When Star Wars: The Pressure Awakens opened in theaters in December of 2015, it broke nearly each box-office file on the books. It had the most important Thursday preview in historical past. It had the most important Friday in historical past. It had the most important single-day gross in historical past. It was the primary movie to gross greater than $100 million in a single day. It was the quickest movie in historical past to $100 million and $200 million. It was — and stays, even after Avengers: Endgame — the top-grossing film in U.S. historical past. On this one author’s purely subjective opinion, it did fairly okay in theaters.
The Star Wars prequels have been massively profitable, however their ticket gross sales weren’t in the identical league as The Pressure Awakens, largely as a result of it had one thing the prequels by no means did: The returning forged from the unique Star Wars trilogy. Followers have been intensely curious to see what the previous heroes have been as much as 30 years later — and to see what they appeared like a long time after Return of the Jedi. They discovered a Han Solo who’d gone grey, however nonetheless maintained his closet of area rogue fashions. Princess Leia was now a regal normal of the Resistance. And Luke Skywalker had grown a hermit’s beard and lengthy hair whereas dwelling in isolation on a distant planet.
Even although robots don’t age, among the franchise’s acquainted droids appeared completely different too. Cowardly, bumbling C-3PO spent The Pressure Awakens doddering round with a pink arm. No rationalization was supplied for the arm swap — you needed to learn a Marvel comedian ebook for that — nor was an evidence given for why he was again to his extra acquainted gold within the movie’s last scene.
Some followers received upset in regards to the seemingly pointless change; I joked in my 2015 evaluate of The Pressure Awakens that Disney slapped that pink arm on Threepio so they might promote “two C-3PO toys; one with a gold arm and one with a pink arm.” And that certainly didn’t harm. However I’ve to confess I didn’t notice in 2015 — or at any level in my almost 40 years on this planet — that a precedent existed for C-3PO’s appendage adjustment. Unbeknownst to me and to many individuals I’ve consulted since I made this discovery, C-3PO had a mismatched limb by means of the whole unique Star Wars trilogy.
C-3PO has a silver leg — the proper one, under the shin.
The silver leg is seen in C-3PO’s very first look in Star Wars. The primary time Threepio seems in A New Hope, the silver leg is onscreen:
He retains the silver leg all by means of A New Hope and nonetheless has it in The Empire Strikes Again. It’s significantly seen within the Rebels’ Echo Base on the ice planet Hoth. (This shot is zoomed in so you’ll be able to see it a little bit extra clearly; all these screengrabs have been taken from the present prints on Disney+.)
And Return of the Jedi? Silver leg metropolis:
C-3PO even made publicity appearances along with his silver leg. Right here he’s on the premire of the Star Wars Particular Version in 1997.
Though randomly swapping out a personality’s gold leg for a silver one 15 years later feels like one thing George Lucas would have executed, this isn’t a current change made to Star Wars. C-3PO had a silver leg again in 1977. Simply ask the person who performs him, Anthony Daniels. On this current video for Wired, Daniels talks about how the C-3PO costume developed, and the way the silver leg was a part of the design from the start. The intent, he explains, was to point out that C-3PO had a historical past lengthy earlier than the actual journey in A New Hope. Sooner or later alongside the best way — just like the pink arm, it’s by no means defined — he misplaced his unique proper leg and settled for this imperfect alternative:
As Daniels notes, even Star Wars’ onset photographer didn’t discover his one silver leg for weeks into manufacturing. On or off the set, the silver leg appears to mirror no matter is round it — together with the gold from the opposite leg and the remainder of the C-3PO costume. Plus, C-3PO spends plenty of time wandering the deserts of Tatooine, whose mild brown sands make the silver leg nearly unattainable to identify, as on this shot:
There are a number of different causes C-3PO’s silver leg is so obscure that some writers have attributed their private discovery of it to the Mandela Impact. For one factor, it’s solely the decrease a part of the leg that’s silver — and there’s not that many full-body photographs of Threepio within the motion pictures. He’s normally filmed from the waist up, like within the Insurgent base on the finish of A New Hope.
He’s additionally sometimes flanked by R2-D2, and he tends to dam C-3PO’s legs, prefer it on this shot from Return of the Jedi.
It’s additionally price mentioning that a lot of the adults discovering Threepio’s silver leg at this time have been in all probability watching this film at house on VHS — whose decision pales compared to fashionable expertise like Blu-rays and high-definition streaming. My childhood copies of Star Wars weren’t even industrial VHS tapes — they have been do-it-yourself dubs recorded from tv, rendering them even blurrier. I used to be fortunate I might see C-3PO in any respect, a lot much less make out the fantastic particulars like a vaguely silver leg.
Simply take a look at this classic Kenner Star Wars toy industrial that includes C-3PO and R2-D2. Is Threepio’s leg silver right here? Possibly! It’s unattainable to inform at this decision.
That brings up one more reason — perhaps the one largest purpose — this entire silver leg factor comes as a shock to me and to many individuals: The Kenner toys, each in 1977 when the unique movies have been launched, and the Energy of the Pressure toys that appeared in shops within the Nineteen Nineties within the run-up to the flicks’ Particular Editions, had two gold legs.
Youngsters might need watched the flicks a dozen instances — however they performed with these motion figures a whole bunch of instances by means of the years. And the toys had gold legs. Once I shut my eyes, that little plastic man on the left is the very first thing that involves thoughts once I consider C-3PO. My private toy was a little bit duller due to all the eye he received from me and my brother — however he was nonetheless all gold.
However what about you? Did you at all times know C-3PO had two completely different shade legs? Did you study it not too long ago, say when the Star Wars motion pictures premiered on Blu-ray? Or are you simply listening to it from me for the very first time? Be trustworthy, there’s no disgrace right here.
No matter you thought earlier than, now you understand conclusively. Earlier than he had a pink arm, C-3PO had a silver leg. And now that you simply’ve seen it, you’ll by no means not see it.
Each Star Wars Film, Ranked From Worst to Greatest
Right here is each theatrical Star Wars film, ranked from the worst to the most effective.