All 3 Times C-3PO’s Memory Was Wiped, Explained

C-3PO went through three memory wipes throughout his run in the Star Wars universe, and they all happened for different reasons.

C-3PO is one of the few Star Wars characters to appear in all movies from the Skywalker saga as well as other Star Wars media, and he has gone through the experience of having his memory wiped three times, all for different reasons – and here’s every one of them. For decades, Star Wars has introduced viewers around the world to a variety of planets and characters, these not only human but also alien and even a couple of droids, most notably R2-D2, BB8, K-2SO, and C-3PO.

C-3PO is a protocol droid built by a young Anakin Skywalker from spare parts. C-3PO was often accompanied by R2-D2 and together became key players in Star Wars: A New Hope as they had to bring a message from Leia Organa to Obi-Wan Kenobi, and in the process, brought Luke Skywalker into the mix. C-3PO went on to appear in all trilogies in the Star Wars saga, as well as in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (in a very brief cameo), Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Rebels, so he has been witness to a lot of big events and has met a variety of characters, but all this has come with a price.

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Related: Star Wars: Why C-3PO Had A Silver Leg In The Original Trilogy

Given that he has been present in some of the galaxy’s most important events and has met characters like Luke, Leia, and Anakin, C-3PO has had his memory wiped a total of three times through the Skywalker saga and The Clone Wars, but why? Here are all the times C-3PO’s memory was wiped explained.

C-3PO’s Memory Wipe In The Clone Wars

Star Wars Clone Wars Cad Bane C-3PO

In The Clone Wars, C-3PO was kidnapped by Cad Bane and taken to his hideout in an industrial district on Coruscant. There, his databanks were scanned for information on the Senate Building’s layout, but he didn’t have much information on it, but he did let out that R2-D2 might have it. Bane’s droid henchmen kidnapped R2-D2 and he extracted the information he needed from R2’s databanks, after which he ordered that both droids had their memories wiped and be returned to the place where they were captured.

C-3PO’s Memory Wipe After The Star Wars Prequels

C-3PO’s second memory wipe in the Star Wars saga happened at the end of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. After accompanying Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) to Mustafar to confront Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and the former Jedi force choking her, C-3PO (along with R2-D2) attended the injured and heartbroken Padmé and stayed with her when she gave birth to twins Luke and Leia. Following Padmé’s death, C-3PO became the property of Bail Organa, who also adopted Leia, and due to C-3PO’s tendency to talk a lot (and also for safety reasons as he knew too much about Luke and Leia), Organa arranged for the droid to receive a memory wipe.

C-3PO’s Memory Wipe In The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars 9 Threepio Red Eyes

C-3PO went through another memory wipe in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. When Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) found the blade of Ochi in Pasaana, they found runes carved on it that revealed the location of the Sith wayfinder they were looking for, but none of them could translate them – except C-3PO. The droid revealed that among the languages in his system was that specific one, but his programming prevented him from sharing the translation as it was a forbidden language. The group had to travel to Kijimi to find droidsmith Babu Frik as he was the only one able to determine how to bypass C-3PO’s programming restrictions. As a consequence of this process, C-3PO had to undergo a complete memory wipe, and he agreed to it. However, R2-D2 had a backup of his friend’s memory, and by the end of the movie, C-3PO’s memory had been restored.

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