Comic Book Insights: 0-0-0 (AKA Triple-Zero)

 “I’m 0-0-0 or Triple-Zero if you prefer. I’m a protocol droid, specialized in etiquette, customs, translation and torture, ma’am.―0-0-0 introduces himself to Doctor Aphra.

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Doctor Aphra’s dynamic droid is one of the meanest and most terrifying characters in Star Wars. Triple-Zero was first introduced to us through the Darth Vader Marvel comic series. Triple-Zero accompanied his companion BT-1 (Bee Tee) and Doctor Aphra on her journey with the Sith Lord. Kieron Gillen (Triple-Zero’s creator) described the droid as “a ticking-time-bomb” for Doctor Aphra.

Backstory (Information provided by Wookieepedia) :

A few weeks after the Battle of Yavin, Doctor Aphra, a rogue archaeologist, who specialized in droid and weapons technologies, traveled to Quarantine World III in order to steal the Triple-Zero protocol personality matrix that she intended to use to reactivate Triple-Zero who could awaken a BT-1 assassin droid she had salvaged some time before, on the orders of the Droid Gotra. She eventually succeeded, after the Sith Lord Darth Vader intervened. Aphra brought Vader aboard her ship, the Ark Angel, where Vader hired her to help him acquire an army of battle droids to track down a Rebel pilot, and an Imperial agent.

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Override imprint ‘master’ on all individuals present. Codename: Aphra and codename: Vader.
Ah, better not shake hands, then. May route a fatal shock through my palm. Old habits die hard and all that. And in my experience, they certainly die harder than most organics, ma’am.
―Aphra and Triple-Zero.

Aphra inserted the personality matrix into a silver protocol droid’s body and turned it on. Triple-Zero awoke and introduced himself as a protocol droid specialized in etiquette and torture, as Aphra imprinted herself and Vader as Triple-Zero’s new masters. Triple-Zero thought better of shaking the hands of his new masters, thinking he may accidentally kill them with an electric shock, so he instead inquired whether he could be of assistance. Aphra told him he could awaken BT-1, or Bee Tee, as he spoke the R&D languages that only droids associated with the Imperial Tarkin Initiative spoke. Triple-Zero did so, and Bee Tee instantly took hostility to Vader and Aphra, but Triple-Zero berated him for wanting to kill their new masters and shut him down. Soon thereafter, Aphra gave the two specialized assassin droids to Vader and prepared to travel to Geonosis, a desert world in the Outer Rim, to steal a droid factory from a Geonosian queen.

Once on Geonosis, Aphra sent Triple-Zero and Bee Tee into the queen’s lair to navigate the most direct route to the queen’s chamber so she and Vader could follow. Farther into the tunnels, the two droids came across other droids: B1 battle droids, that were used extensively during the Clone Wars that occurred about two decades before. Triple-Zero was very surprised at the droids, and intended to try and communicate with them in their native language, Geonosian hive-mind, but had nothing to say. So Bee Tee burned them to death with his built-in flamethrower, while Triple-Zero realized he did have something to say: He laughed at them as they burned and died. Soon, the droids reached the queen’s chamber and waited for Vader and Aphra to arrive before entering to confront the alien queen. The queen was angry at the unexpected visitors. Vader ignored her, however, and began the heist. He cleared the queen and the battle droids from atop the factory and ordered Bee Tee to open fire. Meanwhile, the Ark Angel remotely blew a hole in the ceiling of the lair that allowed Vader’s ship, a J-type 327 Nubian starship, to lower a crane through. The crane lifted the factory out through the gap, while Triple-Zero held on to Bee Tee, who blasted out of the cave using his booster rockets.

Later, aboard Vader’s J-type 327 Nubian, Bee Tee and Aphra got the droid factory working. It created one BX-series droid commando as a test. Triple-Zero examined the droid and determined it had “teething issues,” and suggested to his masters that his enhancement methods could be used to improve the droid factory’s functionality. Shortly after, while Aphra and Vader were preoccupied, Triple-Zero answered a message from the Wookiee bounty hunter Black Krrsantan who Vader had hired some time before. Triple-Zero informed Vader of the Wookiee’s arrival, who brought aboard his bounty: the Imperial agent. The agent insisted that if Vader tortured him, he would get none of the information Vader wanted. Vader agreed and sent Triple-Zero to interrogate the agent. Triple-Zero was satisfied at having someone to torture and set to work.

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Later, Triple-Zero managed to extract all information from the agent. Including his name: Cylo, the location of his research base: within a nebula in the Outer Rim, and his commission from the Emperor: to create apprentices to replace Vader as the Emperor’s chief enforcer. Triple-Zero reported all to Lord Vader, who ordered course be set to the research base.

