C-3PO’s ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Injury Explained

Everyone who has seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens would have noticed that C-3PO, one of the most popular characters from the franchise’s history, had undergone quite a drastic change in his appearance since 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI — Return Of The Jedi.

In The Force Awakens, C-3PO has a red arm. Details regarding the droid’s new arm have remained at a premium. But a new companion book to The Force Awakens, which recently leaked online, has provided further information regarding how C-3PO got the arm.

The caption, via Cinema Blend, reads, “C-3PO is uncharacteristically quiet when it comes to discussing his salvaged arm; it is a memento of another droid’s sacrifice.”


There has been thirty years between the end of Star Wars’ Return Of The Jedi and the beginning of The Force Awakens, and the intention of the red arm was used to signify that time had elapsed between the films.

Back in November, J.J. Abrams, who co-wrote Star Wars: The Force Awakens alongside Lawrence Kasdan, as well as directing the blockbuster, explained why C-3PO had a new arm while speaking to Wired.

Discussing the difficulties of trying to sell merchandise for The Force Awakens while keeping details regarding its characters hidden, Abrams stated, “Moments like Threepio’s arm came from the desire to, well, mark time. It’s almost like… (Unknown events have transpired?) Exactly! 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!”

Abrams admitted that he’d found it difficult to juggle the merchandising and licensing elements of Star Wars: The Force Awakens while at the same time as keeping details regarding the blockbuster secret.

“With this movie there are more licensing and merchandising balls to juggle than I’ve ever experienced,” Abrams continued. “There are so many things, each one a little bit of a window into the story. It’s not just about what piece you put out for a talk show. This is also about: Well, what does that character say as a toy in that particular line of action figures, as opposed to that one?”


There’s every chance that we’ll learn more about the incident that led to C3PO’s arm being replaced in Star Wars: Episode 8. But rather than being written or directed by J.J. Abrams, whose work on The Force Awakens was roundly celebrated upon the release of the film and it is currently on course to become the highest grossing blockbuster of all time, having already amassed $890.3 million in just 9 days, it will be written and directed by Rian Johnson. In fact, Abrams won’t even be returning for the proposed ninth instalment to the series, too, which will be directed by Jurassic World‘s Colin Trevorrow.

Greg Grunberg, who starred in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and has collaborated with Abrams on numerous other projects, was recently asked for an update on Star Wars: Episode 8, and he admitted that the Mission: Impossible 3 and Super 8 director was so impressed by the “very good” script for Episode 8 that he already regrets turning down the chance to direct the film.

“He read it and said something he never, ever says. He said, ‘It’s so good, I wish I were making it’,” Grunberg told the Washington Post. Instead, it will be directed by the same person who wrote it, in the shape of Rian Johnson, who previously wrote and directed Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper. Star Wars: Episode 8 will finally be released on May 26, 2017.

[Image via Lucasfilm]