As Ahsoka nears its final episode, many surprises from the galaxy far, far away make their way to television in the latest Star Wars series to be released on Disney+. One of the most unexpected events in Episode 7 of the show was the return of Anthony Daniels in the role of C-3PO, the protocol droid that has witnessed the most relevant events in the past few decades of galactic history. As one of the few characters from the original trilogy who could return to the franchise without the need for digital de-aging, C-3PO’s return felt seamless regarding the ongoing conflict of the series.
Why Did C-3PO Appear in ‘Ahsoka’?
When Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) realized her friends were in imminent danger, she knew she had to get close to them as soon as possible. But as a General of the New Republic, she couldn’t leave her position to pursue a personal quest, even if it meant she could save the lives of the people she loves the most. But due to her relentless enthusiasm to help others, Hera left on her mission without authorization from her superiors, which resulted in her being sent to court. In front of Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and a group conformed by other Senators of the New Republic, Hera had to defend her case, and the odds were stacked against her. The politicians in charge of taking care of the galaxy don’t believe that there’s a possibility for Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) to return, given how he hasn’t been seen in many years. But just when it looked like Hera could be demoted for her attempt to rescue her friends, an old friend came to her rescue.
C-3PO walked in the room with a very special message from Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) herself, where she claimed she had authorized Hera’s departure, even though Senator Xiono attempted to circumvent this order by holding a secret vote behind her back. Of course, Leia had no idea of what Hera was actually doing, only sticking up for her due to the relationship they built in Star Wars Rebels. Thankfully, C-3PO’s intervention was enough to take the pressure off of Hera’s shoulders, as Mon Mothma seemed genuinely afraid of the imminent return of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Anthony Daniels’ Legacy in the Franchise as C-3PO
Anthony Daniels has been behind C-3PO’s golden face since Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope premiered in theaters in 1977. As Princess Leia’s faithful protocol droid, he ended up on Tatooine as the Rebel Alliance tried to get the stolen Death Star plans away from Darth Vader (James Earl Jones). C-3PO got to meet Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) on the aggressive desert planet, starting the journey that would save the galaxy from the claws of the evil Empire. And ever since that story became a popular hit among moviegoers, Daniels has loved every opportunity he’s had to return to the role.
Since the Skywalker Saga concluded with Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, it was presumed that the sequel would mark Daniels’ final appearance as the character, but the television series released on Disney+ bring unexpected storytelling possibilities to the table. Daniels becomes yet another main character from the original trilogy to be seen in the shows, after Hamill partially returned as Luke Skywalker during the second season of The Mandalorian. Unfortunately for the characters of the franchise, the two cameos came under very different circumstances.
The fact that Leia herself is getting involved with what the characters of Ahsoka are trying to contain means that relevant people from around the galaxy are starting to notice that they might be in trouble. The main villain, Grand Admiral Thrawn, has exceptional planning skills when it comes to his military campaigns, and if he managed to return to a position of power, he would be more dangerous than Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) ever was. Time is running out, and only a select group of people can do anything to stop one of the most threatening antagonists Star Wars has ever seen.
All Paths Lead to Grand Admiral Thrawn in ‘Ahsoka’
Grand Admiral Thrawn disappeared alongside Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) during the final episodes of Star Wars Rebels. His defeat was a crucial step in the Rebel Alliance’s quest to weaken the Empire, while Luke Skywalker trained to confront Darth Vader. But even as the Ghost crew from Rebels was coming up with ways to defeat the military leader, they knew it would be extremely hard to do so without taking heavy losses. In the end, Ezra’s life had been seemingly lost during the fight, and no one knew if the young boy Jedi would ever be back.
That’s where the plot of Ahsoka kicks in, with Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) learning about the possibility of Thrawn’s return. The young warrior believed that if there was a chance for Thrawn to come back, Ezra could have survived the incident, too. Unfortunately, Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) didn’t share her opinion, thinking that if Thrawn was indeed out there, it would be wise to isolate him from their home, even if it meant losing every opportunity of getting Ezra back. Sabine decided to follow her feelings, ignoring Ahsoka’s warnings and looking for her friend, which led to Sabine’s eventual reunion with Ezra in another galaxy far, far away.
It remains to be seen what will happen when the final episode of Ahsoka makes its way to Disney+, but the conclusion to the series might not bring the resolution the heroes of the story desire. During this year’s Star Wars Celebration Europe, it was announced that Dave Filoni would direct a theatrical film featuring the New Republic that was meant to close out the storylines introduced in the world of The Mandalorian. Since that massive event is still in the studio’s plans, it could mean that the team might not be able to defeat Thrawn, given how the storylines must continue until it’s time for Star Wars to return to the big screen.
The Big Picture
- C-3PO’s return in the latest episode of Ahsoka feels seamless and brings a surprise element to the ongoing conflict of the series.
- Anthony Daniels has been portraying C-3PO since 1977 and continues to take every opportunity he gets to return to the role.
- Hera Syndulla’s relationship with Leia Organa, established in Star Wars Rebels, allowed her to send C-3PO to the General’s rescue.