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C-3PO Met A Gruesome End In Early Versions Of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – SlashFilm

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Evidently, while the story for “The Empire Strikes Back” was still being brainstormed, there was going to be a version of the above scene that was more elaborate. Darth Vader was to capture the film’s heroes and then be presented with the scattered remains of the friendly droid that a random Stormtrooper had shot. Darth Vader would then reach into C-3PO’s blasted-apart torso and rip out his robotic heart. He would squeeze the heart in his fist, crushing it and killing C-3PO.

I’m guessing that, if that scene were included in “The Empire Strikes Back,” then C-3PO would’ve not been present for its sequel, “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi.”

When “The Empire Strikes Back” came out in 1980, it was assumed that C-3PO was a mere protocol droid that someone had purchased long ago. In 1999, however, with the release of George Lucas’ “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” it was revealed that C-3PO was built by a young enslaved boy named Anakin Skywalker, mostly as an engineering exercise. Anakin, as any “Star Wars” fan could tell you, grew up to become Darth Vader. It would’ve been a pretty bleak conceit, having Vader “kill” the droid he himself built as a child.

In the final film, C-3PO survived the ordeal and was reassembled properly. Indeed, he would go on to be in many more “Star Wars” films and TV shows, including his own animated series, “Droids,” and eight additional movies, making C-3PO the most ubiquitous player across all of “Star Wars” media alongside his frequent companion, the droid R2-D2. Thanks to Disneyland rides, audiobooks, and video games, Anthony Daniels has participated in more “Star Wars” projects than any other actor.

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