I think the main problem with 3PO’s memory wipe is that the film itself doesn’t even know how it wants to play it. On one hand, they frame it as a touching farewell/sacrifice (“You know the odds better than any of us.”…“Taking one last look, sir, at my friends.”) But then every other moment, they turn it into a farce. (“I’ve just thought of something else we can try-”…“Whoever this Chewie person is, this is madness.”…“How dare you? We only just met!”
So half of the memory wipe stuff is dramatic, and half of it makes 3PO the butt of the joke; if we want to commit to a tone here, we’d basically have to cut half of the references to the memory wipe either way.
I agree with that thought, it was handled so … randomly. I am not sure what can be “realistically” done to help, asides from removing the actual dramatic stuff since throughout the movie the crew/movie treats him as a joke after that … so trim one dramatic thing or trim a bunch of joke stuff? Lol what a mess.
Though Hal’s approach to remove the memory backup does help maybe to actually HAVE stakes and is probably all that can be really done. I honestly think JJ thought “Hey let’s have at least this serious moment that’s undeserved, but the rest of it is a joke since we will restore his memory anyway.”