We had the pleasure of attending the virtual LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special press conference with C-3PO himself, Anthony Daniels! We had the opportunity to speak with him and ask him a question amidst the dozen others he answered. Among his answers, Daniels revealed he would love for Threepio to be in The Mandalorian, said “lips sealed” but his days as Threepio are not over yet, and discussed the responsibility he feels in preserving George Lucas’s legacy and vision for Star Wars and its characters.
Not everyone was able to ask their question, so we are thankful we were given the opportunity to ask Daniels about his responsibility as the longest tenured Star Wars actor.
SWNN: Hi Anthony. So with the new Lego Star Wars Holiday Special as you probably know, as long as you keep Mark and Harrison at bay, you’re the longest tenured Star Wars actor in history. I just want to know what sense of responsibility do you feel in helping the franchise stay true to George Lucas’s roots and vision the further we go from when it started?
That is a really, really good question John. Though I have to say, the phrase, “Mute yourself,” I’ve just written it down because that is my next insult in a program to tell Artoo. ‘Oh, for heaven’s sake! Mute yourself!’ Don’t you think? So thanks for that.
John, it’s really important and it’s why I generally… You know, I like being employed, I like working, but one reason it’s important that I feel I stay with Threepio is sometimes writers or producers, whatever, get a bit distant from the basic, I would say truths if you like, of the original film. That you meet C-3PO and he’s very important in the minds of many, many people because he’s the first voice in that first film. And he has a kind of quality that stayed with people and therefore, you have to stay with that quality, whatever the new iteration is, whether it’s a film or an animation or it’s a Lego film.
And I can do that, not without being crazily controlling about it but I can say, “That’s not how he would put things,” or “That’s not how he would behave in character,” because it’s very important he stays in character. And sensible and clever and intelligent producers and writers and directors listen to me. Others, I don’t work with them.”
The actor answered a dozen or so questions from the attendees of the conference, to which Daniels provided some interesting or thought provoking answers to. The first that caught my attention was from Jasper Roddick, though Daniels’ answer should probably come as no surprise, as he expressed having interest in everyone’s favorite protocol droid finding his way to The Mandalorian. He also addressed the contentiousness of fan discourse over the saga.
I would love to see C-3PO in The Mandalorian. And I hope you will be talking to the producers on my behalf because my phone is ready. The Mandalorian takes a new look and I think a new style approach. And, yes, there have been discussions, and how nicely now you put that, about the sequel trilogy that we just finished with the Rise of Skywalker. There are elements that certainly are debatable and the thing about Star Wars is it has always being chock-full of things to think about, concepts, ideas, views, morals, if you will. And people, fans, have debated for a long time. And certainly the sequels advanced that. And, yes, have an opinion. Have an opinion. I like this. I’m not sure about that. But be nice about it. Just share. It’s dialectics. It’s looking towards agreeing, if you like to disagree, or finding a common ground, because Star Wars fans really are fans, whoever you are, or dark side or whatever. Just be kind to each other and enjoy.”
Is Threepio’s story over or are we going to see him in future? Daniels assures us it is not!
I think his story is far from over. I am delighted to say the new Star Wars Holiday Special is the latest iteration, not the last I have to tell you, but my lips, I mean, Threepio’s lips are sealed. He doesn’t have lips, does he have lips? Anyway. There are other things coming up, not major movies but stay tuned. Threepio is too important a character to disappear and I don’t believe fans will allow him to disappear. And of course, the important thing is to remember, as somebody was saying earlier about Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and the robot there and the wonderful Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, those characters stay alive forever and ever and ever.”
Our friend Mark Newbold from Fantha Tracks was able to ask Daniels the final question of the event, regarding how much of the new LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special story he knew going into recording and whether he was able to offer any edits or suggestions considering how well he knows C-3PO.
Oh, yeah. On this show, the script was really well formatted. 3PO’s involvement is what it is. But normally, yeah. Often, my little suggestions will come when I have a preview of the rough animation, where we’re looking to fine tune or indeed just fine tune the voice on top of the animation. But then in a scene, I will notice a moment say, “Hey, we could stick in a comment” or like [inaudible 00:32:05]. just in the distance, which makes a program really seem… It improves it.
It’s like adding a little more salt or pepper, a little hint of garlic. And it just bolds out the original story. Because when you’re writing an animation, I think, not that I ever have, but the writers cannot think of every reaction. Unless it’s something like Toy Story where you got acres of thousands of people all doing this on a program, resources are slightly more limited. So occasionally I can look at a scene in rough and go, “Hey, we could just slot in a comment there.” And that’s how it works. And curiously, that’s one of the most amusing and entertaining things for me to do because it is highly creative because you’re adding color to the scene.”
Daniels even ended the press conference by offering sensible advice in helping our world get back to normal and saving lives.
I mean it. I’m serious about COVID. I’m serious about taking precautions and you can quote me. 3PO wears a mask. You wear a mask.”
The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special will debut on Disney Plus on Tuesday November 17, the 42nd anniversary of the original Star Wars Holiday Special. Regardless of your thoughts on the original, this one is sure to be a delight for all ages to gear you up for the holiday season by celebrating Life Day in our favorite galaxy far, far away.
Here is the full video of The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special Virtual Press Conference with Anthony Daniels: