Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Anthony Daniels Talks Episode VII, Rebels, and More

By: Dominic Jones

The actor who portrayed C-3PO in all six Star Wars films, as well as pretty much every Star Wars spin off material including The Clone Wars and Star Tours, Anthony Daniels spoke with Entertainment Weekly about his career as and what's next for the golden protocol droid.  Daniels is set to reprise his role as Threepio in Star Wars Episode VII and lend his voice to the droid on Star Wars Rebels, the upcoming animated series from Lucasfilm Animation.

When asked about the potential of a CGI Threepio in the future, Daniels described his first talk with Episode VII director JJ Abrams, 
"I will tell you that when [director] J.J. Abrams rang me to ask about filming Episode VII, one of the first things he said after he told me how wonderful I was — and that didn’t take long — but he then said, “Would you be interested in being in the film just doing the voice?” I said, “No,” and he said, “Right!” He knew I’d say that. There’s no way I would just do the voice. I also said that it can’t be the same suit. I will tell you that the team then got together and built a new suit. They made an entirely new look-a-like with changes that you will never notice [on screen] that made my life a lot easier. I can get it on and off very quickly. [During the prequels], the only time [Threepio has] been CG was when it was very dangerous [to act in the scene in a suit] — and it wasn’t very good. In fact, I’m going to say it was awful. One of the difficulties is with a character that you know and love so well is that, as a member of the audience, you go, “Oh no, that’s not right. No, he doesn’t move like that.” With me [in the suit], he’s always going to move the same way and have the same reactions, timing, and so on. With CG, you’re working with some brilliant person on the keyboard who is trying to pretend to be me. The only time that has worked without doubt is Disney’s Star Tours: The Adventures Continue [theme park ride]. There’s an element in the pre-show which is digital and I cannot tell it’s not me. It’s brilliantly done by Disney. In a cartoon series like Rebels, you accept it because it’s not trying to pretend to be reality. It’s an extension, it’s an exaggeration. On that basis, it’s utterly acceptable — providing the characterization is correct."

Daniels also discussed bringing Treepio to life in animated form for Star Wars Rebels,
"It’s unique that it goes very specifically to a given period of time, which is just before the film that I happened to like the best — which is A New Hope, the first one. There are now three generations [of fans], which I know because of my work with Star Wars: In Concert where I could see in the audience terrifyingly young children and I thought, “They’re going to be a menace,” and they sat there open-mouthed at the story that I was telling to them onstage with the orchestra. Now you can [ease] people into A New Hope. And you’ve seen I, II and III, there’s gaps there. What happened to these characters? We love them. We want to see what they did when they were not in the big films. Because George and everybody who’s followed on has created such a reality in the galaxy far, far away that we want to see more about it."

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