Recently housing/retail complex The Beacon, located by the 4th and King Caltrain terminal and the Giant’s ballpark, added a roaming security droid on the sidewalk surrounding the building. These are increasingly common in shopping malls, but on public sidewalks? Is that even allowed?
The first time I saw this particular droid was outside the Taco Bell Cantina at the corner of Third and Townsend. My mind immediately jumped to Star Wars, I couldn’t help but to hear the Cantina Band song in my head as it lumbered around, immediately reminding me of R2-D2.
I went so far as to ask around to see if anyone I knew owned a C-3PO costume so I could go hang around the droid in character as his companion. Unfortunately even the geekiest Star Wars fans I know don’t have one; a shame because that would have been a great Halloween costume pairing.
When I presented all of this to my boss, he insisted that no — this wasn’t R2-D2, it was a Dalek from Doctor Who.
That’s a much scarier proposition. R2-D2 is a harmless little droid whereas the Daleks are hell-bent on exterminating “inferior” races. All things considered I wouldn’t want a Dalek hanging out near my office.
Finally today the argument was settled as far as I’m concerned. While talking a walk by the Beacon with my boss, we both filmed the droid as it made its rounds. As you can see in the above video a random guy came up to it and said “R2-D2, I love you!”
I’m still not sure how I feel about private droids patrolling public space, but if you want to see R2-D2 in person it’s significantly cheaper than heading to Disneyland’s new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.