Star Wars: 5 Things We Learned From Anthony Daniels’ Q & A

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is so close now that we can practically here the trumpets of John Williams’ theme, though that’s probably just everyone around you humming the tune in anticipation. It’s tough to keep expectations in check with totems of The Force all around us. Billboards, busses, subways, grocery stores, cosmetic stores, even Bed, Bath and Beyond has a Star Wars product line right now. It’s literally everywhere you look, particularly in my apartment.

One of the few people who has been there since the beginning of it all is Anthony Daniels as the iconic C-3PO. Daniels is in fact the only actor to be in every Star Wars film to date, and he remains as enthusiastic about the franchise as the millions of fans it has amassed. Last week, during a very special event hosted by etalk at the Toronto Star Wars Pop-Up exhibit, Daniels regaled approximately 30 lucky fans with tales of his life as a droid for the past 38 years. It was closest I can imagine to being among those ewoks C-3PO entertained with tales of his adventures in Return of the Jedi. The half hour event included questions from etalk host Ben Mulroney, the audience, and people watching over Periscope, but Daniels truly made it his own one-man show, exploring the space and interacting with people while telling stories he’s probably told a thousand times, yet maintaining the energy and passion of someone who has just landed their dream job.

Daniels covered everything from the first time he met George Lucas to the first time he met J.J. Abrams, but nothing beyond that as he would not/ could not go into details around Episode VII. Apparently he himself does not even know very many plot details and is looking forward to discovering it with the rest of us in just a few days.

Here are five things we learned from the galaxy’s most storied protocol droid.

Why did Anthony Daniels agree to play C-3PO?

Before Star Wars, Daniels was primarily interested in doing theatre and had no interest in meeting with George Lucas for his little Sci-Fi film. His agent convinced him to audition but what really ignited his interest was seeing the C-3PO concept drawings made by Ralph McQuarrie and how the character was neither hero nor villain.

How Did Anthony Daniels come up with C-3PO’s voice?

Daniels worked for months trying to come up with the now instantly recognizable voice for C-3PO but it wasn’t until he was on set that all of his nerves and tension helped the voice come naturally.

Who is Anthony Daniels’ favorite Star Wars Character?

When asked whether he would choose the light side or the dark side were he to exist in the Star Wars universe, Daniels admitted an attractiveness to the dark side but said he believed good would ultimately prevail, however he did make it a point to note that his favourite character is Sith Lord Darth Maul.

When Was C-3PO TOO shiny?

C-3PO goes through several looks throughout the saga, from a mess of exposed wiring, to scuffed and war torn, to brilliantly shiny at times. In Episode III, they went a bit too far with his shine, resulting in a lot of post production work removing reflections of off-camera people and objects.

What does Anthony Daniels think of the Star Wars Holiday Special? 

Perhaps more than any other cast member, Daniels has really embraced his connection to this phenomenon and made a career of being C-3PO. He’s been the voice in multiple cartoons, narrated the Star Wars: In Concert touring show, and leant his voice talents to the Star Tours Disneyland attraction, but he was also sucked into the disastrous 1978 Holiday Special along with everyone else. Daniels isn’t alone in admitting this was a bad experience and a mistake, though he’s probably one of the few to have kept his large, beautifully bound yet terrible script.

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