The Skywalker saga will soon come to a close with the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. However, the film will also be wrapping up the story for another very important member of the Star Wars team, a member who is largely overlooked (ironic considering he's solid gold): C-3PO.
Programmed for etiquette, language interpretation and protocol, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) has been with Star Wars ever since it started with 1977’s A New Hope, witnessing and taking part in some of the saga’s most defining moments.
Judging from the trailers for The Rise of Skywalker, C-3PO’s role looks to be rather significant, with theories abounding as to his potential fate. Indeed, his line about preparing to say goodbye to his friends cuts deep.
Before the film hits our screens, here are five moments demonstrating that Threepio is far from a cowardly doom-monger – in fact, he is the Star Wars MVP. (For those who don’t know, that stems from American sporting events and means ‘Most Valuable Player’.)
1. A plot (almost) uncovered
One of the most shocking moments in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back comes from Han Solo’s (Harrison Ford) betrayal at the hands of old friend Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), who has cut a deal with Darth Vader (David Prowse) and bounty hunter Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch).
Although our heroes fail to uncover this plot until it’s too late, it is Threepio who (almost) saves the day. Spotting a couple of Stormtroopers just hanging around in a supply closet, the golden linguist uncovers the treachery where no one else could.
Unfortunately, he is blasted to bits soon after and has to ride around on Chewbacca’s (Peter Mayhew) back for the rest of the film, but he gets high marks for effort.
2. He hits people where it really hurts
C-3PO has been quite the pacifist throughout the Star Wars saga. Avoiding the more obviously violent options, Threepio has opted instead to hurt people’s feelings.
No, he can’t go toe-to-toe with Vader or Boba Fett in a physical altercation, but he certainly has an acidic wit. His skill is verbal sparring, and whether it be calling R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) an ‘overweight glob of grease’ or denigrating Chewie by calling him ‘only a Wookiee’, C-3PO is a master of words. And in the world of Star Wars, these often hit harder than a blaster or lightsaber.
3. God of the Ewoks
This is potentially C-3PO’s pinnacle MVP moment. He’s often mocked and under-appreciated by his colleagues and fellow droids, but 1983’s Return of the Jedi finally affords him some respect.
Landing on the forest moon of Endor, our heroes are met with a hostile welcome from the local Ewok tribe. Although they may be cuddly in appearance, they are actually strong fighters, threatening our heroes with all manner of pointy weapons, and even trying to cook them.
Of course, C-3PO is there to save the day. With the Ewoks believing that Threepio is a god, thanks both to his shiny, golden appearance and his ability to communicate in multiple languages, he is able to stop them from cooking Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Han alive. (Never mind the fact that Luke, by way of the Force, fools the Ewoks into thinking Threepio can also levitate.)
Let us all bow down and cry ‘Yub Nub’ at Threepio’s golden feet.
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4. Going undercover
The opening of Return of the Jedi is so full of excitement that it is easy to miss C-3PO’s achievement. He once again puts himself in the path of extreme danger for the good of his friends, coming face-to-face with the giant slug-like gangster Jabba the Hutt and his cavalcade of vicious looking cronies.
Translating Luke Skywalker’s demands to the impatient, unpredictably barbaric Jabba is no easy task, especially for a prissy nerd like Threepio, but he manages it, demonstrating once again the bravery beneath that polished exterior.
5. Becoming Leia’s deputy
C-3PO has always had a special place in his heart (or whatever the substitute is) for Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). This no doubt stems from the opening moments of A New Hope, in which Leia’s actions inadvertently result in Threepio and R2-D2 landing on Tattooine, kicking off the entire Star Wars saga.
In-between the events of Return of the Jedi and the chronologically later The Force Awakens (released in 2015), Leia’s political and military calling is re-ignited, as she becomes the leader of the Resistance against The First Order.
During this time, Threepio clearly asserts his loyalty and usefulness, remaining by Leia’s side as the galaxy plunges into darkness to become her right hand man... or robot. Not bad for an uptight protocol droid.
If you haven't already done so, click here to book your tickets for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, opening in Cineworld cinemas on the 19th of December. Don't forget to tweet us your favourite C-3PO moments @Cineworld.
Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.