Even though we’re only a few months away, the big details about Star Wars: The Force Awakens are still under heavy guard. A lot of time has passed since the events of Return of the Jedi, and much has changed, and some of this information will be imparted in the wave of comics, novels, and more scheduled to precede the J.J. Abrams-directed Episode VII. Now we know that one thing we’ll learn is how C-3PO got that new red arm we’ve seen him sporting.

We may very well veer into SPOILER country beyond this point. You’ve been warned.

One of the many ways Lucasfilm is going to help catch fans up with what has gone down over the last 30 years in that far, far away galaxy is through a series of comic books published by Marvel. According to StarWars.com, it is in one of these titles, Star Wars Special: C-3PO, that we’ll find out what the deal is with that new appendage. How Anthony Daniels' character came to lose one arm and acquire another will be at the center of the story.

The one-off issue is slated to be released this December, and will spring from the heralded comic book minds of James Robinson and Tony Harris, who previously worked together back in the 1990s on DC’s Starman, a run that won them a nice array of awards and acclaim. And for their part, they appear to be pretty stoked on the prospect of explaining C-3PO’s new look. Robinson released a statement and said:
That’s a really exciting part of doing this story. Saw a photo of C-3PO with his red arm the other day and I thought ‘Wow, I’m the writer who gets to explain that’.

C-3PO

While there are no details about how specifically the uptight protocol droid came to lose his arm, if you’ve ever watched the original trilogy, you can probably hazard a fair guess. Over the years, C-3PO hasn’t had the greatest luck when it comes to making it through the adventures he shares with his robotic partner in crime, R2-D2, entirely intact. He’s been torn asunder during his stay in Cloud City, had his eye chewed out of its socket on Jabba the Hutt’s pleasure barge, and in the span of 30 years, you can rest assured he found himself in all manner of sticky situations. Now we know not all of him will escape unscathed. I can’t wait to find out what exactly happened.

Star Wars Special: C-3PO is just one of the so-called Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens titles that will hit shelves before the film drops on December 18. This includes novels, like Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath, which was just released a few days ago, among others. Marvel’s Shattered Empire, a four-issue miniseries by writer Greg Rucka and artist Marco Checchetto, is also scheduled to deliver its first issue this week.

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