Marvel Comics Reveals How C-3PO Got His Red Arm

One of the great mysteries of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was not the origin of C-3PO’s red arm. But that’s precisely the reason that Marvel Comics has a chance to explain its significance. Marvel lined up James Robinson and Tony Harris, the former creative team of Starman for a C-3PO special one-shot issue that was originally scheduled to come out last December. The special was plagued by delays, and it was pushed back until it was finally released yesterday.

IGN has posted a summery of the C-3PO special that offers up all of the answers about his red arm. It’s a pretty decent one-shot, so if you plan to read it then you should avoid scrolling down for the rest of the post. Consider this your Spoiler Warning

Star Wars C3PO cover

Here’s the story: a Resistance ship crashed on a desolate planet during a mission to rescue Admiral Ackbar from the First Order. Only C-3PO and the other droids on the ship survived, while they attempted to bring in a First Order protocol droid named OMRI who had information about Ackbar’s location.

Long story, short: C-3PO and OMRI bond, and the First Order droid actually saves C-3P0’s life when his original right arm was lost to an alien monster. OMRI goes even further and sacrifices himself to send a distress signal, which allowed C-3PO and Ackbar to be rescued. In memory of his fallen friend, C-3PO takes up OMRI’s red arm as his own.

Star Wars C3PO red arm

Kind of touching, isn’t it? Do you know why that wasn’t referenced in The Force Awakens? It’s because the red arm was never supposed to be important beyond a superficial change for C-3PO. In fact, C-3PO even gets his gold arm back by the time his final scene in the movie is shown, so he clearly didn’t have the emotional attachment to it in the film that he did in the comic. 

That’s the nature of licensed comics. Even though Marvel’s Star Wars comics are supposed to be “canon” now, they really aren’t any more important to Lucasfilm than any of the old Expanded Universe stories. Robinson and Harris actually came up with a fun explanation for the red arm that had some emotional resonance.  And yet that backstory was clearly never even a part of the equation of C-3PO’s lost years as far as the movie goes.

What do you think about the reveal of the red arm’s backstory? Upload your thoughts to the comment section below! 

Photo Credits: Marvel Comics