January 3, 2022
Real-life robots from Boston Dynamics were featured in The Book of Boba Fett series premiere. Here's where they were, and what they actually are.
Robots from Boston Dynamics came to the Star Wars franchise in The Book of Boba Fett. Shows and movies set in the Star Wars universe traditionally feature all sorts of unique designs for its droids, but one of its newest additions isn’t actually original to its world. In one fact, one of the droid types that appeared in The Book of Boba Fett’s first episode exists in real life.
In regards to robotics, today’s society is still a long way from having robots as extraordinary as Star Wars’ R2-D2 and C-3PO. For the most part, droids like them had to be brought to life by actors wearing costumes. In the Star Wars movies of the 21st century, droids were able to be created on the big screen through a combination of practical effects and CGI. Animatronics played a role as well, with one notable example of this being BB-8 from Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy. In The Book of Boba Fett, the franchise’s approach to droids went in an unexpected direction.
Shortly before Boba Fett and Fennec Shand’s fight with the gang of hired killers in The Book of Boba Fett episode 1, a small group of four-legged droids could be seen walking through the street while being herded by children. Many viewers recognized them as Spot, a robot owned and created by robotics company Boston Dynamics, who has officially confirmed the connection [via Twitter]. Designed to resemble a dog, Spot has been the subject of an untold number of viral videos found on the internet. In these videos, these robots can be seen dancing to music, maneuvering through obstacle courses, carrying objects, and more.
The public’s fascination with Spot can be attributed to its artificial intelligence, remarkable mobility, and ability to complete both menial and complex tasks. The versatility of Spot has made it a tool of a multitude of companies, who have put it to work in a wide variety of areas, including mining, construction, exploration, and even hospitals. As pointed out by Boston Dynamics in its aforementioned tweet, Disney+’s The Book of Boba Fett show can now be counted among the many projects that Spot has been associated with in the last few years.
Specific details about how the robot came to be in an episode of a Star Wars TV series haven’t been revealed as of yet, but Disney’s decision to include a real-life robot in one of its Star Wars shows has prompted some interesting conversations. Some have complained that Spot’s role breaks the immersive feel of the series, given that it could be easily recognized as something from the real world, as opposed to an invention of the Star Wars franchise.
However, the fact that Spot could be used at all in The Book of Boba Fett speaks volumes about the state of the robotics industry in 2021. The idea that there’s a robot advanced enough to fit into the world of Star Wars alongside all of its high-tech droids is certainly worthy of recognition.