The droid starfighter was one of those models I knew I had to include in my second origami book. What's the point of folding all those neat republic starfighters if they don't have anything to shoot at? When you design an origami model you start by considering which visual characteristics you want to include. In this case I wanted the two long narrow wings with a gap in the middle, the flat rounded fuselage, and the raised head. Next you figure out how to make it. The problem I kept running into in this case was using enough paper to form the wings and leaving enough for the fuselage. I came up with several designs which looked decent, but you'd need an origami doctorate from MIT to fold it. I ran into the same problem with the TIE Fighter. Then I had my "Duh" moment. I could solve the problem the same way. I would make the vulture droid a compound model. this accomplished two things. First the proportions and complexity were just what I was looking for. Second, my books are designed to introduce origami to people who may not be familiar with it. I want them to include at least one compound model and one that didn't start with square paper.
The vulture droid (designated Variable Geometry Self-Propelled Battle Droid) is the Trade Federation's starfighter of choice. The Federation reasoned a droid starfighter had several advantages over one with an organic pilot. They are cheaper to mass produce, easier to train, and require no life support systems. They can maneuver in ways which would kill a living pilot, and won't question orders when sent on suicide missions. The droid is armed with four blaster cannons and two torpedo tubes but lacks protective shields.
While it is a well rounded ship, it does have some short comings. A droid can't think creatively and in an unusual situation will fall back on its programming. This makes them easy to anticipate in combat. Another weakness is its reliance on a central control computer. If the computer is knocked out (as it was in the battle of Naboo) the droid will automatically shut down rendering it useless.