Nanotech just entered the canon with the latest TCW, "Sabotage". At the Jedi Temple, a civilian foreman over all gunship weapons was an expert in nanoweaponry and was murdered via ingestion of a large number of volatile nanodroids which were used to explode him while he was at work.
Frankly, the use of the nanotech wasn't really necessary to
the episode, but it was there and now I'm trying to figure out if
there's anything in Star Wars that would require or would have
benefitted from this knowledge previously. And for the life of me
right now, I can't think of anything.
I mean, I suppose we
could insert them in different places . . . the Death Watch ropes that
coil around the target could be related, and assorted grappling devices
might bond via nanotech rather than magnets. But, as I think I've
probably said before, Star Wars seemed to make no use of nanotech at all
previously, and certainly nothing like nanites or nanoprobes. Put
simply, we haven't had much Star Wars that required any microscopic
explanations, especially in the weaponry department. Even medically,
bacta always struck me as more biotech than nanotech.
we could ponder this in the context of modern Russian thermobaric
devices that make use of nanoparticles for enhancement of explosions,
but that's rather different than nanodroids.
Notable, though, is
that the searching for additional nanodroids in the Temple seemed to be a
unique event, and the scans for it involved special equipment never
before observed. Ahsoka carried around a tricorder-like pair of
devices when scanning, for instance, which I don't think we've seen
before (but which did have impressive scanning capabilities). Thus, to
my mind, there is no current reason to assume that nanotech has been
hiding in every scene, because otherwise one would think that related
equipment and scanning would be very much more standard.
case, time will tell if we see more evidence of nanoscale devices in
Star Wars. For myself, though, the macro-scale of things seems to be
more the norm.