Towards the end of the movie, as the crew of the Falcon are taking off to follow the map, the Resistance gathers to wave goodbye. Taking the image from this question:

enter image description here

While this image doesn't show it well, after seeing the movie 3 times, I'm positive that C-3PO no longer has his red arm and instead is fully gold again. When did C-3PO get his arm fixed and if this answer is correct in it being a memento, why did he get it fixed?

  • 1
    Did you see this answer to the same question?
    – Josh
    Jan 7, 2016 at 15:04
  • 14
    @Josh its not the same question, its the completely opposite - how did he lose the red arm by the end of the film.
    – Moo
    Jan 7, 2016 at 15:08
  • 7
    +1 For attention to tiny details :P
    – Josh B.
    Jan 7, 2016 at 18:55
  • 2
    To avoid all the confusion! Jan 7, 2016 at 21:11
  • 1
    Home come the long-faced alien pilot who was the only pilot we saw perish is standing amongst the pilots in this scene?
    – user45623
    Jan 8, 2016 at 8:10

4 Answers 4


It was replaced. We don't know why or how, yet, but the WGA script explicitly notes that:

The Millennium Falcon RISES.
Leia, with Poe, BB-8, and C-3PO (with his proper arm replaced), watches the next generation of Jedi begin her journey.

We know it was replaced AFTER the attack on Tacodana:

Goodness! Han Solo! It is I, SeeThreepio!
(sees Han, stops)
You probably don't recognize me because of the red arm.
(sees Leia, increasingly awkward)
Look who it is! Did you see who?
Oh. Excuse me, Prin-- uh, General.
Sorry. Come along, BB-8. Quickly.
(BB-8 beeps)
Yes, I must get my proper arm reinstalled.

Please note that the red arm clearly wasn't there because it was the best functional choice: Visual Dictionary says:

“C-3PO is uncharacteristically quiet when it comes to discussing his salvaged arm; it is a memento of another droid's sacrifice,”

Of course, the real reason is that now, Disney can sell twice the C-3PO centric (or even C-3PO involving) merchandise.

  • 48
    Star Wars has an amputation/arm transplant fetish.
    – Nick T
    Jan 7, 2016 at 21:03
  • 4
    Upvote for the merchandise comment!
    – DaFoot
    Jan 8, 2016 at 8:44
  • 3
    Merchandising! Jan 8, 2016 at 14:23
  • Also points out how characters keep having lives while offscreen
    – zipquincy
    Jan 21, 2016 at 21:50

As I just saw the movie: Threepio, after Maz Kanata's place on Takodana has been attacked and he arrives together with Leia, mentions, after of course ignoring all human bondings and emotions and screwing the whole situation, something that should be understood as:

"Now let's get in there and retrieve my arm." (Original wording is quoted in the very good answer of @DVK)

I think it is reasonable that there just has not been time to replace his arm before the attack on Starkiller Base, as this seems to be a very short period of time.

So it had to be replaced in the time of recovery after the attack on Starkiller Base (as during the attack he is still shown with a red arm), and the reasons seem to be:

  1. He does not seem to feel himself with the red arm, as indicated in his line about not being recognizable because of it.

  2. The red one does seem to be less functional, as indicated by the Visual Dictionary.

Actual quotes provided by DVK in his answer (as usual ;).

  • 1
    @NathanK.Campbell - sorry, I was just in the process of adding the proper quote. What Philip said was not exact but I think the spirit matches what I found in the script. +1, incidentally - I personally didn't notice that line when watching, only after reading the script Jan 7, 2016 at 15:45
  • 1
    See the last edit of @DVK, it has been clear from the situation as I understood it. Jan 7, 2016 at 15:46
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    "I must get my proper arm reinstalled." means something very entirely different from "Lets go get my arm", so I'm not convinced it was in Maz Kanata's, even though the time frame matches up.
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 7, 2016 at 17:12
  • 1
    @MikeEdenfield: It has to be seen within context. Why should he ask BB-8 to come along quickly away from the transport, not just out of the scene or into the transport? I think it is implied by the dialogue that both druids know his arm is to be found there. Jan 7, 2016 at 17:23
  • 3
    @PhilipKlöcking He's telling BB-8 to come along quickly to cover up his own gaffe with Leia and Han's reunion. He never says "where" to go, just "away from these two".
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 7, 2016 at 17:27

Simple answer... his real arm had somehow been left on the Millenium Falcon when Han ran off. Therefore, his seeing Han, Chewie and the Falcon would have been his first chance to retrieve the arm.

Add a bit of snark, and you get the reason that C3PO points it out to Han.

C3PO: You probably don't recognize me because of the RED ARM.
Han:  Oh, yeah... Chewie, go get the man's arm.

According to actor Anthony Daniels, J.J. listened to 3-CPO himself for costume direction on the last shot:

The one thing that J.J. and I argued about was the fact that I didn’t like the red arm. C-3PO doesn’t like the red arm! Being the director he said ‘You’re gonna have a red arm.’ But have you noticed, because he listened to me, that the last frame of C-3PO waving at the Millennium Falcon was with a gold arm! And J.J. did that – love it.


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