Early Look at C-3PO in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Over the weekend Twitter user Marc Zachacki (via Making Star Wars) posted an image, supposedly from Mexico, of a soda can purporting to feature a photo from Star Wars: The Force Awakens featuring BB-8 flanked by our favorite Original Trilogy duo of R2-D2 and C-3PO, only this time around the protocol droid Han Solo affectionately refers to as “Goldenrod” has a less-than-golden left arm… a red one, to be precise.

Before you say it’s a botched Photoshop job, remember that Making Star Wars also posted some blurry early merchandise leaks featuring a similar image and, indeed, 3PO has a red arm in those as well. What’s the story behind it? Fans know by now that arms are tenuous appendages in the Star Wars universe (Luke, Mace Windu, Zam Wessell, Ponda Baba in the cantina, etc), and 3PO was the first to get his arm ripped off in the original 1977 film. The red arm might be a simple homage to that, or his one silver leg in that movie, but the most likely explanation is that, like most franchise films, it is customary to change a character’s appearance, even slightly, for toy-related purposes. “I HAVE C-3PO! Why should I buy C-3PO? Wait, he’s got a red arm now? AWESOME!!!”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and features a new generation of swashbuckling heroes and shadowy villains, as well as the return of fan-favorite smugglers, princesses, and Jedi.

Starring Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker as their characters from the original trilogy, “The Force Awakens” also stars John Boyega as Finn, Daisy Ridley as Rey, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac Poe Dameron, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, and Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma. Also starring, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong and Miltos Yerolemou, the J.J. Abrams-directed film will debut in theaters on December 18, 2015.