Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker gives so many nods to other Star Wars stories, but was there also a nod to the Doctor Aphra graphic novel series?
The sequel trilogy housed so many callbacks and easter eggs to previous chapters in the Star Wars cinematic universe. So many that many fans complained that it felt like an homage more than its own thing. But it’s hard to deny that moments like Kylo Ren’s shrug, or Han Solo’s “I know” were pretty special.
There were also not-so-obvious easter eggs too. For instance, Mustafar. Or Palpatine’s mention of “unnatural powers.” The Jedi voices talking to Rey. Chewbacca finally getting a medal. The list goes on, and it’s far more extensive than just this.
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But there may have been another one, perhaps even subtler, that harkened to the Doctor Aphra graphic novel series.
In the scene on Kijimi, when we are introduced to the the indomitable Babu Frik, C-3PO makes the decision to have his mind hacked in order to retrieve the message stored in his mind. As the story goes, he’s unable to translate because Sith is a forbidden language. The only way to decipher is to bypass that restriction.
Which Frik can do, because Frik can do anything.
When the hack is complete, C3PO’s eyes turn a vivid red and his voice changes to speak the Sith language. Once he’s done, he powers down.
But it’s the red eyes I want to draw attention too. We’ve never seen a protocol droid with red eyes. C3PO’s have always glowed yellow, and in the few other instances where we’ve seen protocol droids, they’ve also been silver or gold.
That said, we have seen a protocol droid with red eyes, haven’t we? In the Doctor Aphra graphic novel series, Triple Zero, the maniacal protocol droid with directives to torture, kill, and rule his own crime den with an iron (and pointy) fist, has vivid red eyes that are the center of attention in numerous panels.
Red eyes have long been associated with evil, and the creators of Aphra played off that, but seeing C-3PO flash red, even for a few seconds, had to bring up parallels to his counterpart, who he met in an unfortunate instance in the Aphra series.
Maybe it’s just “evil red eyes” and nothing more. But I want to believe in something more than that. It means that a Doctor Aphra series is coming!