A fussy and worry-prone protocol droid, C-3PO was cobbled together from discarded scrap and salvage by a nine-year old prodigy on the desert planet Tatooine. Young Anakin Skywalker had intended the homemade droid to help his mother, Shmi. With limited resources, the droid that Anakin built was truly remarkable. It lacked an outer shell, though, and Threepio had to live with the indignity of being "naked," with his parts and wiring showing.
When Anakin befriended Padmé Naberrie of Naboo, Threepio first met her astromech droid, the blue-and-white droid R2-D2. The two formed a fast friendship, working together to perfect Master Anakin's blazing fast Podracer for an upcoming competition. The more experienced Artoo told Threepio of the hazards of space travel, to which Threepio proclaimed that he would never set foot into one of those, as he put it, dreadful starships.
The Podrace was pivotal in Anakin's life, due to a wager that earned him his freedom upon victory. Anakin left Tatooine with Padmé and Artoo, leaving Threepio behind with Shmi. Years passed before Shmi was eventually freed by Cliegg Lars, a moisture farmer who had fallen in love with her. She relocated to the Lars moisture farm, a small homestead not far from Anchorhead, and took Threepio with her.
Threepio became just one of the many droids working on the farm, but Shmi took special care of Anakin's creation. To better protect his fragile inner wiring from the abrasive Tatooine sands, Shmi fitted Threepio with discolored and mismatched coverings that nonetheless gave the protocol droid a sense of completion.
Tragedy struck the Lars family when Shmi was abducted by savage Tusken Raiders. A month after this sad event, Anakin Skywalker suddenly returned to Tatooine, seeking out his mother. There was no time for sentimental reunions -- Anakin sped off into the desert, and returned with Shmi's body. After a quiet funeral, Anakin and Padmé left on an important mission to rescue Obi-Wan Kenobi. Since Threepio was the rightful property of Anakin, the Larses let the young Jedi take the protocol droid with him. This marked the first time the nervous Threepio had ever been aboard a starship.
Arriving on Geonosis, Anakin and Padmé ventured into the dark catacombs of the Geonosian hives, leaving the droids behind. Artoo-Detoo, once again reunited with Threepio, insisted they follow. Threepio simply could not understand the astromech droid's clearly faulty logic -- they had been instructed to stay behind -- but the stubborn little droid nonetheless journeyed into the unknown with Threepio in tow.
The droids discovered an immense droid factory churning out countless combat automata for the growing Separatist movement. The concept of machines manufacturing machines gave Threepio's logic circuits a flutter, and in the confusion of the factory, the protocol droid tumbled into the dangerous machinery.
A piece of heavy equipment cleanly sheared Threepio's head from his body, though both segments were still active. The headless body wandered into a battle droid assembly line while the head landed on a conveyer belt full of battle droid heads. A battle droid head was then automatically affixed to Threepio's body, and Threepio's head was welded to a battle droid body.
Both mismatched droid assemblies wandered confusedly into the battle droid ranks, and when the Separatist droids attacked a Jedi taskforce sent to Geonosis, poor Threepio was drawn into the fray. His twisted ordeal was brought to an end when both bodies were incapacitated.
R2-D2 came to Threepio's rescue, tugging the protocol droid's head to his inactive body and reattaching the two. As Threepio's electronic brain tried to process the madness of battle, Threepio likened the unsettling body-swapping to a peculiar dream.
Years later, Threepio and Artoo would become the property of the Royal House of Alderaan, an influential family of nobles with ties to the growing Rebel Alliance. The two droids were aboard Princess Leia Organa's consular vessel when it was attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer due to suspected complicity in Rebel actions. The vessel crippled, Leia stored vital Rebel information in Artoo's memory systems -- unbeknownst to Threepio. Artoo then took it upon himself to complete Leia's failed mission, though Threepio knew nothing of its details.
Artoo commandeered an escape pod, and rocketed away from the captured craft, crashlanding on the barren desert world of Tatooine. There, the droids were taken captive by Jawa traders, and sold to moisture farmer Owen Lars and his nephew Luke Skywalker. Determined to complete his mission of finding famed war hero General Obi-Wan Kenobi, Artoo ran away in the middle of the night, leaving Threepio and Luke to search for him the next morning.
Threepio andLuke eventually found Artoo, as well as Obi-Wan Kenobi. This started an incredible chain of events that saw Threepio catapulted into an adventure beyond his imagination. Threepio and Artoo were crucial in assisting Luke spearhead a rescue mission to free Princess Leia from the heart of the gargantuan Imperial space station, the Death Star. Both droids navigated the complex Imperial computer system to provide the rescuers with timely assistance and status updates.
Having returned to the Alliance base with Princess Leia, Threepio and Artoo continued to be mainstays with the core group of Rebel heroes. During the relocation to Hoth, Threepio braved having his joints frozen by subzero temperatures to assist in Echo Base's command centers. Threepio's fluency in millions of languages allowed him to postulate that an intercepted signal was in fact an Imperial code, alerting the Rebels to the presence of a probe droid dangerously close to their base.
During the evacuation from Hoth, Threepio and Artoo were separated. Threepio, accompanying Princess Leia, left Hoth aboard Captain Han Solo's recalcitrant freighter, the Millennium Falcon. Although Threepio was nowhere near as skilled a mechanic as Artoo, he was helpful in translating the odd language of Falcon's main computer.
During a respite in the Bespin system, in the pastel-hued corridors of Cloud City, Threepio was blasted into pieces by an Imperial stormtrooper. His shattered remains were the first clue to the Rebel fugitives that Cloud City was an Imperial trap. The Wookiee Chewbacca attempted to piece together Threepio's remains, but lack of time and resources meant that Threepio would have to remain incomplete for the time being.
During a daring mission to rescue a captive Han Solo from the loathsome gangster Jabba the Hutt, Threepio and Artoo were sent into the Hutt's palace on Tatooine. There, they became the gristly crime lord's property. Threepio was pressed into service as Jabba's translator until Luke Skywalker came to rescue his friends.
Shortly thereafter, Threepio accompanied the Rebel strike force that was sent to knock out the Imperial shield generator on Endor. Although some would question the addition of a protocol droid on this military mission, it ended up quite fortunate that Threepio went along. On Endor, the strike team encountered an indigenous species of primitives that worshipped the golden droid as a god. The Ewoks, a tree-dwelling tribal people, proved to be valuable allies. Were it not for their allegiance, which was won by Threepio's impressive retelling of key events of the Galactic Civil War, the Rebellion would not have been victorious at the decisive Battle of Endor.