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I have heard the rumor from a couple of people into SciFi (and some chain emails over the years), that C-3PO was not simply humanoid looking but anatomically correct - in crude terms, the costume had male bits.

But on watching the movie it doesn't seem to be the case, at least to my eye.

Is there some official confirmation or rebuttal of this rumor?

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4  
Why is this being downvoted and close-voted? –  Pureferret Dec 3 '12 at 6:23
    
@Pureferret I suspect it may have something to do with the rumor being sourced from chain e-mails, and the answer apparently easily found on Snopes - the first place most people go to check up on chain mail rumors. Does this warrant a close-vote? Arguably not. Does it warrant a down-vote? Yes, because down-votes are for questions that do not show any research effort. EDIT: In fact, it seems on this site it is possibly worth a close-vote since "General Reference" is a close reason here. –  Iszi Feb 15 '13 at 16:41
    
@Iszi - No, it isn't. Please see meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/2400/… (with the tag "status-planned" by SE employee –  Silver Fox Feb 18 '13 at 16:56
    
@SilverFox Thanks for the update. –  Iszi Feb 18 '13 at 17:37
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1 Answer 1

up vote 22 down vote accepted

As is usual, whenever you wonder about a rumor, the first place to check is snopes.com

As it turns out, the answer to your question is "no" with a big caveat of "there's a real good reason to the rumor".

One one hand, C-3PO costume - as evidenced from any screenshot, like the one from Wikipedia - merely had a codpiece.

enter image description here

I have a suspicion that the Wiki image may be a drawing and not a screenshot, on the account of white background, so here's an actual movie screenshot:

enter image description here


However, that rumor does, indeed, have an actual true story underlying it.

As per snopes, a Topps trading card of 3-CPO was once released showing what looked like - for all intents and purposes - the "male bits", as you worded it (I will not include the images here but the article has them. It's quite unmistakable).

According to Topps (who examined the original photo) it was NOT "photoshopped in", but was merely a freak accident of a piece of the costume falling off and being positioned at just the right time in just the wrong place when the photo was taken.

How the offending picture made it onto a trade card is hard to tell, but hey, they DID launch a NASA Mars vehicle with a crashing bug caused by metric-imperial unit mismatch. The quality control for trading cards is likely quite a bit laxer.

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Fleer trading cards also had the Bill Ripken "error" –  phantom42 Dec 3 '12 at 11:59
    
That's why I put "error" in quotes. The link even discusses the possibility that Fleer deliberately left it in the photo to drive up demand. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that Topps did something similar with the Threepio card. –  phantom42 Dec 3 '12 at 13:27
    
Interesting how the term "crashing bug" has a much more dramatic meaning in the field of spaceship design –  Matthew Scouten Dec 3 '12 at 15:52
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