- This page is dedicated to an alternative version of C-3PO in both the prequel and sequel trilogy, discarding Disney's canon for the same character.
C-3PO, sometimes spelled See-Threepio and often referred to simply as Threepio, was a 3PO unit protocol droid designed to interact with organics, programmed primarily for etiquette and protocol. He was fluent in over seven million forms of communication, and developed a fussy and worry-prone personality throughout his many decades of operation. Along with his counterpart, the astromech droid R2-D2, C-3PO constantly found himself directly involved in pivotal moments of galactic history, and aided in saving the galaxy on many occasions.
C-3PO was rebuilt from spare parts by Anakin Skywalker, a humanslave who lived in Mos Espa, a city on the Outer Rim world of Tatooine. C-3PO's memory was erased, though R2-D2's memory was not. C-3PO and R2-D2 were assigned to the Alderaan cruiser Tantive IV, where they served senator Bail Organa for nineteen years. At some point during this time, 3PO's right leg was fitted with a mismatched droid plating.
They then became embroiled in the Galactic Civil War when Leia Organa of the Rebel Alliance entrusted them to bring a copy of the Death Star plans to the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine. After meeting Skywalker's son Luke and the smuggler Han Solo, the droids helped rescue princess Leia from the Empire's Death Star. They became directly attached to the three humans, helping them and their rebellion defeat the Empire and restore freedom to the galaxy, most notably when he convinced the Ewoks to aid the Rebels at the Battle of Endor.
Following the Battle of Endor, C-3PO continued serving the Skywalkers and Han Solo during the time of the New Republic. About thirty years after the events on Endor, C-3PO was still serving as an aide to Leia Organa, who had become a General in the Resistance, a private military group opposed to the First Order, a military junta that emulated the Old Empire. By that time, C-3PO sported a red left arm and had his translating database updated so that he could communicate in seven million different forms of communications.
Old Republican Era
Galactic Civil War
Escape from the Empire
- As the Galactic Civil War between the Empire and the Rebellion raged across the galaxy, C-3PO continued his service aboard the Tantive IV.
- Although he worked as Captain Antilles's translator for a time, he was assigned to the corvette's droid labor pool on diplomatic missions that did not require interpreters.
- He and R2-D2 were paired together, with the former acting as the interpreter counterpart of the latter.
- C-3PO found the work to be humiliating drudgery.
- In 0 BBY, Princess and Senator Leia Organa took the Tantive IV to the planet Ralltiir to deliver military-grade equipment to Alliance operatives under the guise of a diplomatic mission to deliver supplies to the Ralltiiri High Council.
- Contact with the operatives in the midst of the Empire's subjugation of the planet, coupled with info spilled by The Empire's Lord Tion during a dinner with Organa and her father Bail back on Alderaan, alerted the Royal House of Alderaan to the existence of a secret Imperial construction project: The Death Star, a massive battlestation with enough power to destroy an entire planet.
- A tip from a horrified Bail allowed Alliance agents on Toprawa to intercept the plans to the Death Star, and Leia Organa prepared to take the Tantive IV there to retrieve them.
- As the corvette was readied to leave Alderaan, C-3PO and R2-D2 boarded while father and daughter hugged farewell.
- During the journey to Toprawa, C-3PO and R2-D2 were pressed into service by the labor pool overseer, who required an astromech droid and an interpreter for special work detail.
- The two reported to Princess Organa and Captain Antilles, who gave them a voice override indicating that they were to protect all references to the Princess being aboard the vessel and to follow her orders unquestionably.
- After the Tantive IV reverted to realspace in the Toprawa system, Organa ordered R2-D2 to exit through an airlock and pretend to make repairs on the navigation computer sensor suite, all the while making periodic reports to C-3PO via comlink.
- When the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Devastator demanded to know why the corvette was in a restricted zone, Organa used the apparently malfunctioning navigation computer as an alibi. While a transmission containing the Death Star plans was beamed to the Tantive IV, R2-D2 returned to the ship's interior; when the transmission concluded, Antilles took the ship into hyperspace and away from the pursuing Devastator.
