“If you haven’t got a copy of this quite extraordinary book, I suggest tracking one down as soon as you can. To do anything else, wouldn’t be proper!”
Every Star Wars fan knows and loves the character of C-3PO. The golden humanoid android spoke the very first words in the saga and spoke what we thought would be the final words too back in 2005 and ‘Revenge Of The Sith‘. But through it all, the actor Anthony Daniels has stood tall, giving the world a unique and remarkable character, one that is instantly recognizable even if it’s just for his incessant complaining and his ability to get under the skin of Han Solo. But even I have to admit that I had a huge lump in my throat watching the final film in the saga, ‘The Rise Of Skywalker‘ and hearing the character utter the words “Taking one last look sir…at my friends”.
Say what you like about the character but that one sentiment during the middle part of the film brought home to everyone that this could be the end for the character. And we found ourselves being affected by that one piece of ‘humanity’ from the droid. That is the power and the acting prowess of Anthony Daniels.
I Am C-3PO – The Inside Story | by Anthony Daniels
Back last year, I alongside other members of the Future Of The Force team were invited to attend an event for the launch of Daniels’ book ‘I Am C-3PO‘ in London’s Southbank Centre. Hosted by BB-8 performer and Daniels’ friend, Brian Herring, the event was an insightful and highly enjoyable evening with anecdotes, memories, and some quite hilarious discussions between the pair. By the time the event ended, the assembled had been treated to a thoroughly great evening’s worth of entertainment and I came home with a hardback copy of the book. The book has now been released in a paperback version and is in stores now. And I have to admit that the book is a completely engrossing, in-depth and entertaining look at what went into Daniels’ performance as C-3PO, his memories of his struggles with the costume, the conversations he had with George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, and Richard Marquand regarding his character and his friendships with the other actors, in particular, Mark Hamill who remains a close personal friend to the actor.
During the book, Daniels tells us all about the trials and tribulations that went into portraying the character across forty-two years and nine films. About his appearances at fan events across the world including the ‘Star Wars Celebration‘ events where he regularly makes appearances on stage and about his disappointments along the way. He remembers being hurt by George Lucas excluding him from the praise he showered on the cast after the original film hit the big time. About how he clashed with ‘Return Of The Jedi‘ director Richard Marquand, leading to Daniels confronting the director, telling him “You don’t respect me, haven’t spoken to me and I don’t like you. I would appreciate it if, through the remainder of the shoot, you don’t talk to me”.
This confrontation seems completely out of character for the actor and shows how passionate he is about his role. It also shows the actor, although well-spoken, friendly, and extremely approachable, which I can attest to, is not someone who suffers fools gladly and is always willing to fight his corner regarding his vital role in the saga.
Anthony Daniels also gives the reader an insight into the disappointment both he and Mark Hamill had with their limited roles in the sequel trilogy. Although both actors understood the reasons why they were sidelined in favor of the new cast and characters, both felt they should have been treated with more respect. Daniels also tells the reader about the pain he suffered all those years ago with the original suit and how he felt relieved and happier with the refinements that were made to his costume once he put it back on for the filming of 2002s ‘Attack Of The Clones‘. He reveals his nervousness about speaking to the legendary Sir Alec Guinness and how the actor was one of the most friendly, approachable, and kind men he has ever met and encountered.
Any ‘Star Wars‘ fan or anyone with an interest in finding out all the behind the scenes details which have never been revealed before will get a huge kick out of this book. Daniels writes in a witty and brilliantly informative style and his book is never less than riveting. His experiences on the set of some of the biggest films of all time show the reader that not everything was sweetness and light and that clashes and problems seemed to dog the franchise across the years during their production.
Daniels reveals things that surprise and amaze the reader as well as bring a wonderfully insightful look back at his time playing possibly one of the best-loved droids committed to celluloid. The ups and downs he faced with the costume, the sets, and in particular some people during his time in the ‘Star Wars‘ universe are all laid bare and make for a read that is never anything less than entertaining. If you haven’t got a copy of this quite extraordinary book, I suggest tracking one down as soon as you can. To do anything else, wouldn’t be proper!
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!
Editors Note | A big thank you to our friends at DK Books for sending over our advance review copy.