clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’: Why does C-3PO have red eyes?

We need to talk about C-3PO. Did he join the dark side?

A screenshot from the “Rise of Skywalker” trailer showing C-3PO.
Screenshot, Star Wars YouTube

(Warning: Potential spoilers for “Rise of Skywalker” below)

SALT LAKE CITY — C-3PO isn’t having it anymore. His eyes are red and full of rage. Or, at least some kind of virus or malware, right?

OK. Let’s go back to the beginning.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” released a new trailer at the D23 Expo, the annual convention for Disney news and events. The trailer was released to the public Monday morning, showing glimpses of Rey with a double-bladed lightsaber, Kylo Ren battling Rey in the middle of an ocean, and C-3PO with ... red eyes?

Why does C-3PO have red eyes? It’s the question popping up everywhere on Twitter.

True “Star Wars” fans will wonder why he has those red eyes, which generally indicate a flip to the dark side. Red has never been a good color in the “Star Wars” universe, after all.

And that might be the case. One Reddit leak suggested that an old memory unit would be downloaded into C-3PO, turning him into a protocol droid. The new memory encouraged him to grab Chewbacca’s bow-caster and exact evil on those around him.

And that plot theory matches a leaked poster of the new film. The Deseret News reported on the earlier leaked poster, which showed C-3PO with a bow-caster. But it was later revealed that the poster wasn’t real.

Still, Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron in “Rise of Skywalker,” told Jimmy Fallon that C-3PO, played by Anthony Daniels, will have a massive role in the new film, according to the Deseret News.

“This time (Daniels) kept saying like, this was the most fun he had. Cause he has, actually, you know, had so much fun things to do, and we got to work a lot together,” Isaac said. “And yeah, it was just amazing to see that, to see that piece of history close.”

This isn’t the first time C-3PO has gone red. In “The Force Awakens,” C-3PO revealed a major change to his body in the 30-year gap between “Return of the Jedi” and “Force Awakens.” He had his normally-gold arm replaced with a red arm.

But in a Marvel comic “Star Wars: C-3PO #1” by James Robinson, Tony Harris and Joe Caramagna, we learned that C-3PO lost his arm in a battle for the Resistance, according to Gizmodo. All of those on his team died and he was the only survivor. But one of his team members, a droid named Omri, made a major sacrifice so C-3PO could survive. To honor the fallen droid, C-3PO donned the red arm.