AP-5: The Singing Protocol Droid

An RA-7 Series Protocol Droid drifts through the vast darkness of space, unafraid but “strangely calm” in “the silence” and “solitude.” Overcome by the euphoria of be-ing in this moment, “in a world all my own,” the droid, AP-5, begins to sing. As he does, a herd of baby neebray flock surround him. With their vibrant colors and dancelike movement, the neebray accentuate AP-5’s song, adding to the tranquility of the moment.

Admittedly, this scene from “Double Agent Droid, the 19th episode of Star Wars: Rebels third season, is entirely unexpected. With the obvious exception of those characters who are already musicians, it is strange for anyone in Star Wars to break into song. What makes this even more random is that the character doing the singing is AP-5, a protocol droid with the same languid tone and delivery as the late Alan Rickman. Coupled with the droids grumpy personality and dry sense of humor, that AP-5 is the one to sing about the beauty and wonder of the universe is an absurd juxtaposition that immediately catches one off-guard.

For many, the song was undoubtedly funny, a moment of welcome levity in an episode of Rebels. After-all, as showrunner Dave Filoni points out, the intention of the song, random as it may be, was meant to inject humor into the seriousness of show. For some, the song may have been off-putting, an absurdity that is annoying, adding nothing but pointless filler to the animated show. And still for others, the song very well may have been forgettable, overshadowed by the more exciting bits of the episode in particular and the series in general.

What did I think of it? Well, the fact that the languid and grumpy AP-5 is caught-up in the moment, singing how he “finds it easy to see” that he “fits into” beauty surrounding him, is certainly funny. But while I can appreciate the levity, I would also describe the song, and the scene as a whole, as utterly delightful. In a way, it serves as a reminder that every character, even those playing a minor or background role, belongs in the Star Wars universe. Facing his own mortality, AP-5 recognizes and affirms that there is no reason to be afraid as he drifts through space precisely because his existence has always had meaning. He has always fit into, and helped make, this universe more spectacular, more beautiful, more wonderful.

And the same is true for each one of us. Like AP-5 and all of the characters in the Star Wars universe, you and I perfectly fit into this universe. Honestly, what better way to capture this euphoric sense of belonging than through song?

Check out these other posts about random protocol droids in Star Wars:

U-3PO: The Other Protocol Droid

K-3PO: The Dead Protocol Droid

E-3PO: The Rude Protocol Droid

TC-14: The Federation Protocol Droid

TC-70: The Hutt’s Protocol Droid

R-3PO: The Red Protocol Droid

4A-R2: The Pirate Protocol Droid

4-LOM: The Bounty Hunting Protocol Droid


  1. You know I tapped out of ‘Rebels’ after Season Two but this is BEAUTIFUL. Wow. It makes me think of Star-Lord. You know? I think it would be interesting for these two characters to meet but also to overlay this line of reasoning and analysis with his love of music, singing, and dancing. Because I think there is great truth to this – the beauty in the meaning of our lives and the joy we feel when we find it. What better way to celebrate that then with singing and dancing something, incidentally enough, that is universally experienced throughout human cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is a beautiful moment. For the many eye-rolling parts of Star Wars, there are some things that really are captivating and this is definitely one of them.

      Also, I had not even considered Star-Lord, especially in relationship to this scene in Rebels. I wouldn’t say there is a direct link between AP-5 and Star-Lord – their personalities are soooo different – but I do think there is a clear thematic link with regards to the experience of breaking into song (and dance) to express joy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Part of what made me think of the connection – outside of the natural singing/dancing – is how unexpected you mentioned it was for AP-5 to be singing. While it’s easy to forget now that it’s become such a part of our pop culture consciousness, the opening to GOTG – with Star-Lord singing and dancing across Morag – was completely unexpected, too. I like that connection, the idea that we are often not really read to see that sort of joy but how, as you say above, it’s really what life’s all about.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi IT,

    Why does that remind me of Monty Python, “Stop it, no more singing.” Fun moments. No these are those little nuggets hidden that we get to discover.

    Love it! Gary

    On Wed, Mar 18, 2020 at 8:20 AM The Imperial Talker wrote:

    > Imperial Talker posted: “An RA-7 Series Protocol Droid drifts through the > vast darkness of space, unafraid but “strangely calm” in “the silence” and > “solitude.” Overcome by the euphoria of be-ing in this moment, “in a world > all my own,” the droid, AP-5, begins to sing. As he does” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gary,

      The scene is a bit like Monty Python! I hadn’t even thought about it like that. I’ll have to reach out to the voice actor for AP-5 and ask him if Monty Python influenced this moment of musical levity.


      Liked by 1 person

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