I knew they would do it someday. They gave a B2 a blaster rifle.
The SB-3 frigid super battle droid, more commonly known as snow droids, were a modification of the basic Confederate super battle droids used by the Trade Federation, Confederacy of Independent Systems, the New Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Galactic Droid Empire. Snow droids were created specially by Baktoid Combat Automata, the main droid manufacturer of the Confederacy, to solve the problem of regular battle droids and super battle droids performing lower than usual standards in icy environments. They were considered to be very effective. Snow droids were much taller than the other droids. Other features of the snow droids were that they wore white plating to camouflage them in the snow, and they were capable of handling a handheld blaster and the blaster mounted to their wrist.
Snow droids won and lost many battles during the Clone Wars. Major battles they fought in included the battles of Rhen Var, Ilum, Diado, Nelvaan, and Mygeeto. After the main control signal of all the battle droids on every planet, was disabled, snow droids, like the rest of the Confederate armies, were shut down. However, after the Clone Wars, they indirectly inspired the Galactic Empire's snowtroopers, because the Empire knew that they needed a special unit for use on the snowy terrain, to increase efficiency in terrains their basic unit could not.
We are finished with the prototype, General Grievous. I hope you will see satisfaction.
—Baktoid worker to Grievous
Baktoid Armor Workshop, when creating the snow droids, had three goals for the modified droid in mind. The first was for it to have white plating instead of blue, to help it blend into a snowy background. The second concept was for it to have a much larger size than the standard Confederate infantry droid, the B2 super battle droid, as its much larger feet were better capable of handling the weight of snow. The third was for the snow battle droid to be able to use both a regular blaster and the one attached to its arms, so that if it's wrist blaster was destroyed in any way, it could pick up the handheld blaster of the secondary infantry unit, the B1 battle droid. In the opposite situation, a snow droid's handheld blaster would be destroyed, and it would either be able to pick up another one, or use its wrist blaster. After many tests and prototypes, Baktoid was able to get all three ideas into one battle droid.
Snow droids' aiming performance was comparable to the standard super battle droid. Both the snow droid and super battle droid had a seventy-five percent hit rate. The difference was that the snow droid could operate the E-5 blaster rifle of the secondary Confederate infantry unit, the B1 battle droid, and the blaster built in to their arms. The B2 could not operate an E-5 because its "fingers" were too thick.
The snow droid was tested on skills other than just combat. Since the snow droid was not as mass-produced as the basic super battle droid or the secondary B1 battle droid, the snow droid's programming was not as complex as the super battle droid and took a shorter time to complete. The snow droid could easily ignore a target after it left their visual range. In addition, they could not recognize later additions to the Confederacy until seeing them several times on the battlefield. They would often destroy anything that moved if it was not a super battle droid, a B1 battle droid, a rolling Colicoid-made droideka, or one of the advanced electrostaff-wielding MagnaGuards.
Conception and creation
Sir, our results show that the super battle droid failed almost immediately in the snow test.
—CIS droid tester
After the B2 super battle droid was introduced, the Supreme Commander of the Droid Armies and the former Kaleesh warlord General Grievous tested the droid on all terrains. The droid moved faster on hard terrains, such as rock, dirt, and sand. However, when they tested the droid on a snowy terrain, they found that the weight of the droid was too much for it to travel through the dense snow. The droid's speed on snow was decreased by about eighty percent.
As a result, Grievous ordered the development of a droid for use on frigid terrain. The result was a taller, more efficient droid that carried a blaster. For camouflage, it had white plating instead of blue. The droid was tall so that, even though the droid had an immense weight compared to a Human, it still was able to walk through the snow with only a twelve percent decrease in speed. The droid, curiously, was fitted with a hand held blaster rifle, even though it had a blaster carved into its arms. The blaster was meant to be primary, but, if it was ever lost, it easily had a backup.
The droids were accepted into the droid army. Throughout the Clone Wars, both sides often met on ice planets such as Rhen Var, Diado, and others. Although snow droids were rarely used, they served their purpose on many worlds. Without the snow droid, the Confederacy, the government that was seceding away from the galaxy-spanning ancient government, the Galactic Republic, would have lost several battles rather than win them. They did have their share of defeats, but this only came at the hands of the Republic's reply to the snow droid, the Republic's snowtroopers.
What do we do? What do we do? We blow up the base!
—Snow droid's response to a B1's question
The icy wasteland planet of Rhen Var was home to Bravo Base, a base that was home to a very small clone force. The Confederacy saw this as a good target for a massive invasion, since the planet had parts of the Dark Reaper, an ancient Sith superweapon the Confederacy was assembling. Soon, Lucrehulk-class battleships and other large Confederate ships began to come out of hyperspace to invade the planet. As CIS ships bombarded from space, they began to destroy outposts with land forces as well.
