This article contains major spoilers for "Star Wars Special: C-3PO" #1, on sale now.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" left viewers asking a number of questions. The decision to replace one of C-3PO's golden arms with a red one caused fans to wonder what happened to the protocol droid in the decades in-between "Return of the Jedi" and "Episode VII." Threepio even called out the development in the film, assuming that Han Solo probably didn't recognize him because of his new appendage. But "The Force Awakens" didn't solve that mystery; in fact, it was revealed months before "TFA's" release that that particular question would be answered in a Marvel comic.
"Star Wars Special: C-3PO" #1 from writer James Robinson and artist Tony Harris hit stores today and does indeed answer that mystery. Set just prior to the events of "The Force Awakens," the issue begins with a ship crashing and a group of droids escaping the wreckage. The group, which includes C-3PO and First Order protocol droid OMRI, sets out in search of the ship's captain and crew. It's revealed that OMRI, a Resistance prisoner, may know where the First Order has taken Admiral Ackbar but refuses to share any information.
The group of droids encounter -- and most fall victim to -- a number of natural threats on the hostile planet, culminating in a scene wherein a sea creature latches onto Threepio's arm.
The two surviving droids, Threepio and OMRI, take shelter from acid rain. Faced with destruction, OMRI chooses to share Ackbar's location with Threepio. The First Order droid then sacrifices himself to save Threepio by venturing into the acid rain and activating the distress signal on a nearby crashed TIE fighter. Upon stepping out into the acid rain, OMRI's black coating melts off revealing red primer.
When Threepio is rescued by Poe Dameron, he chooses to replace his arm with the intact arm of his mostly disintegrated friend, OMRI. C-3PO then decides to keep the arm for a while, "to remember."
"Star Wars Special: C-3PO" #1 from James Robinson and Tony Harris is on sale now.