C-3PO Is Actually a Fantastic Character

C-3PO, the golden protocol droid in Star Wars, has received plenty of criticism throughout the decades, whether it be through online discussions, most-hated characters lists, or articles describing him as excrement. However, C-3PO’s critics may have missed some crucial details about the character that make him, frankly, awesome. Specifically, there are 3 aspects of the droid that should receive far more praise:

  1. Foil:

never-tell-me-the-odds

C-3PO is a perfect foil for other characters. His constant observing and fretting offers the audience a unique look at several characters in Star Wars: no one else remarks on their annoyance with Jar Jar Binks, but C-3PO’s dialogue hints at his own apprehension with him, suggesting others were probably not amused, either. “You know,” he says, “I find that Jar Jar creature to be a little odd.” Not only does C-3PO offer criticism here that could hint towards others’ opinions on Jar Jar, but his words throughout the films often incite comments that offer rare insights to the personality of other characters. Without C-3PO’s worrying and warning, the audience would never have Han’s line, “Never tell me the odds,” which clearly reinforces just how reckless and adventurous the smuggler was.

Along with dialogue, C-3PO’s actions, and other’s reactions to him, also provide greater looks into various characters. C-3PO shows how charitable Chewbacca is when the Wookie attempts to repair the droid on Cloud City—as soon as he wakes up, C-3PO realizes his head is backwards and shouts, “You flea-bitten furball! Only an overgrown mop-head like you would be stupid enough—” before Chewie shuts him off. However, despite the insults deriding his appearance, Chewbacca simply resumes repairing the robot and, when it’s time to move, carries the entire droid on his back. This instance is a rare one that few others could replicate to show just how loyal and dedicated Chewbacca was. Along with a wide variety of other actions and comments (from showing how eager Luke was to join the Rebellion against the Empire in Episode 4, to getting Leia to show her wariness when she asserts that Lando is “very friendly,” to displaying how calmly Luke helped convince the Ewoks of Threepio’s divinity) it seems that C-3PO has offered fans a uniquely in-depth look at the Star Wars galaxy.

  1. Dignified Accomplishments:

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C-3PO actually accomplishes a lot throughout Star Wars. Admittedly, he makes plenty of mistakes, and gets himself into trouble in a droid factory, Cloud City, and Jabba’s palace. But he also lives through plenty of dangerous missions and situations—he escapes the clutches of a Star Destroyer, survives the deserts of Tatooine, discovers the Imperials on Cloud City, recognizes that the Rebels should trust Lando first, translates for Jabba himself, and becomes a god that recruits the species which helps bring down the Second Death Star.

Additionally, as C-3PO repeatedly aids the Rebellion in its fight against the Empire, he performs each of his actions with a sense of dignity. Throughout the movies, he is constantly berating others for their foolish mistakes and defending his own decisions and capabilities. Much like his worrying, this grounds C-3PO as a useful, believable character. He is neither an unstoppable force of power and will, nor a foolishly bumbling creature, but a being of fearful yet dignified action, setting himself apart from the overconfident and the odd that we don’t always revere. This basis of a character that both defends his actions and asserts his opinions with earnestness (though sometimes coupled with franticness) provides a character that the audience will both take seriously and respect when he finally comes through.

  1. Relatability:

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Many in the audience should easily relate to C-3PO. While I’d like to imagine strutting into Jabba’s Palace like Luke, calm and collected, I’d probably be more like Threepio, worrying over all the possibilities of pain and death ahead of me. After all, Jabba is one of the greatest crime lords in the galaxy; C-3PO’s actions are equivalent to approaching Al Capone or El Chapo in an elaborate scheme to steal one of the gangster’s most prized possessions—so it would only make sense for the droid to be on the verge of panic, failing to warn Luke of the Rancor’s pit and constantly fretting over the danger he was in. Resultantly, C-3PO’s innate worry for his own safety in a variety of life-threatening situations should strike a chord with many fans.

