C-3PO, better known as “Threepio” or “Goldenrod,” is a protocol droid, designed to employ proper etiquette at all times. The uptight dork of Star Wars series, C-3PO is fluent in over seven million forms of communication, and he has probably complained in at least half of them. People rarely consider him one of the best Star Wars characters. See, although he's frequently at the center of events with galactic import, Threepio does his best to avoid conflict. Despite his pacifist ways, however, the Star Wars canon is rife with examples of C-3PO being cool. No, seriously. In the films, the Star Wars Legends, and the comics, Threepio has managed to make his mark on the galaxy far, far away in more ways than he even realizes.
Those who know the stiff-walking droid best would probably use the same sorts of words to describe him: fussy, condescending, long-winded, aggressively annoying. That sort of thing. "Brave" and "heroic" are two words that are almost never used in relation to old Goldenrod, but that might need to change. As it turns out, in C-3PO’s century-long fictional life, he’s proven himself to be a true badass on more than a few occasions.
Becoming An Ewok God
C-3PO doesn’t usually get a lot of respect, but that changed the moment he stepped foot on the moon of Endor in The Return of the Jedi. The Ewok race are not particularly welcoming to strangers, as evidenced by their desire to eat Han Solo and his friends, but they made a real exception for C-3PO.
The Ewoks believed Threepio to be a golden god, both due to his appearance and his remarkable ability to communicate with them. They built him a throne, and even listened to his anti-cannibalistic suggestions. “Jub jub,” indeed!
Borrowing His Red Arm From A Fallen Friend
There was a lot of buzz regarding C-3PO’s appearance in The Force Awakens. His presence in the film was, of course, expected, but fans were shocked to see that he was sporting a new, red arm. Threepio himself mentions the colorful new limb, which prompted many to speculate that there had to be a good story behind it. It turns out there there totally was.
Marvel published a C-3PO one-shot comic that supplied the red arm’s origin story, and it is tragic. During a post-Return of the Jedi mission, C-3PO befriended a red droid who ended up sacrificing himself so that Threepio could seek shelter from super acidic rain. All that was left of the brave robot was his left arm, and since Threepio had recently lost his (it was a whole thing, don't worry about it), he took on his friend’s limb as a functional memento.
Impersonating An Interplanetary Assassin
C-3PX is almost indistinguishable from prissy nerd C-3PO, with an “X” mark on his head as his only defining feature. Oh, and also the fact that he’s a cold and brutal killing machine, feared and respected around the galaxy. That’s probably an important difference.
C-3PX used to be just like Threepio, but he was reprogrammed to become an assassin, and found out that he was pretty good at it. Of course, C-3PO has been mistaken for his near-twin on numerous occasions, leading to all sorts of amusing hijinks. A highlight has to be the time that C-3PO filled X’s spot in a robot-fighting dungeon.
Stopping Intraplanetary Wars With Translation Abilities
C-3PO solves not one, but two intraplanetary tribal conflicts over the course of the Clone Wars animated series. There are a lot of violent events in the saga of Star Wars, and they’re rarely settled peacefully, but C-3PO has a proven talent for talking down even the bitterest of enemies.
On both occasions, his encyclopedic knowledge of seven million forms of communication ended up saving the day. Threepio’s gift for conveying the exact meaning of those he is translating makes honest negotiation possible between any two species, no matter how different they may be. His adept skill at diplomacy proves that everyone just wants to be understood.