- Bail Organa believed that the Rebellion needed to call on Obi-Wan Kenobi in such a desperate hour, and Organa accordingly took the Tantive IV to Tatooine.
- However, the Devastator had caught the corvette's receipt of the Death Star plans, and it followed them to the Tatoo system. After both ships decanted from hyperspace, the Devastator attacked.
- C-3PO and R2-D2 made their way through the Tantive IV's corridors as the ship was rocked by explosions; when the Devastator trapped the corvette in a tractor beam, Imperial stormtroopers boarded and engaged the stationed Rebel troopers in a firefight.
- The two droids weaved their way through the laser blast.
- As the Rebel defenders quickly fell, a blast struck the wall behind C-3PO, and the exposed circuitry shot an electric current through the protocol droid.
- He was freed from the tangled wires by his counterpart, and both escaped the notice of Darth Vader, the Imperial Dark Lord of the Sith, as he and a stormtrooper escort passed by.
- C-3PO became separated from R2-D2 in the midst of the chaos, and he eventually found him near the labor pool.
- Fearing that a crewmember had betrayed them and smuggled a homing beacon aboard, Organa and Antilles had quickly devised a plan to use her voice override and smuggle the Death Star plans off the ship inside of R2-D2.
- C-3PO caught up to his counterpart just as Organa finished giving the astromech droid the plans, and as the Princess fled, C-3PO dismissed R2-D2's claims of a secret mission and tried to stop his counterpart from entering an escape pod.
- He changed his mind, however, when a laser blast struck a nearby bulkhead, and the two launched for the surface of Tatooine.
- Captain Antilles had already jettisoned a number of decoy escape pods, and the Devastator's gunners neglected to shoot down the droids due to a lack of detected life forms aboard.
- R2-D2 was intent on getting the plans to Kenobi, and he steered the pod toward a location Organa had given him.
- The pod nevertheless landed in the middle of a desert, and C-3PO helped manually lift the astromech out of the crashed vehicle.
- C-3PO refused to believe his counterpart's claims of a mission, even when the astromech droid began to make his way toward rocky terrain.
- The two set off in different directions, but C-3PO turned around to give his counterpart one last warning.
- R2-D2 steadfastly continued on his way, but when he suddenly fell through the sand, C-3PO rushed after him and fell through himself.
- The two landed in a system of subterranean tunnels, and they were quickly surrounded by a group of mole creatures.
- C-3PO attempted to communicate with them, and the little he understood suggested that the moles would serve the droids, their new masters.
- The underground dwellers then carried the new arrivals through the tunnels, all the while chanting the word "Gotar," which turned out to be the name of a giant hungry acid lizard.
- As it turned out, the moles would indeed "serve" the droids—to Gotar for dinner.
- The lizard gobbled the droids up but kept them in his mouth in order to allow the acid there to dissolve them, but R2-D2 shorted out his electrical system, which caused Gotar to spit them out so hard that they landed back on the sand above.
- C-3PO pleaded for R2-D2 to follow him one last time, but R2-D2 continued toward the mesas, and the two finally parted ways.
Meeting Luke Skywalker
- After several hours of wandering through Tatooine's endless-seeming Dune Sea, C-3PO was edging close to an overheat shutdown.
- He vocalized a suspicion that R2-D2 had tricked him into going that way, but the sudden appearance of a vehicle on the horizon raised his spirits.
- He called to it, and the vehicle—a Jawa Sandcrawler—homed in on him. With blasters pointed, the Jawas forced C-3PO to wear a restraining bolt.
- He accepted his capture and asked if they had spotted an astromech droid wandering through the desert, but they made no reply and instead loaded him aboard the transport.
- Later on, R2-D2 was indeed brought aboard, and the counterparts had a joyful reunion.
- As the Sandcrawler plowed through the desert, R2-D2 shut himself down both to conserve energy and to tune out C-3PO's complaints.
- Guided by a signal flare launched by the homestead's occupants, the Jawas made their way to a dwelling: The Lars homestead, where C-3PO had lived long ago, prior to his memory wipe.
- After waking R2-D2 up, C-3PO joined the line of droids who were marched outside to be displayed in front of a potential buyer.
