There's a warren of crazy, unexplained phenomena in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, not least of which is C-3PO's mysterious red arm. But all has been revealed by Marvel's one-shot comic book Star Wars Special: C-3PO: The Phantom Limb! We've been kept waiting since last December because the one-shot's release had been pushed back multiple times, but it's finally here.
WARNING: Spoilers ahoy for 'Star Wars: C-3PO'
Everyone's favorite protocol droid had a crimson limb in honor of another robot who had nobly sacrificed itself for him during a mission for the Resistance. Admittedly, this base fact had actually been noted in Star Wars: The Force Awakens The Visual Dictionary, published at the end of last year. However, according to Gizmodo, this new comic explains HOW the arm was severed and WHY C-3PO feels indebted.
Omri The First Order Philosopher
The comic follows the adventure of C-3PO and a group of Resistance droids as well as Omri, a First Order detainee, who is supposedly leading them to the captured Admiral Ackbar. The pack crash-lands on an unidentified planet. They attempt to seek the distress signal of a downed TIE fighter.
On their travels, each member of the group meets a terrible death until only Omri and C-3PO are left. The First Order droid begins to philosophize about the nature of a droid's existence. He muses on why they, as robots, choose sides; whether they are capable of human qualities; and what previous lives their wiped memories might hide. The "phantom limb" of the comic's title is the feeling of something still being there that no longer tangibly exists. Hmm.
C-3PO loses a limb to what looks like a giant plant tentacle, but escapes with his life. Acid rain then begins to fall (bummer) and Omri makes the courageous decision to leave shelter and activate its distress beacon — thus destroying itself but saving C-3PO. The corrosive rain peels away his dark exterior to reveal a red color, denoting a past unknown life.
The surviving bot plugs the red joint into his own shoulder in memory of what happened to his fallen companions as well as the wisdom of Omri. His slightly gruesome keepsake symbolizes the absurdity of a droid's existence.
What role do you think C-3PO will play in 'Rogue One'?