Anthony Daniels and Mark Hamill in ‘Star Wars’ (Lucasfilm)
C-3PO has always been a reliable presence in the Star Wars universe, the only character played by the same actor (Anthony Daniels) in all seven feature films. But new photos from Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise suggest that Threepio has changed. In photos posted by the website Making Star Wars, the protocol droid sports a new left arm — a pretty obvious one, because it’s bright red.
C-3PO’s new appendage has so far popped up in two pictures. One is a soda can, ostensibly from Mexico, posted to Twitter (above). The other is a children’s table-and-chair set from the UK. Neither of these photos is verifiable, but both feature the same promotional image: The new droid BB-8, flanked by C-3PO on one side and R2D2 on the other. And unless there was a serious coloration error on the assembly line, both products show a C-3PO who is decidedly red-handed.
If it’s true, it seems likely that the red arm is a replacement part — which wouldn’t be surprising, considering how many times C-3PO has been taken apart and put back together over the years. In The Empire Strikes Back, he’s blasted apart by a Stormtrooper and reassembled — badly— by Chewbacca. In Attack of the Clones, his head is knocked off and grafted to a battle droid, until his loyal companion R2-D2 reunites it with the correct body. Threepio also has his body changed from silver to gold during the prequel trilogy, and sports a silver replacement leg in parts of the original trilogy. Basically, he’s one resilient droid — which is why Daniels thinks C-3PO might just live forever.
“I think he would go on. Getting spare parts, getting surgery,” Daniels told EW in September, when asked about C-3PO’s ultimate fate. “And I think the people around him, humans and droids alike, would help because he had become part of their daily lives, part of their environment. They wouldn’t want to let him go…. I think he would go on and on and on.” Perhaps now with a red arm? (h/t ComingSoon)
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