The comic gives us the backstory of a droid-led Resistance mission.
In the comic, we join C-3PO and a band of Resistance droids as they transport captured First Order droid Omri following a crash landing.
During their perilous journey, Omri philosophizes on their situation as droids, including what part they can truly play in a battle of the Resistance versus the First Order. Omri also brings up human tendencies to wipe droids’ memories, especially in between masters.
Such memory wiping explains why C-3PO was unfamiliar with certain characters and missions in A New Hope where R2 seemed to have a stronger intuition, but Omri pushes Threepio to recall episodes from his past, slowly opening up the gilded droid’s memory.
And that’s when unexpected dangers make unlikely friends between the droids on opposite sides of a galactic war…
The droids’ fight for survival humanizes their situation in a way that the movies never do.
Rushing to send out a distress signal before an oncoming storm of acid rain, Omri makes the ultimate sacrifice that even a droid can understand holds meaning far greater than Resistance or First Order allegiances.
C-3PO loses his arm to a vicious alien some time before Omri faces the acid rain in order to activate the distress signal that will bring help to Threepio. By doing this, however, Omri is destroyed, leaving behind a single arm that the acid rain reveals to be a bright red underneath its darker coloring.
Leaving the hostile planet, C-3PO decides to keep and use the arm as a token of memory for the droid that pushed Threepio to realize his own worth, and who also sacrificed himself to help C-3PO survive and complete his mission.
By the end of The Force Awakens, C-3PO’s arm was back to its usual gold, but at least now we have the full answer as to its changed color for the first half of the movie.
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