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When watching the new Blu-ray version of Star Wars: A New Hope I noticed C-3PO's half silver leg. I saw the original movie at the theater many times and do not recall seeing it before. Is this one of the alterations George Lucas made in converting the film to digital, or was his bottom right leg always silver?

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  • possible duplicate of: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/963/… Sep 24 '11 at 5:17
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    That question explains why it was that colour but not which version of the films it was in.
    – Tony Meyer
    Sep 24 '11 at 5:44
  • I have a pretty old C-3PO toy with the half silver leg, but I couldn't tell you for sure whether or not it was that color in the original theatrical release.
    – Xantec
    Sep 24 '11 at 13:07
  • @Xantec your C-3PO toy, could you fully extend it's arms?
    – DavRob60
    Dec 20 '11 at 18:26
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The silver leg was definitely there in from the beginning:

On the cover of The Story of Star Wars, a 1977 record album presenting an abridged version of the events depicted in the film Star Wars, you could clearly see C-3PO's half silver leg.

The cover of the record album "The Story of Star Wars" showing C-3PO, left, facing slightly to the right (his left) with his left hand extended to R2-D2's dome, on the right side of the image.  R2-D2 is facing slightly to the right (viewer's left) so they appear to be conversing together, with the viewer included.  The background is the flat desert of Tatooine, with a faint silhouette of a moisture vaporator in the far distance.  C-3PO's right leg is silver, instead of gold, from the knee down, most clearly at the foot.

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    If you look closely between C-3PO and R2-D2 (draw an imaginary line from just under 3PO's knee), you'll see a discarded cigarette butt in the sand. Anthony Daniels pointed this out to me when he signed my copy of this album :)
    – NKCampbell
    Dec 7 '15 at 22:15
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    @NathanK.Campbell R2 must have been smoking again. youtube.com/watch?v=ELPlgKB9n8E
    – Josh
    Dec 8 '15 at 2:31
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Yes, in the original Star Wars: A New Hope the lower part of C-3PO's right leg was always silver.

R2-D2 and C-3PO stand together in a mostly white corridor of the Tantive IV in a still from "A New Hope;" R2-D2 is on the left side, while C-3PO is on the right side, standing against the corridor wall.  C-3PO is looking up at sounds from above, and his right leg is silver from the knee down.

I think the reason many who saw the first film don't remember the silver leg can be attributed to two things:

  1. Much of the desert scenes where we see him involve brown and golden backgrounds that the leg, being reflective, would naturally pick up tones from.

  2. Since all but that portion of him is golden, and we tend to visually track faces and torsos first, our memory and our initial attention was held by the golden color.

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  • as written, this is more of a comment, but i think you can flesh it out into a full answer with a bit of work.
    – phantom42
    Jul 23 '15 at 18:42
  • I like it. It strikes me as the most plausible answer given so far.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jul 24 '15 at 8:54
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    I actually never noticed the silver leg in the original movies. I first noticed it on the C-3P0 animatronic on the Star Tours ride at Disney World, before Lucas took to altering the movies. May 2 '16 at 16:23
  • I think the reason many who saw the first film don't remember the silver leg can be attributed to two things Plus the Invisible Gorilla Effect. Apr 22 '21 at 6:22
  • Now, why would it be silver? Did they run out of gold paint? Apr 22 '21 at 6:25
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It was originally there, it's not a digital alteration. This has been debated by fans for a while, but if you can't trust Yahoo! Answers, who can you trust?

(To summarize my now-broken link: lots of people argued for hundreds of pages, and decided that the leg was ABSOLUTELY silver the whole time AND there was NO DOUBT it was gold originally, and everyone is really mad about it.)

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    When I can't trust Yahoo! Answers, I trust Stack Exchange!
    – user1027
    Sep 25 '11 at 0:15
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    definitely silver in the pre-special edition VHS versions I have
    – HorusKol
    Sep 25 '11 at 23:17
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    I don't always trust Yahoo! Answers, but when I do, its because Stack Exchange sent me there
    – NKCampbell
    Dec 7 '15 at 22:18
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    “If you can’t trust Yahoo! Answers, who can you trust?” — My vote would be for ‘just about everything else in the universe’. May 2 '16 at 15:57
  • Just watched the 4K77 version (from a '77 35mm technicolor print) and it's definitely silver there, too.
    – Wyatt Ward
    Sep 10 '18 at 22:19

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