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Related to: Is C3PO a slave?

R2D2 tricks Luke Skywalker into taking his restraining bolt off so that R2 can run off and look for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

But I don't recall any point in the movie where C3PO has his own restraining bolt removed.

Did C3PO ever get it removed? If he did, when did it happen?

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up vote 22 down vote accepted

Yes, he did have it removed.

In Episode 4, you can see that he still has it on during the Sand People scene, but by the time Luke and Ben retrieve him after the attack it's gone, and it stayed gone after that.

With Restraining Bolt No Restraining Bolt

Presumably it was therefore knocked off (or removed by one of the Sand People) during the attack.

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2  
I was in the middle of writing up the same answer and looking at the screenshots/videos and shocked to notice the bolt suddenly missing. I've never seen it mentioned in any of the lists of goofs/continuity errors. – phantom42 Mar 12 '14 at 18:09
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Those sand people. Always stealing restraining bolts. – Xantec Mar 12 '14 at 18:15
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On the other hand, maybe the Sandpeople are surprisingly progressive and simply wanted to free C3PO from his opressive human overlords. – Zibbobz Mar 12 '14 at 18:17
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I'd noticed it missing in Ben's hut before and had assumed that it had been removed at that time (which would have made some more sense - I too had a half-written answer saying "it happened in Ben's hut"); I was also quite surprised to see that it happened earlier. @Zibbobz - Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom! – user8719 Mar 12 '14 at 18:18
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Think of a restraining bolt like a lojack (not Lobot). Thieves want to disable it as quickly as possible. :-) – Art Taylor Mar 12 '14 at 19:46

In the film's official novelisation, it was removed slightly later, right before Luke received the lightsaber from Kenobi.

“You see, Luke, that’s where your father and your uncle Owen disagreed. Lars is not a man to let idealism interfere with business, whereas your father didn’t think the question even worth discussing. His decision on such matters came like his piloting—instinctively.”

Luke nodded. He finished picking out the last of the grit and looked around for one remaining component to snap back into Threepio’s open chest plate. Locating the restraining module, he opened the receiving latches in the machine and set about locking it back in place. Threepio watched the process and appeared to wince ever so perceptibly. Luke stared into those metal and plastic photoreceptors for a long moment. Then he set the module pointedly on the workbench and closed the ’droid up. Threepio said nothing.

A grunt came from behind them, and Luke turned to see a pleased Kenobi walking over. He handed Luke a small, innocuous-looking device, which the youth studied with interest.

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The early "Lost Cut" of Star Wars contains the part described in the novelization (based on the shooting script) where Luke, having finished repairing Threepio's arm, goes to re-attach the restraining bolt, then decides not to when Threepio winces noticably. This implied that Luke not only trusted Threepio, but was starting to think of him as more of a companion, and not simply a servant. Apparently this was discarded when the film underwent a complete overhaul during the re-editing process and the scene in Ben's house was rearranged (which is why Threepio is awake in some shots after already having shut himself off).

The version of the film I was referring to is the rough assembledge of footage put together by the original British editor, John Gympson, before he was let go by George Lucas. This first cut of the film is commonly referred to as the Lost Cut. There is a comprehensive article about it in issue 41 of the Star Wars Insider magazine. The scene with Luke and Threepio is discussed on pages 42-43 and includes a photo.

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I don't think Luke ever thought of C3PO as an equal. Maybe a companion, but not an equal. He surely knew that almost all droids were servants. – RichS May 26 at 15:53
    
I don't see how this adds much beyond @Valorum's answer; it doesn't provide an actual quote from this alleged "Lost Cut" while he provides a clipping from the official novelisation that says the same thing. – T.J.L. May 26 at 17:49
    
The version of the film I was referring to is the rough assembledge of footage put together by the original British editor, John Gympson, before he was let go by George Lucas. This first cut of the film is commonly referred to as the Lost Cut. There is a comprehensive article about it in issue 41 of the Star Wars Insider magazine. The scene with Luke and Threepio is discussed on pages 42-43 and includes a photo. – Tim May 27 at 0:55
    
You can update your answer with the edit link, so you don't have to reply with a whole new one! Welcome to the site, and feel free to ask your own questions. – CreationEdge May 27 at 1:53

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