The New Republic pilots in Star Wars: Squadrons are a good-hearted bunch. They're all pals, and talk about how much they like flying together and how they want to save people and blah blah blah. Clearly I didn't entirely fit in, because my favorite activity in the hangar between missions is making the Gonk droid dance for my sadistic pleasure.
The Gonk droid, which I called the 'trash can droid' for like 20 years until I learned its real name today, seems born for suffering. For one thing, it looks like a trash can, which isn't a great way to start a happy life. And one of the most memorable scenes in all of Star Wars for me, for some reason, is the Gonk droid being tortured in Jabba's Palace, the red hot iron pressed onto its feet again and again. It screams!
The Gonk droid in Star Wars: Squadrons is not being tortured, but what the designers probably meant as an innocent little interaction actually feels pretty dark when you do it over and over again. When you click on a nearby R2 unit in the hangar, he wiggles his little dome and beeps at you, as R2s do. It sounds cheery, even if he might be telling you to buzz off. But the Gonk droid isn't as communicative, so when you click on it, it just does a little dance and says "GONK."
A sad little dance. It turns to look at you and shuffles back and forth a couple times, like it's tired from a really long day of gonking but wants to make you happy because its programming demands it. The first time, it's a little cute. The seventh time, I have definitely become a monster. I have come to realize I can make this Gonk droid dance for me for eternity in three second bursts.
These New Republic pilots are convinced the Imperials are the bad guys, but maybe they should be paying more attention to what's going on in their own hangar.