It’s not uncommon these days for toys or other merchandising tie-ins to unveil details about upcoming movies. Star Wars has always been a franchise with its logo slapped on anything that can be bought or sold, and a new piece of merch just revealed that everyone’s favorite fastidious droid, C-3PO, is sporting a new look for The Force Awakens.

Star Wars super fan and Jedi News contributor Marc Zachacki found an interesting tidbit while in Mexico and shared it on his Twitter feed. It’s a can—actually it was later revealed to be a can-shaped thermal flask—that features an image of the protocol droid with his BFF and partner in crime, R2-D2, as well as the new addition to the sassy astromech family, BB-8. The image itself isn’t all that intriguing until you notice that 3PO’s left arm, partially hidden by the Star Wars logo, is now red.

This actually isn’t the first time we’ve seen C-3PO with a red arm, as some images of other products made the rounds a while back and also showed off the new appendage. And while this isn’t a huge shock, you can bet there’s probably a story behind this addition.

It has been thirty years since we’ve seen these characters, so there are bound to be some aesthetic changes. And we all know that 3PO is, well, prone to being ripped asunder from time to time, so needing a piece replaced on occasion is pretty much par for the course in his life. But you may not always have immediate access the exact right part—you’re not always near the robotic equivalent of a Shuck’s—and you’ve got to improvise. Plus, he’s getting older, the parts are outdated and harder to come by, and he was something of a custom job to begin with, so sometimes you’ve got to give him a red arm and that’s the best you can do.
And you can bet this is going to drive toy collectors into a frenzy. They were going to be all over the new toys and merch anyway, but you have to assume that the red-armed C-3PO is going to be a hot commodity. Unless they churn out so many that it becomes utterly worthless, but we’ll have to wait and see on that front.

Set three decades after the events of Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens picks up with some of your favorite heroes, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and many more, as well as introduces a new generation, like Finn, Rey, and Poe Dameron. What we’ve seen so far looks like vintage Star Wars, full of swashbuckling action, and we can’t wait until it opens on December 18. We’ve been waiting for this one.

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