Ten (Spoiler-Free) Possible Explanations For C-3PO’s Mysterious Red Arm in ‘The Force Awakens’

by Jason Gross @SockofFleagulls on December 22, 2015

in Star Wars

One of mysteries left unanswered in the new Star Wars film is the origin of C-3PO’s red arm. JJ Abrams has stated in interviews that the main reason for changing the color of his appendage was to show aging after 30 years. However, the movie itself doesn’t explain why or how his arm came to be red.

Did he get caught up in some big First Order battle? Did the nearby parts planet discontinue protocol droid appendages? Is it just a lens flare on the screen?

Here are 10 spoiler-free (and probably unlikely) explanations for C-3PO’s red arm in The Force Awakens:

Chewbacca Ripped It Off During A Heated Game of Dejarik.

Even though he knew it was unwise, 3PO finally had enough of letting Chewbacca win and paid the price.


He got an infection from Jabba the Hutt.

Little known fact: the green residue emitted from Jabba’s body is actually toxic to metal. Littler known fact: it took Leia ten years to get the smell out of her hair.


Miles from LOST had something to do with it.

I don’t trust that guy.


He was reassigned to Tony Stark on earth.

After recruited by Stark to join his Iron Legion, C-3PO decided it wasn’t for him after starting the conversion process. He flew himself back to the new rebel base on D’Qar using just his arm.


He lost his arm in a thermal detonator accident during the ROTJ celebration.

He keeps it red in order to teach other protocol droids proper safety measures for future Death Star rallies.


It’s not red, it’s actually just rusted from spending too much time on Hoth.

Droids could have definitely benefited from spray-on bedliner technology in harsh conditions.


He gifted his original arm to the Ewoks as a back scratcher for their help in ROTJ.

As you can imagine, back hair can get quite knotted.


He was in the holiday spirit.

Chewie promised to paint the other arm green when he comes back from his Solo reunion tour.


For several years, he joined a speeder gang on Jakku known as the Red-Armed Rancors.

Since it was a droid gang and leather jackets weren’t really practical, they went with something a little more permanent to identify themselves.


He’s a huge Masters of the Universe fan and asked Chewie to turn him into Trap Jaw.

Other attachments include a blaster, a Nerf Herding staff, and a Bantha fodder scooper.


He secretly pretends to be a Sith Lord and his red arm is his light saber.

Putting up with R2’s sarcasm all those years can really build up one’s anger.


Jason Gross (@SockOfFleagulls) is the creator of Rediscover the 80s and loves to subject his two sons to 80s pop culture. He is also the co-creator of Agents of M.A.S.K. and enjoys freelance writing about 80s music & nostalgia.

Hail Mary December 22, 2015 at 6:22 pm

“Back hair can get quite knotted.” LOL!

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