Say, what gender is adorable Star Wars robot BB-8? There’s only one correct answer, and it’s “Would you ask that question about a person?” As EW reports, even now the Force Awakens crew is not sure if the droid’s a boy or a girl, or if the gender binary should be blown up like just another Death Star. “’I’m still not sure, dare I say, whether BB-8 is male or female,” effects artist Neal Scanlan says. “BB-8 was female in our eyes. And then he or she became male. And that’s all part of the evolution, not only visually, but in the way they move, how they hold themselves.”
BB-8’s skillful code-switching is mirrored in its personality, which Scanlan admits is “quite manipulative.” Like a child that knows how cute it is, BB-8 is not above using the heart-melting feelings it inspires to its own advantage, and Scanlan says it has no qualms about using its “coyness” to accomplish its “very important mission.” Still, though, despite the robot’s groundbreaking androgyny play, some of its creators are still stuck in a mind-set that belongs to a long time ago, gender-wise: EW reports that the crew still calls BB-8 “he.” Looks like maleness is still the default, SMH.