WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: Visions Episode 6, "T0-B1," streaming now on Disney+.
Throughout the Star Wars saga, droids such as R2-D2, C-3PO and BB-8 have played vital roles in the series. However, there are some who might still question whether these droids or droids in general are sentient. In Marc Sumerak's Star Wars: Droidography, narrated from the point of view of R0-GR, a droid is defined as "an artifcially intelligent mechanical life-form." The use of life-form here is key; even though droids are mechanical, their artificial intelligence does, in many cases, give them the ability to feel some emotions and, by extension, possibly be considered sentient life forms as well.
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In Star Wars: Legends canon, this potential sentience has led some droids to be able to use the Force, as seen with R5-D4, a.k.a Skippy, and I-5YQ. There were also the Iron Knights, who appeared to be Jedi droids, but were technically sentient silicon based shard beings powering droid bodies, and not quite droids themselves. Now, Star Wars: Visions has introduced a new droid to join their ranks: T0-B1, the droid who wanted to become a Jedi. While Skippy and I-Five both have connections to the Force, T0-B1 goes further and through his focus on protecting life becomes Tobi, Jedi Knight. Overall, Skippy, I-5YQ and T0-B1 expand our understanding of the Force and show that the Force can be found in all life, even if it is artificially created.
R5-D4, aka Skippy, Was Secretly a Jedi in Star Wars Tales #1
In Star Wars Tales #1, we meet R5-D4, aka Skippy, a droid who is secretly a Jedi. He appears in "Skippy the Jedi Droid" by Peter David, Martin Egeland, Howard M. Shum, Vickie Williams, Harold MacKinnon and Peet Janes. Fans of Star Wars: A New Hope might recognize Skippy as the R5 unit that Owen Lars almost bought, but when the R5 unit's motivator overloaded, Owen chose R2-D2 instead. "Skippy the Jedi Droid" reveals that Skippy always knew that he had a higher level of sentience than his fellow droids, but he discovered his Jedi powers while working for Jabba the Hutt.
Skippy used those powers to get to freedom, and only let himself be captured by the Jawas to get his wear and tear repaired. Not just that, Skippy purposefully sabotaged his motivator to ensure that Owen picked R2-D2 because he had a vision of the future -- one that showed him that the Rebellion would fail if R2-D2 did not help Luke Skywalker rescue Princess Leia and deliver the Death Star plans. Skippy has never technically been considered truly canon, but he still serves as one of the strangest potential Jedi in a galaxy far, far away.
I-5YQ From Star Wars Legends Could Be Sensed by Jedi
I-5YQ, from Legends canon, might not be able to access the Force like the Jedi, but he can be sensed by Jedi. In his first appearance in Michael Reaves' Star Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, which takes place before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, I-Five is technically owned by Lorn Pavan, but the two actually work together as information broker partners. After Lorn is killed by Darth Maul, I-Five's memory is wiped and he is sold. However, I-Five figures out how to recover his memories and reunites with Jax Pavan, Lorn's Jedi son who survived the Jedi Purge.
In Michael Reaves' Star Wars: Coruscant Nights III: Patterns of the Force, which takes place after the Empire's rise, I-Five's connection with the Force is revealed. Throughout the novel, I-Five's friends and associates constantly muse on how sentient I-Five has become. However, when I-Five feels strong emotions, Jax realizes the truth: he can sense I-Five with the Force. Why I-Five can be sensed in the Force when other droids cannot is unclear, but his emotions and his ability to be seen within the Force leave open the possibility that other droids, like T0-B1, might be able to access the Force as Jedi Knights.
T0-B1 From Star Wars: Visions Dreams of Being a Jedi Knight
At the beginning of Star Wars: Visions Episode 6, T0-B1 works with Professor Mitaka to terraform a planet, but he dreams of becoming a Jedi Knight. His name is even a clever nod to Obi-Wan Kenobi. His creator, Mitaka, tries to get T0-B1 to focus on their work instead, but he eventually tells T0-B1 that he might be able to become a Jedi Knight once he finds a kyber crystal. Later, T0-B1 realizes that Mitaka is a Jedi shortly before an Inquisitor kills him. T0-B1 continues Mitaka's terraforming work in his memory, and, once it is complete, discovers that the kyber crystal was literally inside of him all along.
The Inquisitor returns when the terraforming is complete. T0-B1 fights the Inquisitor -- and as he does, he has a vision of Mitaka. Mitaka knights T0-B1 and gives him a new name, Tobi. The vision also seems to strengthen Tobi's connection with the Force and upgrade his robot body to be better able to fight with a lightsaber. After defeating the Inquisitor, Tobi sets off to continue Mitaka's mission to bring more life to the galaxy through terraforming. Even though Tobi expanded his Jedi powers through battle, he realizes that a Jedi's true mission is to help life grow.
Thus, T0-B1 continues the tradition of Force adept droids first started in Star Wars: Legends canon. Like Skippy and I-Five before him, T0-B1 can sense and/or be sensed in the Force, and like his predecessors, T0-B1 uses that power to emulate the Jedi and affect some positive change. While Star Wars: Visions is not yet canon, hopefully Science SARU will be able to continue the adventures of T0-B1 in the future as he continues his Jedi journey throughout the galaxy.
Star Wars: Visions is available to stream on Disney+.