BB-8, everyone's favorite adorable ball droid, made its speaking debut in today's Japanese trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but a recent rumor has also been spreading about the droid, begging a question: is BB-8 male or female?
In the Star Wars universe, droids, when built and activated, are assigned a gender. They're then referred to by that gender, as he or she, for simplicity's sake. The current rumor from The Mail is that this droid is female, and that she is "integral to the plot" of The Force Awakens. The latter half of that rumor is easy to believe, with BB-8 being tied to both Rey and Poe Dameron, two of the new and obviously important characters in the film, but the former has some issues.
They only cite unnamed "sources" for their rumor, so take it with a grain of salt. Their source says that director J.J. Abrams was determined, personally, for the droid to be female, and that's where this hits a snag. Now, Abrams could've just had a slip-up, but in August, he told EW.com how BB-8 got the name, and referred to the droid as "he" and "him."
"I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia," the director told them. "It was sort of how he looked to me, with the 8, obviously, and then the 2 B’s."
The official StarWars.com databank doesn't refer to the droid's gender at all, saying only, "BB-8 is the spherical, loyal Astromech Droid of the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron."
In the new trailer, Rey doesn't know where BB-8 has come from, but doesn't refer to the droid in the third person at all, so no gender pronouns are used there, either. ComicBook.com has reached out to Lucasfilm PR by email and the Story Group on twitter for comment, and will update if and when we hear back.