New 'Star Wars 9' photo may explain the mystery behind C-3PO's red eyes

The Droidsmith Babu Frik is likely to be involved, too.


C-3PO’s memories were wiped back in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, but they could be making a comeback in The Rise of Skywalker. Until recently, the beloved droid had been absent from Episode IX marketing, but the latest trailer seemed to hint he could turn into an evil robot. Now, a new photo from The Rise of Skywalker may explain what’s going on with C-3PO’s eyes.

Warning! Speculative spoilers ahead for Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker.

Entertainment Weekly released a bunch of new images from the upcoming Star Wars film this week, and among the standouts was an image of Zorri Bliss holding a golden disc. The photo generated a lot of chatter among the fan community, as it looks almost identical to the disc located inside the back of C-3PO’s head. Over on Reddit, u/ryanwasleger posted a combined image comparing the disc in Zorri’s hand to the one in the protocol droid’s motherboard.

The theorist suggests that Zorri could deliver the disc to the Resistance. It’s possible that Zorri heard about C-3PO’s modifications and stole the disc to aid the cause. Or, perhaps C-3PO is modified or repaired by the droidsmith Babu Frik, and Zorri took the disc before it could be reinstalled.

Back in September, another fan theory suggested that C-3PO’s red eyes meant he had been possessed by the Force ghost of Darth Vader to spy on the Resistance. As the theory goes, Anakin Skywalker installed a sleeper Sith program within 3PO’s motherboard. A similar theory from around the same time argued the droid may have been under the control of Emperor Palpatine all along. If that’s the case, then C-3PO may be the key to the First Order’s schemes in The Rise of Skywalker..

Those are some pretty big assumptions to make about a brief shot of glowing red eyes. For all we know, C-3PO’s eyes changed because he was gaining back the memories lost during Revenge of the Sith. Or maybe he’s just undergoing some routine droid maintenance, and the filmmakers thought it looked cool. Either way, Babu Frik likely plays a central role in what happens to the bumbling droid, but we know very little about him at this point.

Is C-3PO evil in 'The Rise of Skywalker'?


The droidsmith may work for the First Order, which somehow manages to get hold of C-3PO and wants him reprogrammed. When he was tinkering around in the back of the droid’s noggin, Zorri could have snagged it. It’s also possible Babu Frik just gave the disc to Zorri, who we already know shares a history with Poe. Whatever the outcome, it seems C-3PO and Babu Frik are intrinsically connected — the latest batch of Star Wars toys have already paired them together — and, good or bad, this new character is likely to play a significant role in the droid’s programming.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.

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