While B1 battle droids began to slow down in the snow, the snow droids remained at normal speed. They shot down everything possible in their path, destroying numerous of the Republic's primary infantry unit, clone troopers. They blew up many LAAT/i gunships along the way, heading for the two Jedi, the guardians of justice for the Galactic Republic, sent to the planet, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Though they failed to terminate the Jedi, it was still a victory for the Confederacy.
Many snow droids were stationed at Rhen Var by the Confederacy to help protect the planet from a Republic counterattack, if there was one. Soon afterwards, the Republic invaded the planet. When the Republic took it back, many snow droids were destroyed in the Republic invasion, and Rhen Var was occupied by the Republic once again.
You will find the temple on Ilum. Destroy it.
As the droids took more and more casualties in the war from the Jedi, Dooku decided to halt, or at least decrease, the production of lightsabers, a Jedi's main sword-like weapon. As he could not think of any way to prevent the Jedi from making lightsabers, he decided to destroy the source of power for the lightsaber, the agedan crystals. Although rare on any planet, an isolated cave full of the crystals called the crystal cave was located on the icy world of Ilum. Dooku ordered the newly-manufactured cloaking-enabled chameleon droids to destroy the cave with mines. After realizing that the chameleon droids were not powerful enough to hold off any Jedi already in the cave, he sent snow droids to do the actual combat.
Meanwhile, in the crystal cave, Luminara Unduli, a Mirialan Jedi Master, was instructing her Mirialan apprentice, Barriss Offee, on making her lightsaber. The chameleon droids, taking use of their newly-equipped cloaking device, infiltrated the cave and began laying mines to destroy it. After Offee finished constructing her lightsaber, the two Jedi sensed the presence of the droids in the cave. Not being able to see anything, the Jedi destroyed many of the droids just by sensing their presence through the Force, the energy field from which a Jedi drew his or her strength. The snow droids then heard and saw the laserfire and rushed in to stop the Jedi. Many of the snow droids fell to Unduli and Offee's blades, but some survived, retreating after much of the cave collapsed from the mine explosions.
Later, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order, Jedi Master Yoda, felt the presence and distress of the two Jedi at the caves. He immediately arrived at Ilum to confront the droid intruders. After burying hundreds of chameleon droids in an avalanche, the old Jedi Master spotted the snow droids and attacked them. The snow droids managed to get a few shots out of their blasters before being sliced in half by Yoda's blade. Afterward, the two Jedi were rescued by Yoda and the caves were later repaired, marking yet another defeat for the Confederacy.
On the snowy planet of Diado, several Separatist leaders had organized for a secret weapons facility to be created for the creation of blaster rifles. This factory remained top secret and only the highest Confederate members spoke of it. If the factory was ever attacked by a Republic force, the Confederacy would have to spend millions of credits to build another one, and they could not afford that. Diado was an ice planet, where temperatures reached negative thirty degrees easily, so snow droids were placed along the entrances to the facility.
The facility remained hidden for quite some time. About ten months into the construction of the facility, the notorious Rattataki Separatist Dark Acolyte Asajj Ventress demanded a starfighter from the Confederate leader, the fallen Jedi Count Dooku. She wanted the starfighter to be equipped with advanced technology. Soon afterward, Dooku ordered the production of the new starfighter, the Dark Moon, to be more efficient than Ventress's previous Gnivex-class starfighter. The prototype of the starfighter went under production right away.
The facility's existence leaked out to the Republic eventually, and snow droids began to prepare themselves for an assault. However, they found that the only person sent was an Iktotchi Jedi Council member and Jedi ace named Saesee Tiin. They immediately surrounded him as soon as they could, after his arrival on Diado. The snow droids managed to shoot him a few times, but he deflected the shots and cut the droids in half. Saesee Tiin then broke into the facility and stole the Dark Moon. Turning the advanced lasers of the Dark Moon on the weapons facility, he destroyed the factory and escaped.
The Separatist base on Nelvaan has driven the environment into an ice age. Be careful, Anakin, it will probably be well protected.
The Techno Union, a large Skakoan-based Confederate company, built a base on the planet Nelvaan for genetic research. Using the native blue canine Nelvaanians as experiments, they researched ways to modify Nelvaanian genetic structure and add cyborg elements to make them suitable warriors for the Union's use. Because of the Union's part in creating Grievous's cyborg body parts, Grievous made regular visits to the base to see if any progress was made in the study of cybernetics. The Republic began monitoring these visits and decided to investigate Nelvaan for a possible Separatist presence.
