Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: C-3PO #1.
Sharp-eyed fans of Star Wars: The Force Awakens may have noticed an aesthetic change to one of the returning cast members from the original Star Wars trilogy. C-3PO was given a red arm, a sharp contrast to the gold color of the rest of his frame from previous movies. C-3PO’s new arm wasn’t explained in the film, but the venerable Protocol Droid’s first starring comic book tells the story of how – and why – he got it.
Set just prior to Force Awakens, Star Wars: C-3PO #1 tells the story of C-3PO and several other droids escorting a First Order Protocol Droid named OMRI across an inhospitable planet to rendezvous with Resistance forces, and gain information stored in OMRI’s memory banks about the location of key Resistance leaders, including Admiral Ackbar. Along the way, they encounter a variety of threats that pick off the Droids, including a shark-like creature that tears off C-3PO’s arm, until only OMRI and C-3PO are left.
Along the way, C-3PO and OMRI form a bond while debating the nature of Droid programming, observing that they could easily have been allies, were their programming different, and recalling the brief flashes of their wiped memories from previous eras of service – a conversation that alludes to events from previous films, and hints at stories yet untold. When C-3PO and OMRI are caught in a downpour of acid rain that threatens to destroy them both, OMRI defies his programming to “choose friendship,” giving C-3PO the whereabouts of the Resistance leaders, and sacrificing himself to save his new ally.
All that’s left of OMRI is a red arm – the same arm that C-3PO lost to the shark beast. When C-3PO is finally rescued by none other than Poe Dameron and BB-8, he retrieves the arm, grafting it onto his frame as a tribute to his fallen ally. Click here for Newsarama’s in-depth review of Star Wars: C-3PO #1.
While this answers one minor question that remains from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many others still remain, including the identity of the First Order’s master, Supreme Leader Snoke, and the true identity of Rey.
The next film in the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, goes back even longer ago in a galaxy far, far away, telling the tale of the Rebels who stole the plans for the first Death Star. Newsarma has an in-depth analysis of the secrets that film might hold when it hits theaters December 16.
Star Wars: C-3PO #1 is available in stores and digitally now.