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The Sad Truth About C-3PO's Rumored Fate In Rise Of Skywalker

The Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker rumor mill has churned out a real gut punch.

Reddit user JediPaxis, who claims to be close to the production of the film, has been busily leaking the entire purported plot of the film over the last month or so. Their latest revelation has to do with C-3PO, and if true, it's going to have fans bawling in the aisles.

First, we must qualify this report by saying that it is in no way confirmed. The rumors around The Rise of Skywalker have been flying fast and furious of late, which is to be expected from a film that concludes a nine-movie saga which has captured the imaginations of moviegoing audiences for over 40 years. 

It's definitely worth noting, however, that the reports offered up by JediPaxis carry an air of legitimacy for a compelling reason: several of the plot points which they have put forward have been verified by Star Wars fan sites, which cite their own sources. Bespin Bulletin and Jason Ward of the Making Star Wars site have both corroborated elements of JediPaxis' reports — so, either multiple analysts who live, eat and breathe Star Wars are all making up the same details independently of each other, or these leaks contain at least some accurate information. (via Newsweek)

It should also be pointed out (as JediPaxis does in the introduction to their spoiler-filled missive) that Rise of Skywalker is currently in the midst of reshoots, so some of the plot details that are being reported on at this time could change by the time the final cut hits theaters. Having said all of that, please be aware that spoilers for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker may follow.

The rumor revolves around a mysterious dagger which was, at one point, sought by Lando Calrissian and Luke Skywalker. It was once owned by a Force user loyal to the Sith, and upon it is inscribed a message in an unidentifiable language.

Our heroes Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe (Oscar Isaac), and Finn (John Boyega) are led to believe that this dagger may be the key to locating a Wayfinder, a device which may hold the key to locating and defeating the exiled Emperor Palpatine (who may or may not be hiding within the device itself). They're able to locate the dagger, but C-3PO — despite being fluent in over six million forms of communication — can only identify the inscription as an ancient Sith language, one which he cannot translate due to restrictions in his programming.

Chewbacca takes custody of the dagger, but it is subsequently lost following a confrontation between Rey and Kylo Ren during which the Wookiee is taken prisoner by the First Order. During the struggle with Kylo, Rey accidentally unleashes force lightning which causes Chewie's prisoner transport to be destroyed. All appears to be lost at this point; Chewbacca is dead, the dagger is gone, and Rey is a complete mess, as her loss of control resulted in the death of a friend and ally.

Fortunately, C-3PO has committed the dagger's inscription to memory, and our heroes enlist the aid of an old acquaintance of Poe — Zorri Bliss (Keri Russell) — to track down someone capable of hacking the protocol droid's programming so that he can provide a translation. They're able to do so, but there's a catch — one hell of a big catch.

Zorri's contact informs Rey, Poe, and Finn that he can do as they ask — but if he does, C-3PO's memory will be wiped. Our heroes, of course, are still smarting from Chewbacca's death, and are reluctant in the extreme to lose another of their number for any reason... and this is when C-3PO gets his shining, heroic moment.

The droid insists that the procedure be carried out, knowing full well that for all intents and purposes, it will mean his death. (JediPaxis helpfully informs us that this will be among the most emotional moments in the film.) Zorri's contact then does his thing, and the modification results in C-3PO's eyes turning red — a development which caused fans to freak out when it was revealed, free of context, in footage screened at Disney's D23 expo last month.

The droid is then able to read the dagger's inscription, which does indeed reveal the location of the Wayfinder owned by the Emperor. Once his task is complete, C-3PO reboots — and after he does, he is no longer the fussbucket we all know and love, but rather a blank slate.

Well, this must be said: C-3PO has appeared in every single Star Wars film save for Solo: A Star Wars Story, and he often acts as a kind of audience surrogate, rarely key to the movies' plots. It's safe to say that he's gotten more cowardly moments than heroic ones throughout the series — and if Rise of Skywalker is to be the character's last onscreen appearance, which it almost certainly is, we're totally down with finally giving the protocol droid a moment of heroic self-sacrifice.

Once again, it's possible that JediPaxis, whomever they may be, are simply pulling this extremely detailed plot synopsis out of their rear end — but we find it to be unlikely. If this is truly the ending that C-3PO is destined to receive, we're of the opinion that it's a fitting one; after all, for all the Emperor's power, he did not foresee his apprentice Darth Vader pulling that last-minute heel turn at the conclusion of Return of the Jedi, redeeming himself and (temporarily, at least) bringing balance to the Force. 

It seems right to us that he would also fail to foresee that the sacrifice of one lowly protocol droid could lead to his ultimate downfall — a development which would, now that we think about it, pretty much make C-3PO the most important character in all of Star Wars lore. You know what? We'd be pretty okay with that.

We'll keep our ears to the ground for any additional scintillating info the rumor mill might produce, but it won't be long before we finally discover how the Skywalker Saga ends. Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker hits the big screen on December 20.