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As far as movie franchises go, there are none quite as beloved as Star Wars. Generations of moviegoers were brought up on George Lucas' colorful galaxy, resulting in a deeply personal connection to the property. The Rise of Skywalker ended the nine-film Skywalker Saga, and gave sendoffs to characters new and old. C-3PO got to have a more integral part in the story than the previous two movies, and it turns out that his twist actually featured a connection to the prequels.
C-3PO and R2-D2 appeared in every single installment of the Skywalker Saga, and both originally belonged to Anakin Skywalker. 3PO was actually created by the young boy prior to the events of The Phantom Menace. And once C-3PO's memories were restored, it unlocked the previously deleted data from the prequels. As The Rise of Skywalker's novelization revealed,
This caused a memory file that R2-D2 had restored to be accessed and read. It was a record of the moment when C-3P0's maker had fitted a photoreceptor into his eye socket and he had experienced the visual spectrum for the first time. The initial image his photoreceptors had captured was of a blue-and-white astromech.
I'm not crying, you're crying. It looks like C-3PO's memory was finally fully restored, decades after it was wiped for Leia's protection in Revenge of the Sith. So not only did he remember his adventures throughout the original and sequel trilogies, but his entire life on the screen. After all the years of panicking and faithful service, the protocol droid really deserves it.
The above excerpt from the new junior novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (via ScreenRant) is just the latest Episode IX revelation to come from the movie's supplemental materials. The actual theatrical cut left a bunch of material on the cutting room floor, and a number of questions remained for the fans after its conclusion. And it turns out that C-3PO's story was even deeper than we realized.
Star Wars fans can re-watch the Skywalker Saga on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
C-3PO's memory was wiped around halfway through The Rise of Skywalker, because his programming prevented him from reading instructions on the Sith Wayfinder. While it seemed that the droid we knew and loved was gone forever, R2-D2 was able to restore his memory thanks to back-up. And now it looks like that process actually unlocked even more memories than we realized.
As the novel's excerpt reads, C-3PO saw a vision of his very first scene in the Star Wars timeline. Anakin Skywalker had been repairing him on Tatooine as a boy, and The Phantom Menace revealed the moment he truly came to life. After being given new eyes by his "creator" aka Anakin, 3PO's first memory was actually of a blue and white astromech droid. That's right, his very first memory was of his bestie R2-D2.