Anthony Daniels talks Star Wars, Screenplays

Anthony Daniels poses on the red carpet while attending D23 Expo 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center (The Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA).

Star Wars star Anthony Daniels, best known for playing C-3PO, took time to answer fan questions during a panel at Fan Expo Chicago.

The Star Wars actor was on hand for Fan Expo Chicago 2022 this past weekend to meet fans, pose for photos, and sign autographs. Where other guests had a moderator, Daniels did it all himself. It was a very entertaining and informative panel as he walked throughout the main theater to take questions, sometimes coming back on stage. Of course, he also plugged his book, I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story.

It’s good to see you again. I was there on the day that the publisher unveiled the book title at Star Wars Celebration 2019.

Anthony Daniels: Yeah, so…did you know I’ve written a book?

My question is, what do you typically look for in a character when you’re offered a screenplay that isn’t a Star Wars film?

What would you look for? You would look for something—well, first of all, a job. That would be very nice. Never forget that actors actually do it for a living and I’ve been incredibly lucky, obviously. A lot of actors barely make a living so the first thing is thank you for offering this or that. And then as you get older, you begin to think of—like in a stage play, do I want to do this thing eight times a week, twice on Wednesdays and Saturdays—because your mood changes as you get older. But you do look for something that is more than merely filling a gap between two other sentences, you know what I mean? And gradually, I realized as you can act on TV and so on, that you were basically filling a little bit of air space that you wouldn’t really notice. I have had more fun doing 11 Star Wars movies, obviously. Solo—yeah, thank you very much.

And, of course, one of the things in the film, you are very much at the hands of the director, but even more so of the editor. I have to say much as I loved, loved being involved in Episode IX—sorry about that—that you could see it now and see what I mean. I adored working on that film, but was fairly shocked at the cuts that were made between finishing filming in the studio and what we saw on the screen. Sadly for me, there is a tendency in some of these movies to cut out some of the sweeter moments, some of the real tension. There were quite a few times—the relationship between Poe Dameron and Threepio was I used to be crying with laughter working with Oscar Isaac, just the best. A lot of those moments, they cut. A lot of the moments of tension that they want to do this, they want to kill him, they want to take his mind away, they want to work with the techies mind. (Inaudible) No, he’s okay. All the tension was chopped out, which was sad, but there were lots of other things, but there can be a tendency to go for the (makes noises) Why don’t you just stab the person? It’s just easier.

Every Star Wars film is streaming on Disney+. Fan Expo Chicago will return on August 10-13, 2023.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.