George Lucas doesn’t care about metal people. No other explanation makes sense. In a kid-targeted sci-fi setting that’s notably inclusive, with as many friendly alien characters as villainous ones, the human rights situation for robots is horrifying. They’re imbued with distinctly human traits—including fear—only to be tortured and killed for our amusement. They scream while being branded, and cower before heroes during executions.The grand authority on robots and ethics is of course Isaac Asimov, who is mentioned in the article, but only in passing. Most apropos is "The Robots of Dawn," Asimov's somewhat boring 1983 novel about the murder of a robot. I just read it. Gotta say, his musings on robot sex are more interesting than the stuff about roboticide.
Then there is "The Measure of the Man," probably the best episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." It's about exactly the issue raised in the Slate article. Do robots have rights? Great stuff.
We'll have to face this one day. Meanwhile, be good to your Roomba.