Knowing that I am fanatical in my love of Star Wars, a friend recently asked me a pretty unsurprising question about A New Hope. The question was this:
“What’s the name of the other protocol droid following R2-D2 and C-3PO at the beginning of A New Hope?”
My friend then followed-up with a pretty obvious second question:
“What happened to U-3PO?”
Answer: Hell if I know.
Seriously, I have absolutely no idea. All I can tell you about the silver plated U-3PO beyond it’s name – which it officially received in the 1995 Star Wars Customizable Card Game – is that U-3PO follows the other two droids down a corridor in the Tantive IV before turning off into a different room. Then again, you could have figured that out yourself. What happened to U-3PO once it disappeared from view is a mystery. Admittedly, it is a mystery that has periodically popped into my mind. And if I had to take a guess, I would assume U-3PO was either “…sent to the spice mines of Kessel or smashed into who knows what!” Why? Well, honestly, if I have to explain it I’ll be taking the fun out of allowing you to figure it out for yourself (just re-watch the opening of A New Hope).
So the point is this: U-3PO is just the other protocol droid aboard the Tantive IV and has absolutely no bearing on the events of A New Hope. And yet, I will admit that I have always been intrigued that U-3PO is present in the film for those few brief seconds. It is certainly interesting to think about what happened to the protocol droid, and I hardly think some “canonical” answer is necessary. In this regard, the imagination is good enough for me.
But in closing, I will also say this: I find it equally interesting to imagine what role U-3PO could have played in the events of the film if it had stuck with R2-D2 and C-3PO. Who knows, maybe things would have been incredibly different if there had been three droids, and not two, wandering the barren wastelands of Tatooine.
Check out these other posts about random protocol droids in Star Wars:
K-3PO: The Dead Protocol Droid
E-3PO: The Rude Protocol Droid
TC-14: The Federation Protocol Droid
TC-70: The Hutt’s Protocol Droid
AP-5: The Singing Protocol Droid
4A-R2: The Pirate Protocol Droid
The Star Wars short story collection, From a Certain Point of View, answered questions like this- what of the background characters in many of the movies? It was such a fun anthology to read!
The great “what ifs” of a story are fun. That’s where fan-fiction comes in. Hint, hint, Gary
On Sat, Nov 9, 2019 at 7:15 AM The Imperial Talker wrote:
> Imperial Talker posted: “Knowing that I am fanatical in my love of Star > Wars, a friend recently asked me a pretty unsurprising question about A New > Hope. The question was this: “What’s the name of the other protocol droid > following R2-D2 and C-3PO at the beginning of A New Hope?” >