Why Is C-3PO's Arm Red In 'The Force Awakens'? The Droid Must've Gotten Into Trouble

Without a doubt, the biggest Christmas gift you could get this year, bigger than anything Santa could put under your tree, was the gift of The Force Awakens. As predicted, the universe is no longer the same after the new Star Wars film hit theaters on December 18, and we watched a wave of change flood in. And it wasn't just the new generation of characters that brought in the change, it was seeing out old favorites age. You saw the ever-dashing Han with crow's feet, you saw Leia embrace gray braids (like a queen) and you saw... wait why was C-3PO's arm red in The Force Awakens?

Yup, when C-3PO burst onto the scene, breaking up a romantic Han-and-Leia moment as he does, he was quick to point out his new appendage. He was totes afraid that Han Solo wouldn't be able to recognize him without it — like there are a bunch of other naggy, golden droids in roaming around the galaxy. Threepio, please. Regardless, I'm sure you're as curious as I am about how C-3PO got his red arm. Well, after some poking around the Internet like a dedicated Star Wars fan, I'm getting a bit of an inkling... although nothing that'll help me sleep at night.

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First of all, let's look at the arm outside of the context of the film. Back in November Wired questioned J.J. Abrams about Threepio's arm, and it turns out that, aesthetically, it was to actually to keep up with everyone else's aging:

Moments like Threepio’s arm came from the desire to, well, mark time...You know the moment when you reconnect with someone after years apart? You see the lines on their face, you think, oh, they’ve lived 10 years! Or when you see someone has a scar they didn’t have—physical or emotional—you recognize it. It lets you know it’s not two minutes later.

So since C-3PO doesn't age like his human counterparts (although maybe he rusts, I don't know), a red arm was injected to signify the passing of time has affected him, too. Great. But that doesn't exactly answer how he got it within the Star Wars universe.

There was a brief, playful theory that C-3PO got his red arm to signify his commitment to the dark side of the force. After all, red has traditionally been the go-to color of any and all Star Wars baddies. But, since it doesn't look like C-3PO is a Knight of Ren any more than Jar-Jar is a Sith Lord, I'm gonna go with "nah" on that one.

Beyond that, the secret is kept under wraps... for the time being. Marvel is going to release a one-shot comic called C-3PO 1 that'll fill in the blanks about what's happened to the Great Golden Nag during the past 30 years. And, yes, kids, it's going to tell you exactly how C-3PO got his red arm. Finally, the mystery revealed! And you only have to wait until February 24!

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Honestly, though, we're probably over thinking this. C-3PO got a red arm because he obviously had some wacky accident, and they probably don't have replacement parts in his color anymore. Or maybe his hardware is so severely outdated that he got a red arm as an upgrade. Or maybe he's going through some kind of weird late-in-life crisis and having a red arm is his way of retaining all his street cred (star cred? Galaxy cred?). You probably don't need to look into it more than that, though it was super weird for him to draw attention to it and not explain. Classic Threepio.

So it goes. I guess we'll have to wait another two months to get a clear answer. But that's plenty of time to watch Force Awakens thrice more and percolate theories.

Images: Walt Disney Motion Pictures; Lucasfilm; Giphy (2)