C-3PO: Secret Badass

c-3poNow that we’ve established that Boba Fett is not worthy of anyone’s devotion or admiration, let’s talk about someone who is. C-3PO doesn’t get a lot of love from Star Wars fans. (These are probably the same fans who think Boba Fett is awesome.) This is a shame, because he’s an awesome character, and because I feel akin to him in many ways. Yeah, he talks a little too much, and he’s the butt of everyone’s jokes, but C-3PO brings a lot to the series, and he offers a different way of looking at heroes. Allow me to elaborate.

  • He’s hilarious. Oh come on, don’t lie. You love the old-married-couple bantering of C-3PO and R2. They add some levity to the series without being stupid and pointless like Jar Jar Binks. We wouldn’t even know that R2 is sarcastic and awesome without 3PO there to translate for us. The droids are some of the best comic relief in the series.
  • He’s you. He’s me. He’s the guy who just wants to go home and be safe. Episode IV begins by putting us with the droids, particularly with 3PO, who’s confused and trying to figure out what’s going on, just like we viewers are. The truth is that most of us aren’t quite as brave as Han or as noble as Luke. C-3Po reacts the way we would probably react if we suddenly were thrown into the middle of a galactic war. We’d fret and worry and bitch about how dangerous this all is. And we don’t even know six million forms of communication.
  • He’s actually pretty brave. I know he’s the one who wants to stay behind and not make people angry, but when you think about it, C-3PO gets put in a lot of situations that make him uncomfortable, and he makes it through as best as he can. He’s scared, but he’s still there, and he’s still loyal. Bravery doesn’t mean rushing stupidly into danger. Sometimes you really do have to let the Wookiee win, you know?
  • He’s a secret badass. Hear me out on this one. I think C-3PO has unexpected depth. Remember in Episode IV, when Luke and Uncle Owen almost take the R5 droid instead of R2? But then it breaks down, so C-3PO suggests they take R2 instead? Yeah, that’s really convenient, isn’t it? OR MAYBE IT ISN’T. Maybe C-3PO messed with some of the other droids to ensure that he and R2 won’t be separated. He’s awfully quick to point out that R2 is in good working order. I’m just saying. There’s also the moment in Episode IV when he and R2 get caught by some Stormtroopers. C-3PO comes up with an excuse out of nowhere about R2 needing to go down to maintenance, and the Stormtroopers in their utter stupidity believe him. During this whole exchange, C-3PO is cool as a cucumber. That’s pretty badass for someone who’s usually freaking out.
  • He’s not your conventional macho action hero. Han, Luke, Lando, and the rest are all brave and strong and awesome and everything, but they all kind of fit that hero mold. C-3PO is not quite like that–he’s fussy, gentlemanly, and very intelligent. He’s decidedly un-macho, but he’s still there at the end of the day as one of the heroes. He’s a different kind of hero from the extra-masculine action hero, and that makes him pretty damn awesome, if you ask me.

Boba Fett has nothing on C-3PO.



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