Why does the Resistance wipe C-3PO's memory in 'The Rise of Skywalker'?

And what does the mysterious Zorri Bliss have to do with it all?

It’s just a bit more than two minutes long, but in that short span of time, the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker served up a whole lot of emotions. Perhaps the most heart-string tugging moment of all came as our heroes, Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, and newcomer Zorri Bliss seemingly bid farewell to the lovable golden wuss who’s been a key part of all nine films: C-3PO. The perpetually anxious protocol droid was first built by wee Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine so long ago, back when the youngling was full of midichlorians and dreams of podracing. Now, it seems C-3PO is saying farewell, maybe for good. As the music soars, says he’s taking “one last look” at his friends.

Potential spoilers for Rise of Skywalker ahead. We’ll refer back to earlier leaks that now seem quite credible in light of the latest trailer, so consider yourself warned!

Previous speculation about Episode IX had held that the red-eyed C-3PO shown in the D23 trailer might have been controlled by Darth Vader or a reincarnated Emperor Palpatine. But it now seems that probably isn’t the case. Instead, it’s likely that Rey and the gang need to reprogram C-3PO to get some information out of him, possibly even resetting his memory entirely, or — more intriguingly — reverting him to the memories he had at the end of Revenge of the Sith.

This lends credence to an earlier Making Star Wars leak, which claimed Rey will find a Sith blade that has some arcane writing on it, which C-3PO will need to translate. (He is fluent in more than 10 million forms of communication, after all.) Unfortunately, this is some kind of super-old — and presumably super-evil — language that requires the Resistance to reprogram C-3PO in order for him to read it, hence the creepy red eyes.

c3po zorri bliss rise skywalker
C-3PO says his goodbyes in Rise of Skywalker, as the enigmatic Zorri Bliss looks on.

It seems that Zorri Bliss, shown in her golden mask in the image above, plays a key role in tinkering with C-3PO’s brain. It’s also likely the disc she was recently shown holding in a recent Entertainment Weekly photo has something to do with this whole process.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Zorri Bliss’s role in The Rise of Skywalker, or if she’ll ever take that damn mask off. (Isn’t it hot in there?) But it seems clear from the latest footage from the movie that C-3PO’s prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for the Resistance. But how Zorri came to possess the object that makes it all possible is still anyone’s guess.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes to theaters December 20.