Because C-3PO often gives off a vibe of ineptitude or incompetence, he also contrasts the heroes of the story while showing a more realistic role to play. Without C-3PO, Han’s recklessness and Luke’s adventurism could appear almost commonplace within the Star Wars galaxy, as the person who fights against these brave characteristics is often the golden droid himself. Without him, we couldn’t fully appreciate the courage of the heroes or the hopelessness of the common folk. Perhaps this is why his character is so often criticized; C-3PO often shows normalcy. For an audience seeking fantastic tales involving mystical energy fields and a story of good triumphing evil, seeing a character with an ordinary—albeit disappointing—feeling of despair is disheartening. Strangely enough, because C-3PO is often a more flawed, human character than his human counterparts, we can perceive him as weak—when he’s actually providing someone we can relate to and someone to realistically contrast against the undying valor of those we want to become.

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Despite C-3PO’s constant berating by some fans, it’s clear that he’s a reflective, accomplished, and relatable individual. While the Auralnauts’ rendition of him (see above) provides a fascinating (and hilarious) side of Threepio, his actions within the Star Wars films alone are enough to defend him as a useful and fantastic character.

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Rogue One’s Post-Election Release Is Perfect

The newest Star Wars movie, Rogue One, will be coming out on December 16th, and its timing is impeccable. It looks as though the film will focus on several themes that people around the world have contemplated during and after the Brexit vote and the American Presidential election. Specifically, there are 3 concepts that many have considered around these monumental political events which the movie could effortlessly capitalize on:

 

  1. “The World is coming undone.”

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Within the last few months, the world has been shocked by two occurrences that will have gigantic international repercussions for years to come: Brexit, the UK’s chance to leave the EU, was disparaged around the globe by statisticians, politicians, and even the UK’s own treasury and the Institute for Fiscal Studies—yet the sovereign country still voted to separate. In the recent American election, people around the globe expressed fear in Donald Trump and asserted that he would be worse than Hillary Clinton at combatting terrorism, improving the U.S. economy, and promoting world peace, and yet he won. And figures on both sides of these conflicts have openly expressed a sense of their world falling apart—even Trump’s rhetoric constantly emphasized that America was being destroyed and corrupted, and many who opposed him now consistently speak of impending doom.

It’s clear that any who paid attention to these decisions have, at the least, felt discouragement at some point and, at the worst, experienced complete despair. Rogue One should easily capitalize on these powerful feelings of impending danger or even doom. In the second trailer for the film, the Rebel character Saw Gerrera explains, “The world is coming undone… Imperial flags reign across the galaxy.” The trailer shows several views of Imperial might, even focusing on a colossal warship looming over an entire city. These oppressing visuals, and the sense of hopelessness and despair they produce, should undoubtedly be more thoroughly explored in the movie and deeply resonate with some people around the world. Anyone who fits into Disney’s target audience and whom might be affected by recent political decisions will more thoroughly understand the effects of despair within their communities (whether such despair is exaggerated or not), and they may have even experienced such anguish themselves—making them all the more desperate to see how those in the film cope with it.

 

  1. “We have hope.”

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Also inherent in Rogue One’s themes is something the audience should be particularly fervent for understanding: hope. Those who’ve recently experienced a crisis—whether they consider it the rule of an evil Empire or an ignorant leader—constantly search for some kind of optimism, and it is clear that Rogue One will show how to do just that. At one point in the third trailer, one woman asks despondently, “If the Empire has this kind of power, what chance do we have?” Jyn Erso, the protagonist, appears to respond earnestly, “We have hope… Rebellions are built on hope.” Later, she adds further encouragement, “We’ll take the next chance, and the next—you’re all Rebels, aren’t you?” It’s clear that Rogue One should explore the concept of hope and of making positive change within the characters’ dire situations. With the currently zealous discourse over political surprises and possibilities of dying international relations, few things could strike Disney’s audience more powerfully than showing how to continue making positive effects in a faltering world.

