After the D23 Expo dropped some new footage of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, everybody was talking at those last few seconds, which appeared to show Rey having gone full Sith, complete with a new, red, lightsaber. However, after they were done with that, the next question everybody had about the new footage was "what exactly is up with C-3PO's eyes?"
The new footage gave us a single shot of the droid, one of the few characters to appear in all Star Wars movies. However, rather than his traditional look, we see the droid with red eyes. Fans were, of course, curious what this could mean. Will 3PO be reprogrammed? Has he somehow gone evil? What exactly is going on?
That was so weird, because they had rigged me up with a special thing, and to look at myself in the mirror, it was scary. It's a magnificent piece of storytelling that really took me by surprise.
While C-3PO and R2-D2 were key parts of the cast in the first two Star Wars trilogies, the pair have been largely ignored in the first two entries of the new one. While 3PO and R2 have always been present, they've never been important in the way they were previously. It looks like that might be changing, at least a little, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Whatever is going on with the red eyes feels like it's something that matters, even if its only in a small way.
Because C-3PO hasn't been a major part of the story in the last two films, really anything that happens to him in The Rise of Skywalker is going to be a surprise. Nobody was likely expecting a great deal from the character in the new movie until we saw this shot and began to think that something of interest might actually be happening here.
What it means could be any number of things. Perhaps C-3PO gets hacked or has to plug himself into a computer and gets more than he bargained for. Could that computer be on the wreck of the Death Star that we believe will play a part in the story? Maybe this isn't even C-3PO in this scene, but simply another protocol droid of the same design, who will also be portrayed by Anthony Daniels.
These ideas are completely conjecture. There is little information about what The Rise of Skywalker will actually be about, and as such, it's hard to theorize in any real way. Literally anything could be possible.
The good news is that, whatever the answer is, it's apparently "magnificent" and that's certainly good news. We'll find out for sure when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20.