A lot of people had a lot of problems with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While most of the cast and crew of the current Star Wars trilogy has come to the defense of the film, one actor, Anthony Daniels, who plays C-3PO, admits that he did have one issue with the previous Star Wars movie, the way his own character was handled.
Trailers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and comments made by some of the cast, have indicated that something big is in store for our favorite frantic droid in the new movie, but that's in stark contrast to the way 3PO was handled in The Last Jedi. Daniels wishes he'd been given more to do in that movie as well. According to the actor...
In The Last Jedi I became a table decoration, which I regretted, because Threepio was worth more than that. But he does all sorts of weird stuff in this one. It was a delight, a joy! I get to go out on a high. This is my third ending and I think I’ll be saddest about this one. Return Of The Jedi was… well, it had the Ewoks in it, for God’s sake.
It's certainly true that C-3PO doesn't have a lot to do in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He's part of the Rebellion fleet but he just sort of follows along with that part of the story, rarely doing or saying much on his own. If he hadn't been there at all, it wouldn't have changed things much.
Honestly, the same could be said for Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well. While C-3PO is maybe a bit more useful there, it's really only by a matter of degree.
This is certainly a far cry from the previous films. In Star Wars: A New Hope, C-3PO and R2-D2 are the audience POV characters. We largely see the entire movie through their eyes and we learn about the galaxy far, far, away as they do the same. From there, the droids aren't ever the focus of the story, but they're always there, and they're always doing something, even if it's mainly providing some comic relief.
However, C-3PO and R2-D2 have been largely supplanted by BB-8 when it comes to droid focus in the new trilogy.
That appears to be changing in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, however. As Anthony Daniels tells Empire, he does "weird stuff" this time around, but it means the biggest trilogy finale for his character of the three he has been part of.
Of course, we don't know much in the way of details. We know he's going to do something big, as he's feels a need to take "one last look" at his friends, and we've seen his eyes change color. His action figure even comes loaded with weapons, implying C-3PO may be more involved in the fight itself than ever before.
Whether The Rise of Skywalker will make up for C-3PO being on the sidelines for so long, we don't know, but we'll find out when the Skywalker Saga comes to an end December 20.