3PO's lack of memory

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by lordvaderFF, Feb 6, 2003.

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  1. lordvaderFF FanForce Chapter Rep

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    Cannon tells us that 3PO has been in operation for a great number of years by the time Ep4 rolls around. It also says that he is one of the few droids never to have had his memory erased.

    So why is it that he doesn't remember Tatooine or Obi-Wan.

    I know people will say "Well those parts of the story weren't written when Ep4 was made" but we do know George had all nine parts "roughed out" before he made the original.

    Thoughts?
  2. Shara_82 Administrator Emeritus

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    Jan 10, 2001
    star 5
    It also says that he is one of the few droids never to have had his memory erased.

    Where did it say that, I can't remember reading it? I've always just assumed he must have.

    Anyway, if his memory is fully intact, I can't say I really have an explanation for it - after all, 3PO certainly doesn't seem to have any recollection of the name Obi-Wan Kenobi, does he?
  3. Ternian Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2000
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    The answer, like Palpatine's Emergency Powers, lies in the Radio Dramas.

    Threepio and Artoo can have their memories 'locked' by voice activation.
  4. Katriel Jedi Master

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    Nov 5, 2000
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    Ah, so who do we think locked them? I would guess it was Obi-Wan. So as to protect Luke and Leia from Palpatine, Vader, and anyone else with an interest he made sure the two droids did not remember the circumstances that took place at the time they were born. C3PO certainly wasn't able to keep secrets very well.
  5. Ternian Jedi Youngling

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    May 16, 2000
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    Also, Padme could lock them.
  6. lordvaderFF FanForce Chapter Rep

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    There could lie the answer.

    Padme locks their memories to protect the information about the twins from the Emperor and Vader.
  7. Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep

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    I think it all relies on the fact that George Lucas' memory is locked. ;)
  8. toochilled Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 17, 2000
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    c3po's memory is DEFINATELY erased in EPIII.
    R2' is most likely erased also. {though the original plan was for r2's not to be erased {as can be seen with the phantom menace pants}
  9. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

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    Apr 24, 2001
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    Yeah, GL made mention in an interview last year their memory would be erased. It's not their memory I wonder about, it's Ben's.
  10. Shara_82 Administrator Emeritus

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    Jan 10, 2001
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    Ben certainly didn't have a problem bending the truth to suit his purposes. He said that he didn't recall owning any droids - unless something changes in ep 3, then that's true. He didn't say he'd never met the droids before, though. And considering what else he'd hidden from Luke, I wouldn't be surprised if he'd bent the truth about the droids too.
  11. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

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    Technically, he didn't own the droids, Jedi don't have property. I guess his droid in AOTC would have been government issue, or something like that.
  12. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Right. The droid didn't belong to him personally. He would have no reason to expect that a droid would come looking for him.
  13. Valiowk Force Ghost

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    Apr 23, 2000
    star 6
    I'm sure Ben recognised the droids, but it's always possible for him to pretend that he had never seen them before. If he knew that the memories of the droids were erased, it would be even more convenient to do so, if not Luke would wonder why Ben knew the droids but not the other way round. This would definitely have made Luke even more suspicious.
  14. The_Anakin_Wannabe Jedi Master

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    Jan 21, 2003
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    Ben does give hints that he recognises R2 in ANH, but as of now he still hasnt seen C3PO.
  15. D_Lowe Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 15, 2002
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    If anybody watches the scene where Owen purchases Threepio, Threepio never introduces himself. He has new coverings, and it has been 25 years since they have seen each other. And of course Threepio had a memory wipe.
  16. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "I guess his droid in AOTC would have been government issue, or something like that."

    R2D3 belongs to Padme, and spends most time with her.
    C3PO belongs to Anakin, and just recently joins him in AOTC.
    Droid in Jedi starship belongs to Jedi order. It's one of many, just like the numerous "hyperdrive" units orbiting Coruscant.

    Keep in mind, Yoda and Obi-wan didn't want Luke to know that Leia was Luke's sister (for whatever reason), so it would be in Obi-wan's best interests to avoid the topic of knowing R2, hence the "don't recall owning a droid" line.

    Whether or not Lucas had this originally in mind, it still fits together well.

    "the scene where Owen purchases Threepio, Threepio never introduces himself."

    Furthermore, he says his first job was programming binary loaders. Owen knows what C3PO's "first" job was with him. If Owen did recognize C3PO, he could reasonably assume by this response that C3PO's memory has been wiped. Later, when Luke mentions Obi-wan, Owen realizes that the R2 unit has his knowlegde intact, and tells Luke to have them both wiped for safe measure.

