November 3, 2012

Pink Droids? It Makes Perfect Military Sense

In one of the most touching stories of fans looking out for fans, I want to point you to the story of R2-KT: the little pink droid that went from the idea of a child, became a touching and meaningful reality, and finally made its way into Star Wars cannon with appearances in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  R2-KT was a real R2 droid built by members of the R2 Builders club for Katie Johnson, daughter of 501st Legion founder Albin Johnson when she was battling a brain tumor.  The full history can be found at, but suffice it to say that this little droid has an amazing story behind it.  Although Katie is not longer with us, R2-KT carries on a mission of charity and good work across the country.

Within the Star Wars universe, R2-KT has made appearances onboard military vessels preparing for battle.  She has been seen in multiple Star Wars books and even has her own Hasbro action figure.

In season five of The Clone Wars, we'll see another pink droid.  Revealed by Dave Filoni at Celebration VI, this pink droid sports an expanded paint scheme and is named QT-KT.  This droid is one of a handful that joins R2-D2 on a mission to disrupt separatists forces.  You can see more preview images of these droids at Rebelscum.

R2-KT, the little pink droid as she appears in
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Concept designs for QT-KT, a pink
droid in The Clone Wars Season 5

You might ask, "What would a pink droid be doing in a war?"  If this were World War II, the answer would be "helping to win the war."

World War II is filled with wild stories and legends that are often so bizarre, I couldn't make them up if I tried.  But when the world is at war and times get tough, even a seemingly crazy solution is worth a shot. That was the case for the pink fighter planes seen flying through the skies of Europe. Pink was discovered to be a very effective camouflage during dusk or dawn, especially for reconnaissance planes under cloud cover and even ships & trucks.

A pink Spitfire - an effective camouflage for recon planes

A pink vehicle, used the the SAS
The idea was first pioneered by Lord Mountbatten, who noticed early in the war that one civilian ship in his convoy, still painted a grayish pink, did not stick out like all the rest.  The simple science is that pink absorbs light, thus making it better in many conditions than colors like black which actually make you stand out more in low light conditions.  It proved so effective that he ordered all the ships under his command to follow his newly-developed paint scheme.  This insight was used throughout the war and even into the Gulf War, where modern British fighters and tankers maintained the light pink paint scheme.

So next time you see R2-KT on TV, in a book, or doing good work in the public, don't forget that this little pink droid might actually be the 501st's secret weapon.

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