- Despite C-3PO's protests, R2-D2 covertly made some modifications to R5-D4, another astromech in the line.
- Owen Lars, now a much older man, approached the Sandcrawler along with a nineteen-year-old Luke Skywalker, and selected R5-D4 over R2-D2 before approaching C-3PO, whom he did not recognize.
- Although the moisture farmer had no need of a droid who understood etiquette and protocol, C-3PO touted his ability to understand both the binary language of moisture vaporators and the Bocce trade language.
- Lars was sold, and his two new droids followed Skywalker to the homestead.
- R5-D4's motivator blew, however, and C-3PO convinced Skywalker and Lars to purchase R2-D2 instead.
- The droids were taken by the young Skywalker to the homestead's tech dome, where C-3PO received an oil bath, R2-D2 recharged, and Skywalker worked on a T-16 skyhopper.
- He complained about an unfulfulling life on a boring planet, and when C-3PO mentioned the Rebellion, it piqued Skywalker's interest considerably.
- While cleaning a dirty R2-D2, Skywalker came across the datacard that the Princess had inserted into R2-D2, and an excerpt from Organa's holographic recording suddenly materialized on the dome floor. She spoke a single line: "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope."
- When C-3PO questioned his counterpart, the astromech suggested that he might be able to play the entire message if his bolt were removed.
- A mesmerized Skywalker obliged, but R2-D2 subsequently ceased playing the message entirely.
- Frustrated, Skywalker left the task of uncovering the rest of it to C-3PO and left to eat dinner with his aunt and uncle.
- The protocol droid scolded his counterpart for disobeying their new master, and when R2-D2 promptly left the homestead to continue his search for Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO realized that he had tricked Skywalker into removing the bolt.
- Ashamed, C-3PO hid in a corner, and when Skywalker returned and discovered him, the protocol droid revealed what had happened.
- Since the world's twin suns had set and night had already fallen, Skywalker resolved to search for R2-D2 in the morning, which would allow him and C-3PO safer passage across the desert.
- The protocol droid charged himself overnight and was awoken at dawn by Skywalker, who did not want his aunt or uncle to know about the missing astromech.
- As the homestead's power was still shut off, C-3PO pushed an X-34 landspeeder outside while Skywalker held the door open manually, and the two then set out with C-3PO behind the controls.
- As R2-D2's tracks had disappeared, C-3PO suggested checking the area toward which the astromech had been headed from the escape pod, and Skywalker scanned the terrain with his macrobinoculars.
Counterparts C-3PO, Human-cyborg relations, and his counterpart, R2-D2. As C-3PO took them toward the mesas of Tatooine's Jundland Wastes, Skywalker told C-3PO about an old hermit named Ben Kenobi who lived in the desert.
- As R2-D2 was searching for the similarly-named Obi-Wan Kenobi, the youngster wondered if the two Kenobis were related. When they eventually spotted and confronted R2-D2, Skywalker wanted to take him home, and C-3PO suggested deactivating him.
- However, the astromech detected some approaching lifeforms, and the group was soon attacked by the Tusken Raider URoRRuR'R'R. C-3PO tumbled backward over a sand dune and lost his left arm in the process.
- Several minutes later, he was retrieved by Skywalker and Ben Kenobi, who had come to the group's rescue by imitating the call of a local Krayt dragon.
- As it turned out, Ben and Obi-Wan were one and the same, and the elderly Obi-Wan Kenobi brought the group to the safety of his desert hut.
- Soon after being repaired and R2 showing Obi-Wan the message from Leia, they discovered the ruined Sandcrawler and Jawas who had sold him.
- Luke had sped off to discover that Owen and Beru Lars had been murdered by Imperial stormtroopers, leaving C-3PO and R2-D2 in Luke's care.
- After traveling to Mos Eisley while evading stormtroopers, C-3PO and R2-D2 escaped on the Millennium Falcon with Luke, Obi-Wan, the ship's captain Han Solo, and his first mate Chewbacca, with whom he would assist R2-D2 against in a game of dejarik.
- After hearing that Wookiees were known to rip peoples' arms out of their sockets when they lost, he gave R2-D2 one final piece of advice: "let the Wookiee win."