c2-b5

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was supposed to introduce a new Imperial droid named C2-B5. Disney made a big announcement about the character being in the film just a few months ago, and have since featured the droid in a bunch of toys and collectibles. But in the final film, C2-B5 is almost nowhere to be found. A casualty of reshoots, is C2-B5 the Constable Zuvio of Rogue One? What was his original role in the movie?

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The Announcement

On August 31st, 2016, Disney’s excellent official weekly Star Wars web show The Star Wars Show announced the newest droid addition to the Star Wars family: An Imperial astromech droid under the name of C2-B5. Host Peter Townley gave us the following information about the black-colored droid’s role in the film:

“As you may know, the Galactic Empire relies on astromech droids to maintain it’s machinery, but unlike the Rebel Alliance, Imperial technicians do not grant their droids independence and subject them to frequent memory wipes to keep them subservient.”

C2-b5

The above image was released by Disney, and Townley slyly teased:

“How does C2-B5 fall into all this? You’ll have to find out this December when Rogue One is released.”

But when December came and we opened out Christmas presents early, C2-B5 was almost no where to be found in the final film.

The C2-B5 Toys

Then came the toys. Days after the announcement of the Star Wars Show, Disney revealed that C2-B5 would be getting his own action figure, part of the Elite Series Die Cast line sold by the Disney Store. Strangely, the packaging for the new character contained little to no information about his role in the story:

Daring droid. In collaboration with Lucasfilm, we present the Star Wars Elite Series C2-B5 die cast action figure. Add this finely detailed figure, inspired by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, to your collection for epic adventures.

Instead of featuring a prominent character like Riz Ahmed’s Bodhi Rook in wave one of their Rogue One figure line (why would they want to do that?), Funko announced a C2-B5 Pop vinyl figure would be released before the movie’s release. C2-B5 also is included in the Rogue One Imperial AT-ACT Playset, which also included a Jyn action figure.

Just weeks before the release of the film, Sideshow Collectibles announced they would be producing a premium sixth-scale version of the character. Sideshow’s website claims that the Droid can be “seen in the trailers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” although I have not spotted him and I’ve watched them many times.

rogue one behind the scenes

Where Is C2-B5 in Rogue One?

Look really hard, and you probably won’t find C2-B5 in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I have heard you can see him for a split second in the background behind the troopers running through the hallway in the Scarif base (filmed at London’s Canary Wharf tube station), but I haven’t seen him myself. Even Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Storygroup member Pablo Hidalgo commented on Twitter that C2-B5, “whoever he was,” was Rogue One’s Constable Zuvio.

It would be easy to write C2-B5 off as just another casualty of the reported extensive Rogue One reshoots, but those had reportedly concluded months before Disney announced the character. It’s possible that by this time the toys and collectibles were already too far along in production, but why make a big announcement and draw attention to the character who has been removed from the film?

Is C2-B5 The Constable Zuvio of Rogue One?

So many toy stores still have pegs filled with Constable Zuvio figures (earning the nickname “Constable peg warmer”), a character that was heavily merchandised but was absent from the final cut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (we talk about how that happened here). I wonder how much money in unsold merchandise was lost over that debacle. Perhaps Disney was worried they would have another Constable Zuvio on their hands and tried to draw interest in this new droid who was no longer in the film.

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What role was C2-B5 originally going to have in Rogue One?

The Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide by Pablo Hidalgo gives us some clues:

“Within the vault of the Scarif Citadel, astromech C2-B5 patrols for maintenance needs and sweeps the computer network to probe for any electronic discrepancies. C2-B5 is routinely memory wiped and lacks any sort of distinctive personality.”

So C2-B5 was initially involved in the Scarif security vault, and the toys hint that he may have had a “daring” role in the Rebels’ mission to steal the Death Star plans. The fact that C2-B5 was included in an AT-ACT playset alongside Jyn might make you wonder if the Imperial Droid was somehow co-opted by the Rebels during the data heist sequence and somehow continued with them to the Citadel tower.

There is actually no reshoot conspiracy theory at the core of this mystery. My sources tell me that C2-B5 was always meant to be a background character appearing in the Imperial’s base on Scarif. While he may have had a couple more seconds of screentime before the reshoots, his character was insignificant to the film’s plot, only providing background flavor.

As is often the case, toy and collectible licensees start their work on the products so far in advance that there is often not many completed designs to choose from and C2-B5 represents the nature of this flawed timeline-driven production process.

It’s not all bad however, I remember as a kid having a bunch of figures of characters who were barely in the original movies. I would invent their backstories and create their stories. I’m sure a new generation is doing the same with Constable Zuvio and C2-B5.

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