The scientific explanation for why BB-8 is so insanely adorable
Out of all the brand new characters introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s safe to assume that you’ve fallen completely head over heels — or round head over round body — in love with one of them more than the others. New orange spherical droid BB-8 is the cutest thing. He is literally THE cutest thing in all of Force Awakens. He’s so cute, it’s hard to coherently explain just how and why he’s so cute, but you know you want to pick him up and love him forever. Even before I saw the movie, I had bought a bunch of BB-8 merchandise. During the movie, I found myself emotionally upset anytime he ended up in peril. Considering he’s a bunch of bolts and metal, why is that? Why am I so invested in his well being, and want to cuddle with this droid? (Don’t judge; you would if you could, too.)
Like anything you find yourself attracted to — whether a person… or a droid — the answer lies with some science. You find yourself attracted to other humans because you like their face, or the way they smell, or how they make you laugh. You think BB-8 is downright adorable because he’s got similar features to a baby, and that makes you want to scoop him up and swaddle him with love.
As New York Magazine points out, BB-8 falls in line with the idea of Kindchenschema (baby schema) which are a set of features that makes something like “cute.” According to this theory, for something to be cute, it’s got to have “a relatively large head… large and low-lying eyes, bulging cheek region, short and thick extremities… and clumsy movements.”
That’s basically describing a baby. It also pretty accurately describes BB-8. He’s got a huge head, and one giant all-seeing eye, along with a big round body. While not necessarily clumsy, we see him get tossed around enough for him to appear as if he’s in distress, which is why we feel the need to keep him safe (or maybe I’m the only one who kept crying out during Force Awakens “OH NO BB!!”). Also, that beeping. It’s like a baby cooing, no?
To compare him to the other two prominent droids in the saga, R2-D2 and C-3PO, BB-8 is drastically different from both of them. C-3PO, as you know, looks more human than droid. And while R2 is pretty cute himself, R2 is more cylinder-on-wheels. BB-8 is just all wheel, and all love, and hugs and kisses and warm snuggles.
What, don’t deny that you wouldn’t adopt the droid like a dog if you could. Oscar Isaac, AKA hotshot pilot Poe Dameron, would. According to Gwendoline Christie, every time Isaac saw BB-8 IRL, he’d “scream” with excitement. Yeah, me too.
(Image via Lucasfilm.)