Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Tony Harris
Official Summary: Follow everyone’s favorite protocol droid as he journeys to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in this special one-shot leading up to his appearance in the film! Just how did Threepio get a red arm, anyway? Find out here as the blockbuster creative team of James Robinson and Tony Harris reunite for the first time in nearly two decades! You may be fluent in over six million forms of communication…but this book is a must have in any language!
Fans all over the world have been dying to know what incurred between the end of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens that left C-3PO – who is known for his prudish sensibilities – to sport a bright red arm in lieu of his typical goldenrod hue. Well, the wait is over, nerd friends. With C-3PO: THE PHANTOM LIMB, we finally learn the fate of his left arm, why his new arm is red, and why he decided to just go with it.
I’m not going to lie, I have been looking forward to this book since it was announced a long time ago. Not only had I heard great things about writer James Robinson, but I just couldn’t stop wondering what the heck happened to his arm (I mean, how could my C-3PO action thriller fan-fiction be accurate if I didn’t know how his red arm came to be).
With the quality of STAR WARS content Marvel has been putting out, I was not surprised that C-3PO was fantastic. I had no idea what to expect from the story, and I am beyond happy with what I read. Without giving anything away (that will come at the very end with lots of warning) C-3PO follows the misadventures of six droids as they try to survive after crash landing on an inhospitable planet with Tolkien-esque monsters.
The first thing I want to point out is the hilarious title “The Phantom Limb.” I don’t know why, but I had a long laugh about that and after reading the book it really works on multiple levels. I also really loved how James Robinson gave each of the droids distinctive personalities. The security bot talked in beeps and whistles and, like R2, apparently had a bit of an attitude, while the construction bot seemed very much like a Groot-esque character in that he only said his name and function. Of course, Threepio was the star of the show and was written incredibly well by Robinson, but the prisoner/existential crisis-bot was a strong runner up. The dialogue between an almost self-aware droid and The Professor was brilliant, and I loved the idea that droids still see brief flashes of events that happened before a memory wipe (although it does raise some startling questions about the ethical treatment of droids).
Both Robinson and artist Tony Harris do a fantastic job bringing Threepio to life. Robinson’s dialogue is spot on and allows you to read in Threepio’s shrill, metallic voice. It’s like when you read something in Morgan Freeman or Sam Elliot’s voice, you know, just less cool and like a petite Englishman in a drainage pipe. While Harris’ art didn’t immediately grab me, after a few pages I loved it. The colors were vibrant, and he illustrates C-3PO perfectly. While some of the busiest pages were a little hard to follow, his page layouts, brilliant neon and dark black colors come together to make some truly beautiful pages.
Before I tell you how Threepio loses his garm and gains his rarm, I want to say that this is a fantastic one-shot. If you are a fan of modern The Force Awakens, Threepio, Survivorman, or, this should be in your hands ASAP. The creative team did a phenomenal job, and it was truly entertaining to see six droids with completely different personalities try to complete their objective. Despite the humor, there were some truly thought provoking and heart wrenching moments that caught me off guard. This is definitely a 5 star book.
SPOILERS BELOW PHOTO
Seriously, there are SPOILERS like right below this line
Threepio’s arm was ripped of by a multi-tentacled, tar-dwelling monster. The red arm belonged to the prisoner/existential crisis-bot who, in a surprising and heart-wrenching scene, sacrifices himself by walking through acid rain to turn on a transponder so the Resistance can find Threepio. The acid rain stripped away the acid rain to reveal red primer, which C-3PO decided to keep to remember his enemy-turned-friend. The End.