"I think, therefore I am. I destroy, therefore I endure."
The Empire commissioned Holowan Laboratories ("the friendly technology people") to create IG-88 and three counterparts for covert assassination missions. However, an anomaly enabled IG-88 to achieve sentience, surpassing its original design. When Chief Technician Loruss recognized the anomaly, she ordered that IG-88 be shut down to analyze the "design flaw." In the interests of self-preservation, the assassin droid killed Loruss and the Holowan technicians on hand. IG-88 was disappointed to find its three counterparts did not share its capabilities. Alongside its three counterparts (who were to be separate droids prior to IG-88 merging it's programming with them) and IG-72, IG-88 became a bounty hunter.
Though Darth Vader hired IG-88 to capture Luke Skywalker and the crew of the Millennium Falcon, the Empire have no love for the assassin droid's self-sufficiency.
IG-88, aka the Phlutdroid, is also reportedly operating as IG-88A, IG-88B, IG-88C, or IG-88D (having merged its programming with three other Holowan IG assassin droids, thus operating out of four bodies simultaneously, though one was destroyed by Boba Fett, one by Dash Rendar, and one aboard the second Death Star at the time of its destruction) IG-88 was up to a very sinister plan to destroy all biological life on Ord Mantell, it took over a droid factory and had programmed every droid built in it under his watch with a kill command that would cause even the most harmless of droids to try to kill their biological owners.
IG-88 has many different types of weaponry, for different tasks.
IG-88's normal weaponry consists of a gas dispenser, gas grenades, a flamethrower, a sonic stunner, a pulse cannon, an ion blaster, a DAS-430 electromagnetic projectile launcher, a concussion grenade launcher, a flechette shard thrower, multiple blaster rifles, and a reflective palm that can deflect blaster shots.
With all these weapons, and a super fast computer mind designed for killing, IG-88 is a force to be reckoned with. Many have fallen to it and IG-88's ship, the IG-2000.
In Other Media
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Alongside Boba Fett, Bossk, Dengar, Zuckuss, and 4-LOM, IG-88 is one of the bounty hunters hired by Darth Vader to find the Millennium Falcon.
Video Games & Merchandise
IG-88 was released as a Lego minifigure in the 2006 Lego set of the Slave I. It has also been a character in both the Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy and the Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.
IG-88's origin is recounted in "Therefore I Am: The Tale of IG-88," written by Kevin J. Anderson and collected in the anthology Star Wars: Tales of the Bounty Hunters.