14 Reasons C-3PO Is The True Badass Of Star Wars

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Vote up the awesome moments that turned C-3PO into your favorite Star Wars character.

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.

Photo: Marvel Comics

  • 1
    131 VOTES

    Sacrificing His Memories To Stop The Final Order

    Sacrificing His Memories To Stop The Final Order
    Photo: Rise of Skywalker / Walt Disney Motion Pictures Studios

    In the culminating episode of the Skywalker saga, C-3PO makes a profound sacrifice to make sure the Resistance can get what it needs to find Exegol and stop the Final Order from destroying the galaxy. Threepio is nothing if not a strict rule follower, which proves a frustrating hurdle with the discovery of Sith loyalist Ochi's engraved dagger on Pasaana. As a protocol droid versed in more than 6 million forms of communication, C-3PO can translate the message on the blade, but his programming as an upstanding member of society prevents him from speaking it.

    With the Final Order mere hours away from sending out their fleet of Star Destroyers, Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, and Threepio head to Kajimi where Babu Frik, a droidsmith from Poe's pre-Resistance days, can unlock the translated text. Resetting C-3PO's programming to make him reveal the message comes with a gutting caveat: the droid will lose all of his memories in the process. With little delay, Threepio decides to make that sacrifice since he knows there's no chance for the Resistance to succeed without it. Though the always reliable R2-D2 has a copy of the protocol droid's memory banks saved, C-3PO still made the decision under the assumption that he wouldn't come back the same.

    131 votes
  • 2
    92 VOTES

    Stopping Intraplanetary Wars With Translation Abilities

    Stopping Intraplanetary Wars With Translation Abilities
    Photo: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

    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. 

    92 votes
  • 3
    118 VOTES

    Becoming An Ewok God

    Becoming An Ewok God
    Photo: Return of the Jedi

    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!

    118 votes
  • 4
    77 VOTES

    Going Undercover At Jabba's

    Going Undercover At Jabba's
    Photo: Return of the Jedi

    With all of the excitement in the opening of Return of the Jedi, it’s easy to forget that the film begins with C-3PO and R2-D2 embarking on an insanely dangerous mission. It begins stealthily enough, with the droids gaining access and an audience with Jabba, but the stakes are raised quickly when Luke Skywalker reveals himself.

    C-3PO takes on the brave task of communicating Luke’s demands to the corpulent warlord, and almost finds himself enslaved by Jabba until Skywalker saves the day. This is not the sort of mission that a coward would embark upon.

    77 votes
  • 5
    107 VOTES

    Discovering The Empire In Cloud City

    Discovering The Empire In Cloud City
    Photo: The Empire Strikes Back

    For most, The Empire Strikes Back is the pinnacle of the Star Wars saga. For C-3PO specifically, it was his own shining moment. Much of the drama in Empire comes when our heroes fall into a trap laid by Darth Vader and his cronies at Cloud City. Lando Calrissian sold Han Solo and friends out, hiding the Imperial presence on his planet, but the ruse was almost thwarted by C-3PO.

    Threepio walked in on a few Stormtroopers hiding out in a supply closet, discovering a secret that no other protagonist was able to. Unfortunately, he was blasted to bits for his efforts and had to be carried around by Chewbacca for a little while.

    107 votes
  • 6
    108 VOTES

    Borrowing His Red Arm From A Fallen Friend

    Borrowing His Red Arm From A Fallen Friend
    Photo: The Force Awakens

    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.

    108 votes