C-3PO was never exactly a bold knight. He had moments of sissy panic, but most of his nagging was just his obnoxious way of delivering important information. It's not his fault if Han doesn't want to know the odds. But it is his fault for treating R2-D2 like dirt so often.
Threepio and Artoo clearly love each other like brothers. They also bicker and passively-aggressively insult one other, like a metallic Timon and Pumbaa. And Threepio usually starts it. From The Phantom Menace to Return Of The Jedi, the protocol droid constantly belittles Artoo with everything from patronizing dismissal to blatant insults, only to praise him when the smaller droid saves his ass. What kind of person acts that way to someone they love? Family. And how does the relative on the receiving end of the passive-aggressive familial abuse respond? With passive-aggressive familial revenge, of course.
It's easy to imagine these two scuttling across the lower third of the TV screen as they promote their CBS sitcom during a football game.
Enter C-3PO's buffoonish portrayal. In The Phantom Menace he's introduced as a naked, unfinished droid being built by an eight-year-old, while Artoo has already singlehandedly saved a queen. The next two movies show us a barely useful Threepio who is terrified of everything and would have peed his pants at some point if he was physically able to. Meanwhile, Artoo has rocket boosters.
As the series continues into the original trilogy, Threepio gets more bumbling moments and bad puns, while Artoo gets to meet old Jedi, gets uploaded with information vital to the rebellion, and gives Luke tons of assists in battle on the ground and in the sky. Threepio complains a bunch, everyone is always yelling at him to shut up, he gets his eye plucked put by a cackling monkey-lizard, and he is always getting blown to pieces.
"Oh, poor Threepio! I used to know him, Horatio."
And then, for no reason at all, in The Force Awakens Threepio's got a dumb red arm and no one cares enough about him to find out why. Which means Artoo's probably still telling this story. In the annals of history, C-3PO will always be the wimp who shouldn't have treated the storyteller like crap.
So if you get some downtime -- a lot of downtime -- start the series from scratch and picture Artoo sitting in front of a military tribunal or senate, retelling the story as best he can and filling in the gaps with information he's gathered or been told secondhand by members of the Rebel Alliance. Picture him throwing in, for his own amusement, stories that make C-3PO sound like a bumbling asshole. Picture the entirely sterile scenery from the prequels as actual video he's rendered as illustrated evidence. Picture him inserting himself as a praiseworthy hero into every major event that led up to this trial ... whether to just make himself look awesome, or to sway the judging eyes and ears of his jury into not melting him down for participating in war crimes. I mean, that's why he's there in the first place, right? If a flesh-and-blood rebel showed up to tell that story, they'd be executed within minutes.
No, this perspective doesn't outright save the franchise. But at least it gives us an answer to our most important question: "WHY, GEORGE? WHY?!"
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