In the months leading up to last year's massive blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans were itching for any new details about the movie, since Disney and LucasFilm hadn't revealed too much about the story. In June, new merchandise photos surfaced which showcased an intriguing yet puzzling detail: the beloved protocol droid C-3PO now has a mismatched red arm. Then in September, it was revealed that a new comic book would explain how C-3PO ended up with a red arm, and today that comic book, C-3PO #1, was finally released. io9 has a rundown of this comic, which tells a much more intriguing story that some might expect.
Back in December, a Star Wars companion book revealed that C-3PO wears this red arm as a "memento of another droid's sacrifice." The one-shot comic book, C-3PO #1, by James Robinson, Tony Harris and Joe Caramagna reveals how this sacrifice was made, which ended up actually saving C-3P0's "life." If you are planning on picking up C-3PO #1, there will be SPOILERS for the comic book below, so read on at your own risk.
The story follows C-3PO and a group of Resistance droids and soldiers, who have captured an RA-7 First Order droid named Omri. They are trying to get information about where the First Order is holding Admiral Ackbar, which the Reistance needs to save the Mon Calimari from being executed. However, the Resistance ship crash lands, killing the human Resistance members. After locating a homing beacon in a crashed TIE Fighter, on the other side of the planet, the droids must get to the beacon before it's too late. During this perilous journey, Threepio loses his arm. All of the other droids are killed except for Threepio and Omri, who often talks with Threepio about a droids' purpose, and how they are re-programmed over and over again.
Towards the end of the story, acid rain starts falling from the sky, when Omri, who has been portrayed as a "nihilistic" sort of droid, makes a courageous sacrifice by giving Threepio the information he needs, before going out in the acid raid to activate the homing beacon, even though he knows the acid rain will kill him. The acid rain strips away Omri's exterior to reveal that familiar red hue, and after he's gone, C-3PO decides to use Omri's arm, as a tribute to this fallen droid. While this backstory is quite detailed, it's even more puzzling since C-3PO is seen with a normal golden arm in one of the final shots of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where we see the droid waving good-bye to the Millinneum Falcon as Rey, Chewbacca and R2-D2 set off to locate the missing Luke Skywalker. Does this mean C-3PO doesn't have a red arm in Star Wars: Episode VIII? Or was this a mistake? We don't yet know.
Director J.J. Abrams revealed in an interview before the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens that C-3PO's red arm was meant to be a symbol that represented the passage of time, hinting at unknown events that took place in the 32 years between Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now that you know the full story, what do you think about C-3PO's red arm? Chime in with your thoughts below.