Does C3-PO have a silver leg?
Due in part to the relatively tight budget George Lucas had for the first Star Wars movie, ‘A New Hope,’ the C-3PO outfit worn by Anthony Daniels was far from perfect. On the very first day of filming the costume kept falling apart every few minutes, a situation that made working in the deserts of Tunisia an especially grueling task.
This situation was made worse when a section of the left leg shattered and forced itself straight through the plastic covering and into Daniels’ foot. Fortunately the injury was minor, but the problems with the costume were never really fixed for the duration of the shoot. Consequently there are numerous sequences where only the top half of C-3PO is in view because Anthony Daniels is not wearing the bottom section of the costume.
Many people have queried if, perhaps, the silver leg was one of Lucas’ digital alterations. After all, Lucas made the ‘special edition’ original trilogy as the ‘definitive versions’ and, until recently as a bonus disc with Blue Ray, the unaltered original copies have not been available. The following images are from publications before the digital alterations.
In the following image he looks gold, until you look closely at his leg and realize that it is, indeed, a different shade. In this picture, Lucas’ is correct in saying the sand reflected off his silver, making it appear golden in most scenes.
But then there are images of merchandise, such as the following model claiming: “designed from the actual android,” in which we see, clearly, two golden legs. So the silver-leg was overlooked by merchandisers, and the lack of continuity has raised many questions and much incredulity among the Mandela Effect community.
This article here discusses the Kenner line of toys, specifically the droids. In the pictures it’s hard to tell if he’s golden or silver – the colours reflect themselves and each other – the sheen on the gold looks silvery, just as the sheen on the silver movie C3PO looks gold, reflecting the rest of the droids body. The article discusses how the toy was painted with a full gold finish. It’s simply easier and cheaper to mass manufacture a toy and paint it entirely one colour, then manufacture a different coloured piece.
At Wookieepedia, the entry on C3PO says this: “C-3PO was built from spare parts by Anakin Skywalker, a human slave who lived in Mos Espa, a city on the Outer Rim world of Tatooine. C-3PO’s memory was erased, though R2-D2’s memory was not. C-3PO and R2-D2 were assigned to the Alderaan cruiser Tantive IV, where they served senator Bail Organa for nineteen years. At some point during this time, 3PO’s right leg was fitted with a mismatched droid plating.” This corroborates George Lucas’ story about the reason why they didn’t paint the new leg plating (mentioned earlier in this article.)
It also goes on to mention that C3PO’s components were originally manufactured off world on Affa, about a century before the Naboo invasion. “At some point, however, C-3PO fell into disrepair, and his vital components ended up in a junk pile on Tatooine. Anakin Skywalker, a slave boy from the Tatooinian city of Mos Espa, collected scrap parts and started rebuilding C-3PO so the droid would help his mother. Although protocol droids were normally designed for light duty in luxurious environments, Skywalker specially modified C-3PO so he could withstand Tatooine’s sand and heat. C-3PO served Anakin and his mother Shmi by performing household chores. During his time with Skywalker and Shmi, C-3PO’s wiring was left exposed since Skywalker was unable to outfit him with an outer covering.” Later, in Attack of The Clones, when C3PO goes with Anakin’s mother to live with the Lars family on the moisture farm, C-3PO is given silver plating to shield him from Tatooine’s sandy environment.
In the animated series, The Clone Wars, C3PO’s legs get blown off on Cymoon 1, and in Attack of The Clones his head is easily detached and reattached onto a battle droid (and vice versa), and in The Empire Strikes Back, he is completely disassembled by imperial troopers on Cloud City. In The Force Awakens we see he has a new arm for some reason. There is ample evidence to show us how poorly designed Threepio is, that he breaks so easily (perhaps this backstory and later inclusions were inspired by the issues they had with the first costume while filming A New Hope.) It would make sense that the shin plating on his leg would need to be replaced at some point before Episode IV takes place in Lucas’ “used universe.”
On the website Starwarshelmets.com, there is technical details about the manufacture of the costume and numerous numerous photos. It is surprising how often the gold looks silver, even in Episode 3 which is the only film C3PO is actually all gold.
The main problem, I believe, with the whole C-3PO Mandela Effect theory is illustrated by the following image:
Once you see it – you can’t unsee it, as the saying goes. The leg is the same – it was always there, an unimportant and small detail we weren’t aware of, and then it was one day brought to our attention and the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.
Interview with Anthony Daniels http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2015/12/15/anthony-daniels-c3po-star-wars/77341766/