In the several months I’ve been podcasting with Jamie we’ve almost always seen eye-to-eye on things and generally have had similar ideas on all things Star Wars. Until now, that is. With the release of Marvel’s C3PO #1, it’s apparent that there is a HUGE chasm in our opinions on this issue. I’m sure it’ll make for some interesting chats on future podcasts, but until then, here are my thoughts!
*Just a note, spoilers are most definitely ahead!*
Love him or hate him, C-3PO is a constant throughout the Star Wars saga that guides us through the tangled web of the Skywalker legacy. Through the years we’ve seen him in many iterations – “naked”, silver, in pieces, and of course the mysterious red arm we see in The Force Awakens.
How on earth did Threepio get this red arm? Some time ago we were promised a definitive answer with a special one-off comic from Marvel to coincide with the Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Originally slotted for a December release, for reasons unknown to me, this issue was slower than an Exogorth hitting the shelves! After an excruciating 4 month wait I was ready to dive in and finally learn where this red arm came from.
So, was this droid heavy issue “Queen of Droids” approved? Read on to find out!
Star Wars: C-3PO: The Phantom Limb
In a nutshell, yes, I enjoyed this issue very much! But if you know anything about me, you know I love droids, and that probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. But more than the droids, it’s a poignant story told with incredible art that brings us some very thought provoking topics such as life, loss, agesim, friendship, war, and sacrifice.
Tony Harris does an outstanding job portraying Threepio and his droid posse. I was instantly drawn into the story because of the art and felt that it held my interest for the entire issue. His style is vibrant and unique with a heavy dose of retro that I absolutely adore!
I enjoyed the writing slightly less than the art. James Robinson’s style definitely conveyed the sad and sweet tale of droid friendship and sacrifice very well, but I felt like it suffered from “droid overload” at the beginning. I guess I just felt like it was a bit more explanatory than necessary, but thankfully this seems to pass quickly the story has a good flow after that.
So how does Threepio get that red arm?
This story starts with a crash landing and subsequent explosion that kills all of the humans onboard and leaves C3PO and his droid companions to their own devices. Their mission is to traverse this dreadful planet in order to find a beacon from a ship on the other side of the planet. They must also escort enemy protocol droid, OMRI, who has valuable intel regarding the whereabouts of the captured Admiral Ackbar. These two forge an unlikely bond of friendship despite being on opposing sides. They discuss droidy things like being programmed to imitate humans, mind wipes, feeling outdated and even tell each other a few jokes.
All the while, this planet proves its dreadful nature and takes its toll on the droids. Pointless droid deaths ensue and Threepio’s arm is violently ripped from its socket from some sort of tentacled monster. But this is no time for sorrows. A one-armed Threepio and OMRI continue on and their friendship grows ever stronger. They almost arrive at the beacon when acid rain puts a damper on their plans. Just when things couldn’t look any bleaker OMRI decided to “choose friendship” and sacrifice himself in order to save Threepio. As he steps into the acid rain his silver topcoat melts off to reveal a red primer. After changing the frequency on the fallen TIE fighter, the acid dissolves him as one of his red arms falls to the ground.
This of course, is the red arm seen on Threepio in The Force Awakens. Sad, huh? Threepio states to BB-8 “You have no idea how this arm offends my aesthetic sensibilities, nevertheless…I will keep it for a while. To Remember.” So Threepio, how long is “a while”? At the end of the movie the red arm is no where to be seen. I guess his aesthetic sensibilities can only last so long…
In conclusion, I know Threepio isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, he’s not even one of my favorites to be honest! He’s obviously an annoying know-it-all who rarely shuts up, but this issue lends a depth to him that I never considered and even made me feel sorry for him. This is a one-off issue with amazing art and a touching story, so I highly recommend you go out there and get this one!
After my first read I gave this 7 lightsabers out of 10, but I’m bumping it up to 8 lightsabers out of 10 due to the lasting impact its had since then!
Did you read Star Wars: C-3PO: The Phantom Limb? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop us a line on social media or comment below!
Until Next Time, May the Force Be With You!