Vader’s team took his J-type 327 Nubian starship to the base, while the factory produced two platoons worth of commando droids. Aphra fired an ion charge that disabled the base’s systems and confused the soldiers stationed within. Vader, meanwhile, ejected into space and boarded the base. Aphra landed the starship on the base and Triple-Zero and Bee Tee cut through a blast door to serve as distractions to the soldiers so Vader could vent them into space when he cut through the base’s organic walls. Triple-Zero inquired as to whether he had served adequately as a distraction. Vader, however, ignored the protocol droid, leaving Triple-Zero to lament to Bee Tee that he had had more grateful masters in the past—though it hadn’t stopped him from draining their blood. The droid commandos arrived and went off with Vader to subdue all resistance, which left the two assassin droids to return to the ship and wait for Vader’s return with Aphra.

Vader remained in the base for some time, before returning without the commando droids. He subsequently learned the name of the Rebel pilot, Skywalker, and set out to Skywalker’s homeworld of Tatooine to learn all he could of the boy. Vader’s team accompanied him and took the Ark Angel. Once on Tatooine, Vader investigated the homestead where Skywalker had grown up. It had been burned by Imperial troops weeks before, and Triple-Zero was disturbed that droids had been slaughtered in the attack. They next travelled to another home that Vader entered alone. He so reemerged, so Aphra detonated a molecular purge bomb that destroyed all evidence that anyone had ever lived there. Vader left right after to continue his duties within the Empire, while Aphra and the droids took the Ark Angel to the Outer Rim jungle planet, Son-tuul.

While on Son-tuul, Aphra hired a group of bounty hunters—the Trandoshan Bossk, the midget Beebox, the IG-series assassin droid IG-90, and Krrsantan—on the orders of Vader, in order to steal the Son-tuul Pride’s fortune of credits that had been seized by the Empire just before, and was in transit to the Anthan Prime Orbital Dockyard in the Anthan system aboard an Arquitens-class light cruiser. Triple-Zero and the group took the Ark Angel to Anthan Prime, where, in orbit, Aphra remotely detonated an asteroid that created a small asteroid field, which the cruiser collided with. The Imperials, unaware that they were being attacked by a sentient foe, remained unaware when Aphra, Bee Tee and the bounty hunters boarded the cruiser to install a homing beacon so Krrsantan—who had stayed behind in his Auzituck anti-slaver gunship—could use his gunship to tow an asteroid into the cruiser to break it open and spill the credit ingots into space where Bee Tee could gather them up. Which, after Triple-Zero informed Krrsantan he could begin his run, is exactly what happened. Although, Krrsantan was in cahoots with Aphra, and on Vader’s orders, had been told to let a majority of the credits drift into space so they could be collected later and given to Vader. Then, Aphra and the three hunters returned to the Ark Angel, where Triple-Zero welcomed them and informed them that the plan had gone on without a hitch.

Soon thereafter, the credits were gathered and brought on to the Ark Angel where they were split into five equal shares: one for Triple-Zero’s master, and four for the hired guns. The mercenaries were unsatisfied with the lower-than-promised pay, but agreed, nonetheless, to work with Aphra again only if she paid up front the next time, and left with their credits. Aphra and the two droids then travelled to Anthan 13, one of Anthan Prime’s moons, to collect the credits where Krrsantan had dumped them and meet with Vader. Krrsantan also came to receive his “bonus pay” and then left. Triple-Zero confessed to Aphra, due to the crystalline caverns of Anthan 13 and the large pile of credit chips, that he had always had a hankering to be covered in precious metals. Aphra and Vader discussed her next mission before Vader left as well, leaving Triple-Zero to express his discomfort on not receiving a portion of the contraband even though IG-90—a droid like Triple-Zero—had received a share. Aphra had believed the droid had been taking joy in the work, but Triple-Zero corrected her: he had not been torturing an organic being; therefore, there was little joy. Aphra told him to have patience and started work on their next assignment, the individual Commodex Tahn.

Triple-Zero, Aphra and Bee Tee then returned to the Spire, a floating city on Anthan Prime, and landed near a holochess business. Triple-Zero was enthralled by the prospect of possibly playing holochess after being locked away on Quarantine World III for centuries. He admitted to Aphra that due to his extensive programming in the art of torture, he was a terrible holochess player, but that did not stop him from loving the game. Aphra negotiated with “The Ante,” a Givin infochant, who provided Aphra with Commodex Tahn’s family background. Triple-Zero voiced, as they walked back to the ship, that he thought Tahn didn’t seem like someone Vader would be interested in. Aphra agreed; he belonged to a family of morticians on the planet Naboo.

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With the inquired information the trio travelled to Naboo to see the mortician who oversaw Senator Amidala’s burial, to confirm Vader’s information that she gave birth to a son. The mortician, Commodex Tahn, refused to give the information, therefore Aphra ordered 0-0-0 to get the information. After torturing the Commodex, Triple-Zero got the confirmation that Senator Amidala gave birth to a son before she died. The Commodex had faked the pregnant womb with a hologram. After receiving that information, Aphra ordered 0-0-0 to finish the business, meaning Triple-Zero electroshocked the Commodex to death before leaving Naboo with Aphra.

