The story behind C-3PO’s red arm is a mini-tragedy about droids and sacrifice

Droids in the Star Wars movies have always seemed to me an underused concept. They are extremely sophisticated machines: sentient, self-aware and capable of expressing the full range of human emotions. And onscreen, they are portrayed as mindless bots (see: battle droids, astromechs, etc.), comic strips (R2D2 and C-3PO), or threatening inhuman horrors ( My guess is that General Grievous is technically a robot, but so is the IG-88). But the recently released comic book series Star Wars: C-3PO #1 has me rethinking my concept of Star Wars droids. In the movie itself, C-3PO just explains the absurd paint job with only a single, often weak, primer. However, the comics provide more details. Itexplains is how C-3PO and a group of Resistance droids land on a planet with one of their captive planets, an RA-7 protocol droid named Omri of the First Order. All humans are dead, but Omri knows the whereabouts of the kidnapped Admiral Ackbar, and the droids need to find their way to a nearby distress beacon to relay this information. C-3PO lost a limb. (Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm) Read more: why would he push me away if he loves me As they move across the planet, the droids are picked one by one, each sacrificing themselves to save others. One droid was torn apart by spice spiders, a second was sucked into an ink-black river, a third was carried away by a swarm of winged insects, and C-3PO itself was also taken by a monster some tentacle tore the arm. During their journey, Omri and C-3PO chat about the nature of droid existence and about whether their comrades died simply because they were programmed. The First Order’s bot scolds what it calls the “curse of the protocol droids” – burdened by the extra attendants needed to carry out their duties. its previous lives. C-3PO also says it has almost no clear memories (“Rocks… A droid factory… An arena, in the middle of a battle.”), but adds that it accepts “that’s a lot of it.” in the droid’s life to stay at its owner’s service. “screenshot 2016 04 15 at 2 21 04 pm 0 1 Omri and C-3PO discuss the nature of droid memory. (Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm) In the end, only Omri and C-3PO remained, sheltering from the downpour of acid rain just meters from the crashed lighthouse. Omri volunteered to go outside to activate the device, transferring the kidnapped general’s location to C-3PO before dying. The drone stepped outside and rain covered its body, revealing beneath its shiny, black exterior a coat of red paint – tangible evidence of one of its past lives. it. (12 top reasons) | Top Q&AT The beacon activates and C-3PO is rescued, but the bot takes on its own disjointed arm in memory of Omri. The final panel shows C-3PO looking out the window of its lifeboat, looking at the ghosts of all the droids that have sacrificed themselves for the mission.screenshot 2016 04 15 at 2 21 04 pm 0 2 C-3PO remembers fallen comrades. (Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm) This is a simple and impactful piece of storytelling, and explains more than just “why C-3PO has a red arm.” In fact, it raises the kind of question about artificial memory and memory that is largely overlooked in the Star Wars movies, but is a rich source of storytelling in sci-fi universes. other thought. It’s sad to think that these potentially rich droids have been left out by humans – both within the Star Wars universe itself, and the way Lucas et al. tackled the movie. (The Star Wars expansion is another matter.) And strangely, the ending of Force Awakens emphasizes these themes, though perhaps unintentionally. In the final scenes of the film, C-3PO is shown standing with the rest of the winning team, the bot’s flaming red arms once again painted in gold. It seems that a self-aware protocol droid like C-3PO cannot retain its memories for too long. Read more: why does my car smell of vinegar | Top Q&A

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