Battle Droid Pilots played an integral role in the Trade Federation Droid Army as well as the Separatist Droid Army until Darth Vader discontinued the use of battle droids following the Clone Wars. Programmed to pilot various vehicles, the range of tasks accomplished by these droids ranged from engineering, programming, and of course driving around cargo. The droid pilots did not possess any instincts or ability to navigate individually, which allowed for non-droids to outwit and destroy such units with greater ease than their infantry counterparts.
The look of Battle Droid Pilots on film shows that they wore power backpacks and did not carry weapons because they would control the vehicle with both hands. The idea of the large power backpack was to allow for increased mobility, piloting hours between charging, but the average lifespan of these droids was less than ideal and many did not get the opportunity to return from battle and recharge.
Reproduced in plastic, LEGO’s interpretation of the Battle Droid Pilot mini figures and action figure, was again, just a minor change of color and removal of a weapon in some sets. Known as the blue droid, the torso of the pilot is a royal blue, with some gaps in the plastic to echo the mechanical appearance of all the OOM type droids. Again, LEGO did not include intricate details or the power backpack that was essential to the pilot’s ability to operate. Some of the five Star Wars LEGO sets that feature the pilot come with weapons, but a more realistic interpretation would not have any weapon because pilots would hold the controls instead of weapons.
Like the popularity of the battle commanders, the Battle Droid Pilots are increasingly more difficult to find and come at a greater cost. Collectors should be aware that mint conditioned pilots have been selling consistently in the $7 USD range, but used or play quality models can sell at garage sales, used toy stores, and at online auction sites for less than $1 USD. Nevertheless, the droid pilot is a crucial element to any type of collection so if there is any difficulty in hunting down the figure, consider attending some of the famous and plentiful LEGO Star Wars conventions.