This article contains major The Rise of Skywalker spoilers. You can read a spoiler free review here instead.
Every new installment in the Star Wars franchise brings new characters and alien spieces, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is no different. The undisputed star of Episode IX is newcomer Babu Frik, a diminutive male Anzellan alien working outside the law. Looking like a of cross between E.T., a gremlin, and a pug, he has a bit of sass to go with his serious skills.
Voice acted by Shirley Henderson, who’s perhaps best known for playing Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies, Babu bops around speaking a delightful blend of an alien language and the occasional dash of English, with excellent comedic timing. Wearing miniature welding goggles and a pair of gloves, the droidsmith is known for being able to bypass any security measures necessary to alter just about any droid imaginable.
The trio of Rey, Finn, and Poe meet Babu Frik on Kijimi, while searching for directions to Exegol, the planet where Emperor Palpatine is preparing to launch an attack on the galaxy. The heroes need Babu to crack an inscription on a mysterious Sith dagger which is written in a language only C-3PO can read. Unfortunately, while Threepio understands what the inscription says, his programming forbids him from translating the ancient Sith language. Making matters worse, they’ve lost the dagger itself to the First Order, which means that hacking into Threepio’s memory bank and bypassing his programming is the only way to figure out what the inscription says.
This is a job requiring a black-market droid mechanic. Enter Babu Frik!
Poe knows Babu Frik from before his time with the Resistance, when they were both smuggling spice across the galaxy. Spice is an illegal trade in the world of Star Wars – ditching a haul of spice is how Han Solo ran afoul of Jabba the Hutt back in the day. Poe’s days as a smuggler might be over, but he still has connections, including angry fellow spice-runner Zorii Bliss, who still holds a grudge with the Resistance fighter for leaving the crew.
Once Poe buries the hatchet with Zorii (thanks to Rey), she takes them to Babu, who is able to get working on Threepio right away. For a little dude, Babu is quite handy, taking the back of Threepio’s head off and bypassing whatever security measures are installed to get into the files they need to get to Exegol.
Later, the Final Order (as they start calling themselves at Palpatine’s command) destroy Kijimi with their new planet-killing Star Destroyer cannons to punish Poe, Finn, and Rey, choosing a planet with people the heroes care about.
Luckily, Zorii and Babu both survive the planet’s destruction and join the final battle over Exegol. Babu and Zorii show up just in the nick of time to save what remains of the Resistance.
Babu Frik and Zorii Bliss survive the battle and go back to the Resistance base on Ajan Kloss to celebrate the victory. With their base planet destroyed, maybe this pair of smuggler would consider joining the Resistance on a more permanent basis.?
Perhaps we might see the spunky little droid mechanic again someday, in one of the many other upcoming Star Wars projects. We can only hope.