In Star Wars, C-3PO is a gold robot but his right leg is silver. Why is that?

(Edit: the original question said that he had a silver leg "in some scenes". Apparently, that is incorrect.)

  • Some guy is trying to use this silver leg as support to his claim that the LHC was used to change small pieces of history. A preposterous claim when the reality is that only a few people ever noticed that his lower right leg has been silver all along. When I was a kid I had a silver c3po toy. It was probably marketed as some other droid but to me c3po could any color as he, like everything else in the SW universe, appears to be pieced together from whatever worked. Not unlike his red arm in TFA. Bottom line is - it's a replacement part.
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 21:53

2 Answers 2


Interesting question. I encourage you to read up on it on Wookieepedia.

In short, at the end of episode 3, C-3PO was dipped in gold and had his memory erased. He then served as a translation droid along side the Organa family in the senate.

Some time between then and the events in episode 4, a bomb was placed in his leg. Events unfolded that allowed the safe removal of the leg, but as he was dipped in gold specially, no gold legs were around. And time (or hard times in the Organa family) never permitted him to dip the leg.

That's the canon. But the real reason is simple. They wanted him to look like he had some history. Like a scar on the face.

  • 4
    Where on wookiepedia does it say anything about the bomb? He was gold at the start of Episode 3, so your answer is also confusing. Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 3:09
  • 9
    @RedCaio There was no "new canon" when I created this answer 5 years ago. And Wookiepedia did back up my answer then, because that's where I got the info from in the first place.
    – DampeS8N
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 16:43
  • 1
    @DampeS8N: Well, at any rate, Wookieepedia is not a primary source unless it gives a reference for the information. And the fact it has changed in the meantime shows why it's not a good source. It can be a starting point. Commented May 18, 2016 at 14:22
  • 2
    @ThePopMachine This, too, was not a standard we followed back then. Feel free to upvote the other answer which corroborates (with the source comic) and expands on my old answer.
    – DampeS8N
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 2:08
  • @DampeS8N and that's why you should include the referenced sources instead of relying on links and tertiary sources,
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 12:16

Disney Canon

It's not explicitly stated why his leg is silver, but in the Phantom Menace there's a nice little "blink and you'll miss it" moment where you see Jar Jar (in Watto's Shop) pratfalling in front of a set of droid coverings that are missing a leg.

It's certainly possible that these were the same covers used for C-3PO, with the absent part replaced by one from another droid. This would explain why the gold paint put on by Padmé wears off at a different rate, leaving one leg silver.

Droid casing standing in Watto's shop; the left leg ends at the knee and the foot covering sits below it.  The covering, while dusty, appears to have a warm/gold colour.

EU Canon.

C-3PO's leg was replaced with a dummy containing a bomb, as seen in the Star Wars Comic serial "Star Wars: Droids: Rebellion"

A spindly-armed green droid in a view screen declaims to a surprised-looking C-3PO while a shocked-looking Boonda watches: "Ah, Threepio--Deceived by appearances! You should take a good look at yourself! You see, your new leg contains an initiative submodule, designed to link with your primary performance banks.  On the drone barge, the memory-wipe countdown activated the submodule, and you were reprogrammed to bring the barge to Boonda! Oh--I forgot to mention that your leg also contains a sleeper bomb! Don't bother trying to slither away Boonda. With one signal I can blow your fortress off the map!"

There's a second (albeit slightly contradictory) account of this incident in "C-3PO: Tales of the Golden Droid"

Greek's trail led to the notorious Smuggler's Moon of Nar Shaddaa. Unit Zed, a police droid, was authorized to operate autonomously, but the slum dwellers of Nar Shaddaa had no respect for law officers, robotic or otherwise. Unit Zed was blasted to scrap and See-Threepio lost his left leg below the knee. A mysterious droid named B-9D7 became Threepio's benefactor, replacing his missing limb with a new silver leg, but this foreign hardware was a curse, not a gift. A hidden programming module superimposed a confident, heroic personality over Threepio's fainthearted and fearful one and caused the droid to incite a robotic revolution against the droid manufacturer Boonda the Hutt.

The revolution came to a quick end when it was discovered that B-9D7, actually the human industrialist Movo Brattakin in the body of a droid, had orchestrated the events to eliminate his business rival Boonda. When a sleeper bomb was discovered inside Threepio's leg, the offending limb was replaced with a golden spare and the droid's original personality programming was restored.

  • Do we know when he got the silver leg? (i.e. did he have a silver leg in RotS?)
    – RedCaio
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 21:54
  • 1
    @RedCaio - His legs in RotS appear to both be golden; s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/4e/84/01/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 21:57
  • 1
    that "blink and you'll miss it" moment you mentioned shows a droid missing the left leg, not the right. Certainly possible they're swappable though. i.imgur.com/4PUzezX.jpg
    – Wyatt Ward
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 22:44

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