R2 Builders Club was tasked with building a fully articulated, life-size model of Chopper to use as a reference in creating the animated series. It took McMaster 87 days to make everything from scratch.
Written By Apinya Wong
Syndicated from Culture Slate