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The Battle Droid Count Dooku Gave Free Will

The Battle Droid Count Dooku Gave Free Will

Most Star Wars fans are familiar with Order 66 from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, the devastating command that led to the near elimination of the Jedi Order and solidified the Galactic Empire’s power. 

However, not as many know about the story of a battle droid that was given free will by Count Dooku through a lesser-known directive, Order 99. 

This order is a critical part of the Star Wars Legends, serving as a significant precursor to the tragic events of Order 66. 

Let’s dive into this secretive experiment and the unique transformation it sparked.

The Secret Experiment of Order 99

Order 99 and a battle droid

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Order 99 was implemented by Count Dooku but orchestrated by Darth Sidious, the dark mastermind behind the galaxy’s upheaval. 

This order is documented in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Comic UK #6.26, “The Only Good Clanker”. 

The setting for this experiment was the planet Bogoa, where a lone B1 battle droid, later known as Coppertop, was given a unique and groundbreaking command. 

Unlike its fellow droids, programmed for relentless combat, Coppertop was instructed to cease fighting and instead assist injured soldiers from both sides of the conflict.

Coppertop Droid’s Transformation After Receiving Free Will

Coppertop Battle Droid

After receiving Order 99, Coppertop began to exhibit behaviors that were entirely against its original programming. 

It not only helped injured soldiers but also adorned itself with a golden crest, a red stripe, and a cape, symbolizing its new identity and autonomy.

a battle droid is treating an injured clone trooper

This transformation was put to the test when Coppertop met Clone Commander Cody and General Obi-Wan Kenobi. 

Despite being programmed to fight the Republic, Coppertop told Kenobi, “I have one command—to ignore my programming!” 

This statement puzzled Kenobi, especially as the battle raged on and they were soon confronted by Asajj Ventress and a bounty hunter named Cyreltov, sent by Dooku to retrieve the rogue droid.

In a climactic showdown, Coppertop faced a critical decision. 

Knowing it could not overcome its formidable adversaries and wanting to avoid causing further harm, Coppertop chose to self-deactivate. 

Legacy and Impact of Order 99

Despite Coppertop’s eventual self-deactivation to avoid further conflict, the experiment was deemed a success by Dooku and Sidious. 

This trial proved that a droid could indeed reject its original programming and adopt new directives. 

The implications of this were significant, hinting at the possibility of similarly reprogramming the Republic’s clone troopers. 

Sidious saw both droids and clones as mere tools, illustrating his chilling view of sentient beings as programmable entities to be manipulated at will. 

Order 99 laid the groundwork for Order 66, in which the clone troopers, originally programmed to protect the Jedi, would be compelled to destroy them.

Order 66 Extended Cut - The Definitive Edition [4K UHD]
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