 

  1. “What will you become?”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Felicity Jones) Ph: Film Frame ©Lucasfilm LFL

When combatting something perceived as evil (whether it’s in the form of a tyrannical dictator or a misguided idealist), people also often seek to understand who they are—they must decide how they will act, what moral code to live by, and which side they will join. Such a soul-searching set of questions that people around the globe may be asking themselves requires plenty of focus and exploration—and, once again, Rogue One will hit it right on the head. Saw Gerrera ended the film’s first teaser trailer by asking, “What will you do when they catch you? What will you do if they break you? If you continue to fight—what will you become?” As he asks this, we see the main character even dressed in Imperial garb—possibly posing falsely with the Empire, but undoubtedly hinting at the dangers of attempting to fight such a dominant enemy. Clearly, Rogue One will need to thoroughly explore this question, showing how Jyn Erso and others respond to and change in a growing crisis—and audience members will connect in kind, undoubtedly relating to the protagonists in the film as they question their own choices and evaluate how far they must go to fix their world.

 

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“The power we are dealing with here is immeasurable.”

There have been a variety of reactions to recent political occurrences, and there have been interestingly varied predictions on the quality of the newest Star Wars installment. However, whatever one’s political and artistic opinions, it’s clear that Rogue One will blend perfectly with some of the expressions of despair, searches for hope, and definitions of character that have come about from the Western world’s most recent political events.

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Analyzing Semblance of Donald Trump in Jabba the Hutt

The American Presidential election of 2016 has displayed a tumultuous variety of words and speeches, and the resulting analyses about this election have followed suit. While many discussions have targeted the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and brought up many valid concerns, allegations, and conflicts of interest against her, there is one comparison that seems to be particularly fascinating to Star Wars fans: the association of Donald Trump with Jabba the Hutt (examples are here, here, and here). Most of these correlations have been satirical, or at the very least shallow in their analyses—but I’d like to seriously discuss if these are accurate parallels or mere semblances between the two figures. In doing so, I will exclusively examine three aspects in which they are often associated together:

  1. Business Transactions:

    the-art-of-the-deal

    These are both very real products.

Both Jabba and Donald Trump built their initial reputations from their businesses, and both can get a bad rap. Jabba is a crime lord, trading narcotics and illegal substances while taking effective political command of vast regions of space—according to Bloodline, he left such enormous black markets open that several different mob bosses claimed them after his death. And according to his critics, Donald Trump has also participated in a variety of shady (or at the very least, odd) transactions that may appear similar to Jabba’s. The accusations range from purchasing portraits of himself at charity auctions and a business scam in the form of an unlicensed university to allegations of broken anti-discrimination policies and monetary ties with mafias.

However, while Donald Trump has been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits, he still avoids convictions. And, more obviously, his business is nowhere near as deplorable as Jabba the Hutt’s. Jabba the Hutt’s entirety of wealth was built from illegal activities, and his reputation was one of purely unlawful dominion. So, are Trump’s questionable business activities truly resembling of Jabba the Hutt’s? Of course not. While he has several doubtful events in his past, Trump publicly condemns illegal practices and has at least a few businesses that can stand on their own as reputable organizations—which are two facts that Jabba cannot claim for himself, and so this comparison is relatively unsound.

 

  1. Remarkable Confidence:

that-confidence-tho

Another similarity that, on the surface, appears possibly valid between Donald Trump and Jabba the Hutt is their shared confidence. In the face of any danger, they both tend to scoff at risks, disregard accusations, or deny attackers, for better or for worse. When Leia threatens Jabba the Hutt with a thermal detonator, Jabba laughs and simply compliments his opponent before offering an ultimatum. When Donald Trump considered Hillary’s chances of winning aloud, he laughed and simply asked how embarrassing that defeat would be. Later in Return of the Jedi, well after Luke has proven his seriousness in slaying Jabba’s pet monster, he tells Jabba: “Free us or die.” Once again, Jabba laughs and then commands that his opponent be sent into the deadly Pit of Carkoon. In like manner, when Trump faced increasingly negative polls in mid-October that heavily predicted his loss, he balked at a legitimate defeat, explaining how the election was rigged and how he’d determine if the validity of any loss on his part was true when the time came.

