In “A New Hope” Luke lets C-3PO, a protocol droid he just bought the day before, drive the landspeeder on their search to find R2-D2.
Is there any good reasoning involved?
There seem to be a number of reasons why C-3PO was piloting the speeder:
Luke leaned back in the seat, luxuriating in unaccustomed relaxation as Threepio skillfully directed the powerful landcraft around dunes and rocky outcrops. “You handle a landspeeder pretty well, for a machine,” he noted admiringly.
“Thank you, sir,” a gratified Threepio responded, his eyes never moving from the landscape ahead. “I was not lying to your uncle when I claimed versatility as my middle name. In fact, on occasion I have been called upon to perform unexpected functions in circumstances which would have appalled my designers.”
But something more important than fixing responsibility for the little robot’s disappearance was on Luke’s mind at the moment. “Wait a minute,” he advised Threepio as he stared fixedly at the instrument panel. “There’s something dead ahead on the metal scanner. Can’t distinguish outlines at this distance, but judging by size alone, it could be our wandering ’droid. Hit it.”
But it hadn’t been Luke’s idea to put C-3PO in the driver’s seat. Since piloting ground-effect vehicles was one of C-3PO’s secondary programs, he had offered to take the controls so Luke would be free to scan for R2-D2’s tracks. Luke had agreed.