Watching Andor, one of my first reactions was "who is this red droid that I must protect from any and all harm?" And once I learned that this droid is named B2EMO? I practically fell in love with this stout red droid and its hilarious name.
Yes, for the first time, we have a droid that has high prominence and is seemingly-playfully named. And it feels like the two may be connected. And it all makes for B2EMO being one of the best parts of the show, as I had to highlight the droid in my Andor review.
From B2EMO's earliest moments in Andor, you too will probably feel an attachment to it (let's promise to protect it from Andor's Syril Karn). And that's before it even speaks, and delivers dialogue that is of a caliber that is up there with most other characters in Star Wars shows. Heck, I personally would rather converse with B2EMO than C3PO. And while I think I'd trust R2-D2 more when it comes to protecting data, I'd still rather B2EMO patrol my home.
The cast loves B2EMO as well, as Diego Luna told EW that "B2 is a fantastic friend. It's like the perfect droid. I have to say, it's a fantastic piece of design, first of all. The team behind it is amazing. He's so expressive. With very little, he gives you so much."
So, let's get into everything great about B2EMO. Of course, that means we're going to go over some spoilers from Andor, so beware spoilers for Andor episodes 1-3 below!
Why B2EMO is the best droid in ages
As much as K2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) and BB-8 (Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz) were clever and adorable (respectively) charmed us, and as much as C3PO and R2-D2 are classic droids, B2EMO stands out because it gets everything right about why we love droids. For starters, its chassis is an instant classic. B2EMO's stout size and vertically-adjusting design make it feel like a certain few breeds of dogs (Shar Peis come to mind). There may be tactical and engineering reasons behind its ability to grow and shrink, but it just looks more alive for it.
And in its first appearance, when it shocks a hound for peeing on it, you already get to root for B2EMO, because it sticks up for itself. On top of that, its orange/reddish-metal makes it feel both unique while fitting in with the red-brick of Ferrix. The canine connection is intentional, as showrunner Tony Gilroy told EW that he when asked for B2EMO he asked for "a salvage droid," and "a family dog."
But it's B2EMO's personality that makes it utterly memorable. When 'Bee' (as some characters call it) first talks to Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), we hear it rattle about getting a lack of answers. "If it's not important," B2EMO pleads, "why not tell me?" That, along with a stutter, makes B2EMO one of Andor's best characters, at least per-word.
The other immediate wonderful B2EMO traits is its connection to telling the truth. As Cassian lets us know, it takes power for B2EMO to lie. And after one of B2EMO's retorts, we realize that it's smart and clever enough to know that Andor's asking for it to lie twice. Through these moments, you understand B2EMO greatly, and its dialogue delivery is so warm and loving (sorry, Threepio, but you grate).
B2EMO is also the family droid
For as much as B2EMO can be seen as another member of the show's working class, B2EMO is definitely the Andor family's good dog. Not only does Cassian pull a stray bit of metal out of it in the first episode, as you'd clean debris off your own pet, its relationship with Cassian's adoptive mother Maarva will have you in your feels even more.
Not only does the Andor flashback show that B2EMO is (or rather has been) one of the constants in Maarva's life, but the way B2EMO basically takes Maarva's side in episode 2 — reading out an item related to Cassian's behavior — is amazing. B2EMO is there with her at night, and keeps her company.
Later, when Cassian is looking to leave for his own safety, B2EMO argues with him to stay, and I swear I could practically feel a house pet pleading (non-verbally) for its owner to not go out to work in the process.
Oh, and I cannot skip over B2EMO's lack of control makes it all the more adorable and fragile. When Cassian radios to the droid, and it simply plays — when it shouldn't, and gets everyone in danger — my own wants to protect B2EMO kick in further.
Andor's B2EMO voice actor is a familiar name
According to the credits, B2EMO is voiced by none other than Dave Chapman — who has some history in the Star Wars universe. Chapman is credited for being a puppeteer on one of everybody's previous favorite droids, the rolling dynamo known as BB-8.
This is a significant step-up for Chapman, going from controlling BB-8 to being the voice of the scene-stealing B2EMO. And at first, I thought B2EMO was voiced by someone else altogether. Specifically, Alan Tudyk, the voice of Cassian Andor's Rogue One droid, K2SO.
B2EMO toys are out there
Frustratingly, though, they already cost an arm and a leg. For example, the rather-small (Galactic Figures has it clocked in at 3.75 inches) Disney Star Wars Droid Factory B2EMO action figure is currently $24.99 on eBay and $54.99 at ToyWiz — high markups above the $12.99 MSRP.
Outlook: I need more B2EMO
While I hope that B2EMO doesn't get over-exposed or merchandised to death, I do expect it to happen. That's just how merchandise and toys work. That said, I can't wait for the B2EMO shirts (one will likely say "that's two lies"). The talking B2EMO toys.
Heck, I bet the B2EMO Funko Pops will be great too. So, Disney, don't skimp on the B2EMO stuff. And B2EMO better have plenty of scenes in the Andor episodes that weren't shown to the press. That would 'Bee' a mistake.