Aphra, BT-1 and 0-0-0 moved to Vrogas Vas, where Vader and Skywalker had both crashed their ships after a dogfight. While Vader faced an army of Rebels alone, Aphra attempted to capture Skywalker. In order to do this, she painted 0-0-0 with a golden luster to make him look like Luke’s protocol droid, C-3PO. When approaching Skywalker, Triple-Zero electroshocked him unconscious while BT-1 faced the pilot’s astromech, R2-D2. Before they were able to escape with their prize, they were ambushed by Han Solo and Chewbacca, Han confronted Aphra and Chewbacca ripped off Triple-Zero’s arms, The two malignant droids and Aphra had to seek shelter, then lost Skywalker back to Solo, Chewbacca, and R2-D2, but had little time to retreat before the Wookiee Bounty Hunter Black Krrsantan intervened and faced off against Chewbacca. The Rebels, however, managed to escape, but not without Luke Skywalker once again being captured by Imperial reinforcements.

After fleeing the scene, 0-0-0 and BT-1 faced an old Sith War Droid at some point.

After Aphra’s failed attempt to betray Vader and her faked death, 0-0-0, together with Black Krrsantan and BT-1, rescued Aphra as she floated in space and continued their own private mission through the galaxy.

0-0-0 travelled to Fulan Ro aboard the Ark Angel II with Doctor Aphra and the rest of her crew. He greeted her as she returned from the stealing an artefact from Ulbik Tan. He acknowledged that he lost a bet with his counterpart, BT-1, on whether Aphra would survive her mission. Soo-Tath showed up to collect the debt that Aphra owed him, and she sent 0-0-0 to get Black Krrsantan from inside the ship for backup. They both arrived in time to see one of Soo-Tath’s Gigoran strike Aphra. 0-0-0 translated Krrsantan’s warning about attacking Aphra. After the Wookiee drove off the gangster and his muscle, 0-0-0 followed Soo-Tath to a cantina where he ambushed the gangster and injected him with a neurotoxin. This caused the gangster to die, although by most appearances it would appear to be a natural death. Triple Zero was enjoying travelling with Aphra and decided to do kill the gangster to make sure he wouldn’t report Aphra’s whereabouts to the Empire. He returned to the ship and accompanied Aphra to Archaeo-Prime where she tried to sell the artefact she had recovered. When she found out her doctorate had been revoked, he offered her condolences.

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Back on her ship, Aphra confronted her father about his involvement in the decision to revoke her credentials. When he refused to believe she would hurt him, Aphra instructed 0-0-0 to get the information. The droid was very happy about this task, revealing many different instruments of torture built into his fingers. Before he could start, Aphra told him to stand down, and Triple Zero expressed his displeasure. He listened as Aphra and her father debated the Ordu Aspectu. After arriving at Yavin 4, he travelled with the rest of the crew to the temple to get some readings.

While scouting the Massassi temple, Aphra complained about the Empire and Triple Zero pointed out that she had in the past praised them for using their domination over the Galaxy as a way to protect the people. Aphra sent Krrsantan to create a diversion to draw away most of the Imperial troops and once they were gone, Triple Zero and BT-1 infiltrated the base. Once inside, they opened the ventilation hatches so Aphra and her father could enter the base. He passed by an IT-O and stated he was a fan of the droid’s work. After Aphra and her father placed all the crystals into the floor, he brought their attention to BT-1 who had noticed that all the temples in the complex had released beams of light pointing to the location of the Citadel of Rur.

Aphra’s father proceeded to get the readings needed to locate the Citadel of Rur. As the group left the temple, they ran into Imperial troops. Aphra ordered BT-1 to slow them down, and the droid launched a barrage of thermal detonators. Triple Zero commented that killing them would indeed slow them down. The group made their way out of the temple but were chased by more Imperials. Aphra held them off, and Triple Zero complained he was unable to move quickly enough. BT-1 extended handles and footrests, enabling 0-0-0 to ride the astromech and keep up with the rest of the group. Triple Zero and the rest of the group were able to escape on the Ark Angel II. When they reached the Citadel of Rur, Triple Zero and the rest of the group debarked from their ship.

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Inside the Citadel, Aphra and her father worked to restore the power. When they realized they didn’t have enough Ordu crystals, Aphra sent 0-0-0 and BT-1 back to the ship to get a crystal modulator to mimic the functions of the original crystals. On their way back, they were forced to hide from Magna Tolvan and a group of snowtroopers. The droids proceeded to the ship and killed some Imperials who were on-board. Krrsantan, who was separated from the Aphras by the Imperial troops, returned to the ship and had Triple Zero call Chelli Aphra and tell her that he was leaving the Citadel.

Triple Zero was present when Aphra reunited with Krrsantan at a bar on the Cosmatanic Steppes.

0-0-0 and BT-1 went with Aphra as she met two journalists. She pretended to be Black Krrsantan’s agent and arranged a meeting with the Wookiee so that the journalists could get his life story. While they were distracted, 0-0-0 and BT-1 accessed the journalist’s holonet transmitter and broadcasted an ad for Aphra’s upcoming auction of the Rur crystal.

 

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