Sending Anakin Skywalker, a Human Jedi Knight, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Human Jedi Master and former master of Skywalker, to the planet, the two Jedi discovered from the surviving Nelvaanians that the Separatist base had used so many resources that they had plunged Nelvaan into a continual ice age. The Techno Union had also taken all of the males from the village, for the cybernetic experiments. Skywalker, seeing this as an opportunity to complete his Trial of Spirit, began his travel to the Nelvaan base to destroy the base and rescue the males.
Meanwhile, the Skakoans at the Techo Union ordered snow droids to be placed around the base of the facility to help protect it if a Republic force ever came. Skywalker followed the directions that the Nelvaanians had told him, and he eventually found the base. The snow droids attacked Skywalker at the last minute, but he was able to destroy all of them. Many of the droids retreated inside the base to take cover. Skywalker, however, entered the base and destroyed of the rest of the snow droids by slicing them in half. Later, many more of the snow droids from inside the facility attacked Skywalker when he began to free the Nelvaanians. After the defeat of the snow droids, he destroyed the facility by eliminating its power source, a blue crystal at the center of the base.
Defend the particle cannon turrets.
Mygeeto was controlled by the Confederacy for a short time before Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, categorized Mygeeto as one of the "Triad of Evil," a category of planets crucial to Republic victory, along with Felucia and Saleucami. As a result, the Confederate officers on the planet placed snow droids on the planet to help protect it from the Republic invasion, which was lead by Jedi General Ki-Adi Mundi and the clone commander of Mundi's forces, clone commander CC-1138, known to clone troopers by his nickname, "Bacara."
The snow droids' primary mission was to protect the Confederate particle cannon turrets that were helpfully shooting Republic gunships out of the sky. Realizing that the turrets would shoot Mundi's gunship down, they launched an attack on the turrets. The snow droids initially succeeded in protecting the turrets, but the clones captured the turrets a while later. General Mundi's gunship landed on Mygeeto and Mundi began to lead the battle as soon as he leaved the gunship. The clone troopers' actual mission was to recover a Mygeetan crystal for a superlaser. The remaining snow droids ran to protect the crystal.
Snow droids fought endlessly and were even able to protect it for a few weeks. However, just as the battle was turning in their direction, they saw Commander Bacara and the Galactic Marines turn on Mundi and shoot him down. After hours of defending the crystal, the droids shut down, due to the disabling of the universal control signal on Mustafar. After the shutdown of the droids, the Clone Wars was declared over and the clones easily retrieved the crystal.
Later uses and legacy
We need to act fast. Clone troopers just can't take the cold environment well!
—Obi-Wan Kenobi, after the Battle of Rhen Var
Most snow droids were kept shut down and sold to junk yards for scrap metal. Some snow droids were stripped of their blasters and used to do work around houses on icy planets.
The concept of a snow terrain variant soldier was not a new one, but it did directly inspire the creation of the clone cold assault trooper of the Republic's grand army. The clone cold assault troopers did meet snow droids on several occasions and both sides generally were equally capable of fighting in such a frigid climate. Another inspiration was the snowtrooper of the Galactic Empire, the successor of the clone cold assault trooper.
Snow droids remained one of the more obscure of the Confederate droids, along with other variants such as the jump droid, cortosis battle droid, and the ultra battle droid. Historians viewed the snow droid as an effective solution to a simple problem: the problem of adapting to environments.
Behind the scenes
Snow droids are based on the canon snow droids, although those snow droids only appear in one Clone Wars comic, It Takes a Thief, and the snow droids are not given a background. The author of the article on the snow droid, Star Wars Fanon user Darthtyler, was inspired to create another story and background for this droid after the good reviews on another of his previously-obscure-droid articles, the Flame battle droid. Using the Wikia-sponsored Star Wars canon wiki, Wookieepedia, for general canon information, the snow droid article was then begun on Star Wars Fanon.
At first, Darthtyler had no idea what battles the snow droid was going to fight in. Using Wookieepedia, he looked up generally well-known and well-documented snow planets to see if any battles were fought there during the Clone Wars for a history of the snow droids during the war. Darthtyler found the articles on the battles for Rhen Var and Mygeeto and therefore tied them into the storyline, along with the initial battle in their canonical appearance, on the world of Diado. The author then wrote the article and decided that he needed images.
The only image he could find of the snow droids was the image uploaded onto Wookieepedia. However, upon deciding that said image was too cartoon-like and unrealistic, he set out to alter an image of the computer-made image of super battle droids, which the snow droids closely resemble. He first copied and pasted the images of the super battle droids he wanted to use, and then increased the brightness to create the white color. He altered more settings to ensure that the image was not washed out too much and, following this, he used a copy of the unedited image to represent the non-white parts of the droid, such as the torso. Darthtyler then added a background and a gun, thus completing the image and placing it into the article.
- Star Wars The Drewton Legacy Chapter 23: The Threat Within (Mentioned only)
- It Takes a Thief (First appearance)