Screen Rant headed down to the 21st annual Jameson Empire Awards in Central London this evening, and got a few minutes with C-3PO himself – Anthony Daniels. Daniels, who was having an evening off filming Star Wars: Episode VIII, was attending to support Star Wars: The Force Awakens which was up for nine awards.
Daniels has played the other half of the droid duo with R2-D2 in all seven Star Wars movies to date – having most recently reprised the role in The Force Awakens last year. Here the polite, anxious robot was found in the company of General Leia on D’Qar with the Resistance. The most notable new distinction, of course, was his red arm – having lost his original at some point in the thirty years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Last year Disney announced that the origin story of his new limb would be revealed in an upcoming comic-book.
The charming British actor gave us his opinion on his character’s new red arm, and what the atmosphere’s been like on the eighth film’s set…
Star Wars must be so close to your heart, having been with it from the very beginning. How does it feel to be here tonight?
You know it’s so big I don’t think I can quite take it in frankly. It’s such a big entity. If you could have seen the hundreds of people on the [Episode VIII] set yesterday, today and on The Force Awakens, the crew and the size of those sets – you would realise that I’m just part of a jigsaw, that has kind of taken over the world in the most wonderful kind of invasion. The people on the set, the crew and indeed the cast, have all grown up loving Star Wars. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. So, the atmosphere is like a giant family. Everybody loves it whether you’re a background artist or whether you’re a cameraman. They keep smiling at C-3PO, so we’re trying to arrange some photographs for the crew so that they can convene!
And it’s literally thanks to all the people who buy the tickets with their own money – they’re not going for industry reasons or political reasons – they just want to see the film, and then see it again and again. I’ve seen The Force Awakens three times now. Another thing about these films is that the audience take it and they play with it. They dress up, they act up, and they share ideas. A little boy today [on the Episode VIII set] asked me ‘Is Jar Jar Binks truly a Sith Lord?’ I had to really think about that one! If he really is then [switches to C-3PO’s voice] we’re doomed!
How are you finding direction on Episode VIII under Rian Johnson compared to that of JJ Abrams?
J.J. is just magic…and so is Rian! Rian has of course taken over from where J.J. left off – what a responsibility! But, am I having fun? Yes! Am I being picked up at 7:30am tomorrow? Yes! Will I be in the suit? Yes!
Soon to have its origins explained in a one-off comic book, how do you feel about C-3PO’s red arm in this trilogy?
The one thing that J.J. and I argued about was the fact that I didn’t like the red arm. C-3PO doesn’t like the red arm! Being the director he said ‘You’re gonna have a red arm.’ But have you noticed, because he listened to me, that the last frame of C-3PO waving at the Millennium Falcon was with a gold arm! And J.J. did that – love it.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will be on Blu-ray April 5, 2016; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.