'Rise of Skywalker' Whiffed On C-3PO, Hard
The entire nine-episode Star Wars franchise has had its, erm, inconsistencies over the years, but one thing that has remained constant was the presence of C-3PO and R2-D2. From helping deliver Artoo's original hologram message to Luke, to seeing a skinless version of Threepio in Phantom Menace, all the way up to that final heroic sacrifice in Rise of Skywalker, we've subconsciously relied on C-3PO as an anchor point through all this.
So it's good to hear that the man behind Threepio, Anthony Daniels, was super excited for the giant and kind of unexpected role that he had to play for Rise of Skywalker. The droid's super intelligence and seemingly boundless memory has gotten other characters out of bizarro scrapes before, so for there to be one final task he can complete for the good of the galaxy in what's supposed to be the end of the Skywalker saga was a good idea. And to wipe his memory? Wipe away everything he knows about the Skywalkers? The places he's been, the things he's seen? That's heartbreaking, and you can't just brush it off with, "Oh, he's only a droid."
He's so much more. It was truly to be a hero's ending. So when Threepio turns to tell the crew that he's taking one final look at his friends, it had the same emotional grip on us as the toys holding hands as they descended into a flaming trash heap in Toy Story 3.
Which makes it even more baffling that all of it was undone 15 minutes later. Daniels has said in a recent interview with The View that director JJ Abrams isn't quite ready to retire Threepio yet, but considering that Daniels is 74 and JJ has fucked off to a long time deal in a studio far, far away we're kind of doubtful.
With Luke and Leia both passed away, C-3PO was truly the last Skywalker left, the work of Anakin's own hands. When presented with a chance to give the gold guy a proper send-off, that set up Rey really needing to resurrect the Skywalker name, they whiffed.