Flush with the staggering success of the legendary R2, Industrial Automaton scrambled to capitalize on their newfound dominance. The R3 and R4 lines were specialty models tailored for two wildly disparate markets: high-tech government agencies and low-income urban customers.
The R4 was a successful attempt to capture a new market prospect: the Outer Rim city-dweller who might not have an X-Wing parked in her back lot, but who could really use a hand with her souped-up landspeeder. Accordingly, the R4 was simpler, tougher, and cheaper than previous R-series models.
To save money on production, items such as the video display screen and miniature fire extinguisher were omitted. The droid’s Intellex VI computer was advanced, but geared toward common repulsorlift designs and specs for commercially available space transports. The R4 was almost never used as a starfighter astromech, a good thing, as it could only hold coordinates for a single hyperspace jump in active memory. (This limited capacity apparently does not bother the X-wing Pilots who call the Paris StarPort home.)
The droids were rugged and able to shrug off the nicks and dents common to a working garage environment. IA was pleased to discover that, with regular maintenance checks, the R4 outlasted its design parameters for operational life, weather endurance, and time elapsed between recharge sessions.
Mass-market buyers liked the R4, as did the freedom fighters of the Rebel Alliance. The model’s low cost and knowledge of general-purpose vehicles were a reason the droids’ conical heads were familiar sights in many bases and hangar bays on both sides of the civil war.
The droid pictured above is R4-M9, though probably not the droid by the same name who was captured on the Tantive IV in 0 ABY, as this droid has a different color and an adjusted dome. This R4-M9 is in charge of the Sector 2 Security team and also manages the energy supplies.
According to our expert source “Orlando Calrissian”, at the Florida Spaceport, R4-M9 can be found at his own personal control panel deep on the lowest level of Sector 2. He appears to be overseeing at least one of the operations in that area.
- Manufacturer: Industrial Automaton
- Model: R4 Astromech Droid
- Class: 2 – Engineering & Advanced Starship Repair
- Height: 1.05 meters
- Main function: Repair / Security
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