Disney Needs To Make Heartbreaking Star Wars Legends Story Canon

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Of all the weird bits of lore George Lucas included in the Star Wars prequels, Darth Vader building C-3PO has to be one of the weirdest. Weirdness aside, that decision resulted in one of the most emotional stories in Legends: “Thank the Maker” from Star Wars Tales #6 (December 2000). If Disney were smart, they’d make the heartbreaking story about a man and his droid canon.

Vader Jr. Made C-3PO

Once The Phantom Menace came out, Star Wars fans could no longer watch The Empire Strikes Back without wondering, “Why doesn’t Darth Vader recognize C-3PO on Cloud City?”

The obvious answer is, of course, that Vader being Threepio’s creator, was a retcon thought up over a decade after ESB was released. But in universe?

That’s where “Thank the Maker” comes in. Written by Ryder Windham with art by Killian Plunket, “Maker” is a nine-page story that explains not only whether Vader recognizes C-3PO but also makes the idea that a little kid built a complex droid from nothing a little more plausible.

“Thank the Maker” is also one of the only times Darth Vader shows emotion towards anyone other than his son

A Strange Reunion

thank the maker

“Thank the Maker” begins right after the Millennium Falcon lands in Cloud City. Vader is telling an Imperial officer his plan for trapping the Rebels when the officer gets a call from a subordinate regarding C-3PO.

The officer explains to Vader that Princess Leia’s droid fell behind and was blasted by some Stormtroopers.

Vader instructs the officer to bring the droid’s remains to him in case any valuable information is hidden in its memory banks. Once the droid is in Vader’s hands, “Thank the Maker ” becomes a poignant look at Anakin Skywalker’s childhood.

Vader cradles C-3PO’s head, and the comic flashes back to his life before the events of Episode I.

A Restoration

Anakin is scavenging with his friend Kitster when he finds a broken down, stripped protocol droid carcass. Watto soon shows up to ruin Anakin’s fun, but not before he vows to bring the droid home one piece at a time.

With this scene “Thank the Maker” establishes that Anakin technically restored C-3PO—a more believable scenario than the child constructing him from scratch.

Vader’s flashback ends, and the Sith Lord becomes a cold, unfeeling monster again. He instructs the officer, “The Droid is useless, have it destroyed,” before leaving with Boba Fett to discuss a meeting with Lando Calrissian.

“Thank the Maker,” then flashes forward to the infamous dinner scene where Darth Vader stops Han Solo’s blaster fire with his bare hand.

C-3PO Was More Than Just Ani’s Droid

thank the maker

His trap finally sprung, Vader is in the middle of informing a Stormtrooper to lock up the Rebels when the officer from earlier interjects with some more bad news.

It seems Chewbacca stole C-3PO’s remains from the Ugnaughts before they could be melted down. Vader follows the officer to Princess Leia’s quarters and “Thank the Maker” again shows us the Dark Lord’s memories.

This time Vader reminisces on a time when he almost had C-3PO put together in working order. The young Skywalker informs his mother, Shmi, that C-3PO needs new photoreceptors.

His mother tries to talk him out of stealing the parts he needs from Watto but relents when she realizes just how much the droid means to Anakin. For Anakin, a child that has lived his whole life as a slave, Threepio represents another one of society’s undesirables simply cast aside without a thought.

“Thank the Maker” shows us that C-3PO was never just a droid to Anakin but a kindred soul. A friend.

Vader Is Merciful

thank the maker

Back in the present, the officer asks Vader if he would still like Threepio destroyed. The Sith Lord doesn’t respond, though, as he’s too busy holding C-3PO’s head up to his own and dreaming of the past.

Eventually, Vader tells the officer to bring the droid parts to Chewbacca’s cell. The officer doesn’t understand and tells Vader as much.

Vader basically hits him with a “Bro, did I stutter?” look, and the officer leaves to carry out his orders. Thank the Maker” ends with Vader composing himself and going to interrogate Han Solo.

It’s a heartbreaking look into Vader’s psyche that should be canonized.

Make It Canon, Mouse!

If Disney makes the story an official part of Vader’s lore, it will be the first time. “Thank the Maker,” like the rest of the stories in Star Wars Tales was always considered non-cannon—even to the rest of the EU. Disney has a chance to one-up Legends here and I sincerely hope they take it.