It is here where a distinction should be made. Jabba’s confidence seems more direct in these situations, but he also more clearly has the upper hand. With Leia, he can very rationally understand that all he has to do is keep offering a higher amount of money to save his skin. And Luke, a single, unarmed warrior who barely had the luck to kill Jabba’s monstrous pet, appears to be the only person threatening Jabba and his surrounding entourage of thugs, mercenaries, and bounty hunters—Jabba’s confidence in Return of the Jedi seems, from his perspective, undeniably logical. Donald Trump, on the other hand, scoffed at the concept of a valid defeat in mid-October even though he was obviously challenged by his opponent at the time; even if certain polls and predictions had errors of over 25%, he was still more likely to lose against Clinton. Yet he was somehow able to maintain a confident position despite these statistics standing against him, managing to laugh at the high chance of losing and blame the possibility of defeat on something that had nothing to do with his quality as a winner. Subsequently, it seems Donald Trump actually has much more confidence than Jabba the Hutt—or at the very least, has had better situations to display such unfaltering self-assurance. It is up to the voters to decide if such conviction is a sign of an informed leader or an ignorant one.

 

  1. Treatment of Women:

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The final link most commonly made between Donald Trump and Jabba the Hutt are accusations of misogyny. At first glance, an uninformed voter might mistake their behavior as vaguely similar but find one distinctly more condemnable—Jabba the Hutt forces Leia, a dignified princess and warrior, into a metal bikini and chains her around the neck while surrounding himself and his entourage by all sorts of non-consenting female dancers. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has over a dozen sexual assault allegations standing against him and has been accused of misogyny for saying that “I don’t want to sound too much like a chauvinist, but when I come home and dinner’s not ready, I go through the roof,” and asserting that “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab them by the p***y.”

Though Trump’s words and rumored actions obviously must be renounced, the initial comparison between these two figures just doesn’t stand. It seems that Jabba the Hutt’s acts of sexual enslavement and public abuse are easily more incriminating at the moment than whatever Donald Trump has been proven to commit. Additionally, Donald Trump has attempted to deny or apologize for the most chauvinistic of these acts or accusations.

Yet another distinction must be made here. Jabba the Hutt undoubtedly has displayed more incriminating acts open to the view of the public—but Jabba the Hutt does not defend his actions. He makes no apologies for what is obviously inappropriate behavior, he offers no acknowledgement to even the slightest of his maltreatments, and he is not running for president. Donald Trump, however, can misleadingly offer excuses for a variety of actions while attempting to convince others of his moral character. In one case, he expressed regret about stating that he didn’t “even wait to start kissing [women],” later saying, “I was wrong, and I apologize.” However, when pressed upon the previous comments and informed that his words described sexual assault, instead of clarifying that he knew his words meant disregarding the idea of consent, he only replied, “No, I didn’t say that at all.” He then proceeded to repeatedly defend the unethical words as mere “locker room talk.”

Such an apology has distinctly different effects from Jabba the Hutt’s behavior. Donald Trump’s apologies minimize the seriousness of his words—and in so doing offer justification for others to continue in his footsteps, excusing their actions as something “done for the purpose of entertainment” or being only examples of “locker room” behavior. While Jabba is blatantly unrepentant, allowing the audience to easily call out his mistakes, Donald Trump can deny wrongdoings or justify completely unethical statements, making his missteps much more difficult to call out and correct. It is up to the voter to determine if brash behavior in a gangster’s palace is more damaging than a mitigating mindset towards violating human rights in the Executive Office of the President.

 

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Upon analysis, we see that Jabba the Hutt and Donald Trump share little resemblance between each other. Jabba the Hutt clearly has more overtly questionable business transactions, while Donald Trump holds a particularly potent sense of self-confidence and more openly defends certain questionable acts against women. Apart from the possibility of both figure’s defeats coming from women of extensive political backgrounds, the comparison between the two should stay as satirical and shallow as most of its creditors originally intended—but voters need to consider the fact that this comparison is still being made. And they should understand the implications of voting for any candidate that arguably trumps Jabba the Hutt in some of his most distinct characteristics.

 

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