X9 was one of Aku's early combat drones, the X-Models, predecessors to Aku's Beetle Drones. Unlike his fellow robots however, X9 was granted an artificial emotion chip by one of the scientists who "was funny like that." This made X9 able to think and feel for himself, and realize that he would rather live than die, giving him an edge over the other emotionless drones. As a result, X9 survived all of his missions while the rest of the X-Models wound up getting destroyed in the process, allowing him to become one of Aku's most powerful soldiers. His emotion chip made him angry over the deaths of his fellow X-Models though, and he also began feeling guilty over the countless executions he had carried out. Then one day he came across a stray dog, a sweet little thing that he named Lulu. His love for Lulu caused X9 to retire from his days of killing, and instead spent them happily playing Jazz for Lulu.
X9 was created by Genndy Tartakovsky for the Samurai Jack animated series. He appeared in Season 4, Episode 5 of the series, "Episode L: Tale of X9." He was voiced by Daran Norris.
The X9 episode was styled heavily on old Noir films. Tartakovsky was nominated for the 2005 Annie Award for "Directing in an Animated Television Production" for this episode.
Major Story Arcs
Episode L: Tale of X9
X9's happiness would not last unfortunately. Plagued by the heroic Samurai Jack, Aku sought a means to eliminate him. The scientist who had originally granted X9 his emotion chip eventually informed Aku of X9's exceptional skills due to his emotions, and so Aku kidnapped Lulu and gave X9 an ultimatum:
Kill Samurai Jack, or lose Lulu.
Seeing no other option, X9 came out of retirement and tracked down Jack by following his trail of destroyed Beetle Drones. These numerous fallen enemies made X9 admit to himself that he saw little to no chance of himself defeating Jack, but he pressed on for Lulu's sake. After finding Jack holed up in an abandoned robot factory, X9 cautiously entered and a deadly game of cat and mouse ensued. X9 pursued Jack relentlessly, but was finally caught off guard when Jack used an old inactive X-Model as a decoy. After X9 shot the decoy, Jack got the momentary distraction he needed and gave X9 a single, finishing strike with his sword. X9 fell to the ground, quickly shutting down for good. Before he passed however, he begged Jack to take care of Lulu, causing Jack to look back sympathetically.
What Aku did with Lulu after this is uncertain.
Powers & Abilities
As an X-Model assassin robot, X9 was programmed with an array of skills to carry out his function:
- Master Gunslinger: X9 possesses excellent skill dual-wielding his twin pistols, in terms of both accuracy and efficiency. These pistols are of a considerable caliber, able to tear apart steel in seconds with X9's rapid trigger finger. He can also automatically reload these pistols automatically while holding them.
- Expert Tracker: X9 has tracked down countless targets in his service under Aku, killing any who would oppose the conqueror. He tracked Samurai Jack down with ease, although by his own admission this was made rather simple by the carnage of Jack's past battles.
Due to his emotion chip however, X9 possessed several skills that other X-Models never exhibited:
- Self-Preservation: Because of his will to live, X9 was highly adept at surviving desperate situations - dodging enemy fire, taking cover, and even retaliating with extreme fervor if anyone harmed his fellow X-Models or anyone else that he cared about. Despite being considered an outdated model, X9 lasted much longer in a fight against Jack than pretty much any other robot sent after the samurai.
- Passionate Musician: X9 was also shown to be a skilled trumpeter, with a particular fondness for smooth Jazz that he loved to play for Lulu.