Forgotten Star Wars lore could explain a mysterious new Anthony Daniels quote

Does this solve C-3PO's red eyes in the 'Rise of Skywalker' trailer?

C-3PO is a bumbling protocol droid in the Star Wars movies.

While C-3PO has been in every Star Wars movie so far, his role has often been limited to that of an anxious supporting character. That’s not a bad thing, but Threepio’s role might prove vital in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Anthony Daniels recently offered up some fascinating clues surrounding the droid’s storyline and its connection to “ancient Star Wars,” and it might just support a fascinating fan theory about the spiritual Force realm of Mortis. Let’s dive in.

Warning! Speculation and discussion of leaks about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead.

In a new interview with EW about Rise of Skywalker, Daniels suggested that Threepio will have a big part to play, one that taps into something “ancient.”

In previous recent movies Threepio has just been kind of window dressing, something on the mantelpiece, you polish it and dust it off when guests are coming. J.J. and Chris came up with this aspect of Threepio we had not seen before that’s remarkably clever. They go down deep into ancient Star Wars and came up with something refreshingly new.

Which “ancient Star Wars” secrets could he be referring to? To find out, we’ll have to dive deep into Star Wars lore ourselves.

C-3PO with red eyes in the 'Rise of Skywalker' trailer.
C-3PO with red eyes, possibly after his rumored memory wipe.

Based on what we’ve seen from footage and still images from The Rise of Skywalker, it seems C-3PO will get his memory wiped by the Resistance. This is likely why he bids his friends farewell in the most recent trailer. One popular theory holds that Threepio agrees to the hard reset because Rey finds a dagger covered with secret, evil writing that only he can translate: the dagger of Mortis.

Obi-Wan with the Dagger of Mortis
Obi-Wan with the Dagger of Mortis in 'Clone Wars.'

Introduced in The Clone Wars, Mortis is an otherworldly realm that functions as a “conduit through which the entire Force of the universe flows,” according to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mortis is inhabited by the Father, the Son, and the Daughter, who work together to uphold the balance between the Light and Dark sides of the Force.

This Clone Wars arc also introduces the dagger of Mortis, a remarkably powerful weapon capable of vanquishing immortal beings. Seems like a handy thing to have against Palpatine, right?

Lucky for the good guys, Rey also appears to be holding an awfully similar looking blade during that scene with Vader’s helmet in the most recent Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Is that the Dagger of Mortis?
Is that the Dagger of Mortis Rey's holding in her left hand?

Daniels’ comments about C-3PO’s role having something to do with “ancient Star Wars” lends support to the idea that the droid is called upon to translate an ancient language at great personal cost. Yet it also hearkens back to the real-world “ancient history” of Star Wars, circa 1977, when audiences first learned the golden droid was “fluent in more than ten million forms of communication.” It seems those long-forgotten language skills could prove very useful when the galaxy needs it most.


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