1. C-3PO’s Anxiety – Star Wars

C-3PO and R2-D2 in Star Wars (1977)

One of the Star Wars franchise’s least-liked characters – perhaps second only to Jar Jar Binks – is C-2PO (human-cyborg relations). He’s a fussy, effeminate droid who plods along at a snail’s pace while his much cooler and less verbal friend does all of the important plot stuff. Despite being incredibly irritating, C-3PO is actually a fairly major part of the Star Wars movies. He doesn’t really do anything too important, but he’s often present while other characters do, at least.

One of C-3PO’s most recognizable traits is also the one that makes the least sense. He’s a droid – a machine with a programmable personality – and he’s incredibly anxious about everything. Those two facts may not be mutually exclusive, but when the implications of the combination are considered, C-3PO actually makes very little sense.

Why would anyone – even Anakin Skywalker, future child-killer – deliberately program anxiety into a droid? It’s incredibly impractical, as every decision every character makes is questioned, and every scene is punctuated with the worried grumblings of the golden protocol droid. There doesn’t seem to be any valuable purpose for C-3PO’s ability to feel extreme anxiety, and the idea that someone (even Anakin) would go to such great lengths to ensure it was a part of the droid’s thought process is practically unthinkable. It’s weird, and it comes with some pretty unsettling implications about droids’ ability to feel.

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