    BTW, the "locked memory" theory has great potential. We don't know for certain what Leia told R2 at the beginning of ANH. Perhaps she was given the "unlock" code by her father, to be used in a dire situation. When the Star Destroyer comes up, she remembers her father's story about Obi-wan, gives R2 the "unlock" code, and records her special message. Hence, R2 arrives at Tatooine will full knowledge. This works, folks.
  17. NiktosRule Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2001
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    I think 3PO will have his memory fully erased but maybe not R2. The devotion R2 has in finding Obi-Wan in ANH might be in part because he never got his memory and erased and has seen all the events that have transpired and knows how important it is to find Obi-Wan.
  18. PaplooTheory Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2001
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    I agree about R2. To me, he (or uh, it) has always been a little too knowledgable. I've always liked to think that he knew all along about Anakin, the twins, etc, but also knew not to "say" anything. R2 must have a Force connection... at least I like to think so :)
  19. TheDarkSkull Jedi Knight

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    May 12, 2002
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    Before AOTC came out I thought when Anakin would be brought back to life by 3PO using one of Anakin's "inventions" aka the Vader suit. The after Anankin wakes up all hell breaks loose and sends objects flying all over the place, with the force, and nearly destroys 3PO damaging his memory chips.

    Now I believe that Obi will just erase their memories as a way of preventing Anakin from finding the children.
  20. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

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    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    I like the "memory lock" theory. It helps explain R2's behavior in ANH. "I've never seen such devotion in a droid."
  21. maestrino Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2000
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    I wonder if George, when he can't think of a way of explaining away something like this by himself, gets his Lucasfilm chaps to read all the theories put forward here and elsewhere, and pick the best ones?

    It would be nice to know that in some small way we're contributing to the continuity of the saga.... ;)
  22. Darth_Meatloaf Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2002
    star 1
    Ok barring what may or may not have taken place off screen like assuming at one point or another Luke told 3PO anything about his past I would like to point out a few on screen facts. 1. C3PO never introduces himself to Owen Lars. 2. Luke never tells C3PO his last name. 3. In ANH C3PO lies right to Luke's face about knowing the who the princess is when not 15 minutes ago on the bolckade runner he states "There will be no escape for the princess this time". That fifteen minutes is real time not movie time. 4. The only time that C3PO has heard the name Skywalker is in ESB when Han asks about Commander Skywalker and I think he may mention it in ROTJ during story time with the Ewoks. My point is that C3PO doesn't use surnames. He may never have known Anakin's last name therefore he doesn't make the connection between Luke and Anakin as he doesn't learn Luke's last name for sometime. It's always Master this and Master that whether it is Luke or Anakin but never Skywalker. The only last name he refers to is Han because he calls him Captian Solo and perhaps Chewbacca because that is a first and last name. Now in ANH he refers to his previous Master as Captain Antillies but that could have been at the Master's request. Also up until this point Obi-Wan Kenobi has never met 3PO and if it is his programming to not discuss the affairs of his previous master with his current one then just like with telling Luke he doesn't know who the princess is he could have also been playing stupid with knowing Obi-Wan in ANH. My point is there is no reason to wipe his or R2's memory.
  23. yoda_masterjedi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Obi Wan may be telling the truth when he says he doesn't recall owning a droid- he may not recognize R2D2. It stands to reason that in the SW universe, there will be a number of R2 units; we must assume R2 has been modified by ANH i.e. no rocket jets etc. Obi Wan may not recognise R2 as the droid he knew all those years ago, but simply as another R2 unit.
    Besides which, obviously, he never owned R2.
  24. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "gets his Lucasfilm chaps to read all the theories put forward here and elsewhere, and pick the best ones?"

    Two points..

    1) I wouldn't be at all surprised if he did.
    2) By the sheer number of theories expounded here, using either logic or farce, the odds of someone actually getting it right are betting than successfully navigating an asteroid field :)

    After all, it's been said that if a million monkeys on a million typewriters had a million years, they would eventually, by sheer random chance, type out the complete works of Shakespeare.

    Of course, that person never knew about the internet [face_laugh]

    "2. Luke never tells C3PO his last name."

    You know, I do try to keep my reasoning withing what is seen in the movies. That being said, I think the chances of C3PO never hearing Luke's last name by the end of ANH are just too mind-numbing to consider. It makes more sense to think that 3PO and R2 get a memory lock, and Leia only has enough time to unlock R2's memory. 3PO goes through the rest of the trilogy oblivious to past events, which would explain his constant consternation at R2's "assumptions" of what is really going on. Otherwise, the constant questioning between the two makes no sense, and th joke is lost.

    "3. In ANH C3PO lies right to Luke's face about knowing the who the princess is when not 15 minutes ago on the bolckade runner he states "There will be no escape for the princess this time"

    3PO knows there is a princess, but he doesn't know her name (or his "memory lock" prevents him from discussing it with outsiders, hence the "lie".) Remember, the droids belong to Captain Antilles (killed on Tantive IV), not Princess Leia.
  25. JediMasterKitFisto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2002
    star 6
    I think 3PO didnt recognize the planet because he was never told the name of the planet. And I dont think Owen ever introduced himself. But what I want to know is why doesnt he recognize the house
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