New Star Wars Theory Explains Why Owen Lars Didn’t Recognize Threepio


Star Wars trilogies aren’t exactly known for their strict adherence to continuity matters. Over the years, fans have brought up a lot of plot holes that you can’t reasonably explain without undermining a certain aspect of the movie’s story. But this particular one doesn’t actually affect the narrative in any way.

As you may recall, at the beginning of A New Hope, the Jawas capture C-3PO and R2-D2 and sell them to the Lars family. Uncle Owen buys them to have them help on the moisture farm, though he doesn’t seem to recognize Threepio. And why would he? It’s basically the first time the family, and Luke, see the droids, right? Well, that would have been true before the Prequel Trilogy came along almost two decades later, but alas, George Lucas didn’t care enough to make sure that the stanzas, as he’d call them, would fall into perfect shape and harmony.

In Attack of the Clones, we learn that Threepio has been working for the Lars family, serving under a young Owen and his father Cliegg. So, why didn’t Owen recognize the droid from his childhood? Well, the obvious explanation is that Lucas never thought about this plot point. It’s the same with Obi-Wan failing to recognize Artoo or Threepio despite interacting with the droids on a regular basis during the Clone Wars. Oh, and who could forget Leia remembering what her real mother was like?

Unfortunately, the official Star Wars canon doesn’t have a definitive answer to this question, but we can put the pieces together from what we’ve seen on screen. First of all, C-3PO is physically similar to any other protocol droid, so there isn’t anything significantly unique that’d set him apart. Besides, the last time Owen saw Threepio, he had silver coverings, but in the Original Trilogy, he appears with his golden shell.

What’s more, the droid doesn’t reveal his name, and after 20 years, we can’t really expect Owen to remember Threepio’s distinct voice. After all, we shouldn’t forget that while Star Wars fans know him as an integral character in the world of that galaxy far, far away, 3PO was nothing but a droid servant under the Lars family.

What do you make of this explanation, though? Let us know your thoughts in the usual place below.