On Tuesday 17th November, the 42nd anniversary of the original Star Wars Holiday Special, Disney Plus premiere its blocky successor; The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, featuring Kelly Marie Tran, Billy Dee Williams, a slew of familiar voices from The Clone Wars and the golden icon himself, Anthony Daniels.
Embedded below is the video of the Virtual Press Conference which took place last week and included a number of familiar faces from such places as Fangirls Going Rogue, Skywalking Through Neverland, Coffee With Kenobi, Star Wars News Network, Jedi News and Rebel Scum. Fantha Tracks were there, so enjoy the video and / or read the transcript of the conference below, and be sure to check out or review of The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special.
Disney Plus: Anthony Daniels is here from the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special. I think Vicky gave you all the way this is going to work. So you have the option in your chat window to click the Raise Hand button. Make sure you keep your microphone and your camera off. And I’ll call on you once you raise your hand and then you can unmute yourself, ask your question. And we have about 30 minutes for today’s press conference. So welcome, Anthony. I’ll let you introduce yourself.
Anthony Daniels: So, just explain to me. Everybody is listening but I can’t really see people. So I know you’re there. I feel your presence. It’s a holiday season statement. Okay. Hello, and, well, thank you for joining. I’m in London, some hours away from many of you, I would think, though I don’t know where you are. So come on in.
Disney Plus: Great. Great. We have our first question. It’s O. Delcroix. Can you go ahead and unmute yourself and ask your-
Olivier Delcroix: I’m Olivier Delacroix from France, from Paris. Well, my first question is quite simple. Do you think your golden character will remain in the history of cinema like the original robot of the Metropolis movie by Fritz Lang?
Anthony Daniels: Yes. I do sincerely believe that. Because like Eva, I think her name was, the robot, C-3PO is an iconic film. And on set, walking to the scenes with the crew, I would regularly say, “Move out to the way. Icon coming through. Holiday icon coming through.” And of course, people laughed. 3PO is an icon forever and ever, and he will out-survive me. He will out-survive all of us. Because now with the electronic media, these images as much as Maria and Metropolis exist forever, so will Star Wars and so will 3PO, and I’m very proud about that because I respect him a great deal.
Disney Plus: Perfect. Thank you. Jasper Roddick, go ahead. You can go ahead and unmute.
Jasper Roddick: A question from the Danish film site, filmz.dk. There has been some discussion within the fan community around the new sequel trilogy, but on the other hand, the new Disney+ show, The Mandalorian has received almost unanimous praise from fans. What do you think has been the key to this success? And would you like to see C-3PO in The Mandalorian?
Anthony Daniels: 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.
Michael Dalton: Hello. Can you hear me?
Anthony Daniels: Michael, hello.
Michael Dalton: Hello, Anthony. How are you?
Anthony Daniels: I’m getting there.
Michael Dalton: So obviously you’ve been in all of the Star Wars films and were in the original holiday special back in 1978. And I just kind of wanted to ask-
Anthony Daniels: How dare you remind me of that? How dare you?
Michael Dalton: I wanted ask what your memories of that were and I suppose how it compared to being in this holiday special and I suppose more broadly how the experience of being in Star Wars has changed over the years.
Anthony Daniels: Right. But I’m sure you have read my book in English, possibly. I am C-3PO: The Inside Story, because I’m plugging it away, like, ” Why not?” But one of the most amusing chapters possibly, it refers to the original holiday special in 1978, which was remarkable in so many ways. First of all, filming it on the set in LA was a dismal, dismal experience. And bear in mind, this is meant to be the happiest day in the life of an Ewok. Not, Ewok. What are the big ones called? The Wookies.
Anthony Daniels: They will get together. Every religion has its festival days and Life Day is for the Wookies. And there we were meant to be celebrating this event and there’s Mark and Carrie and Harrison and me in this very dark, basically black drapes. It was like a funeral. It was dreadful. And then you watched it and you thought, “I didn’t realize it was as dreadful as that.” Well, it was. So when the producers came to me and said, “We’re going to make a holiday special,” I laughed. But as you will find out, it’s very, very different and it’s charming and it’s Lego that I adore. And 3PO has seen all sorts of things over the years. He’s been on the Donny & Marie Osmond Show and the Muppet Show. And he’s used to crazy experiences that bring out certain qualities in him. And so long may that go on.
Michael Dalton: Great. Thank you very much.
Anthony Daniels: Thank you, Michael.
Richard: Hello, Mr. Daniels. And happy Life Day to you.
Anthony Daniels: Happy Life Day to you, Richard and Sarah. Happy Life Day.
Richard: First of all, we want to thank you for the decades of all the happiness you have brought fans such as myself who’s been there since day one with all the Star Wars films, the comics you’ve written, all of the animated shows you’ve been a part of. We just want to, first of all, just thank you for many, many decades of everything that you brought to us.
Anthony Daniels: It’s really nice of you to say that, but I’m immediately going to chip back, because when you think about it, and maybe this doesn’t really occur, I’m going to say thank you to you and everybody else, all the fans, who have reciprocated, who have enjoyed, who have watched, who have loved what I and the other members of the cast and crew and producers and so on have brought to you. And in the book, I do talk about the fact that without the fans, there would have only been one Star Wars film. It was called The Star Wars. No, then it became Star Wars or The Star Wars. Then it became Episode IV. Because the fans took it and loved it so George made the next film, Empire Strikes Back, and so on. So you’re thanking me and I’m thanking you for playing your part as a member of the audience without being sickly about it, but it’s a two-way process and you’re part of the team. And I thank you.
Richard: Well, thank you so much for that. And over the decades, we’ve been on a campaign to bring the highlights, all the positivity, that the Star Wars Holiday Special has brought people, because the one thing we say to anyone asking, “What’s so special about this?” we say, “It’s fun. It’s fun and it provokes great conversation.” So my question to you is what is one positive thing you can say about your involvement in the original Star Wars Holiday Special?
Anthony Daniels: I got paid.
Richard: Did the check clear?
Anthony Daniels: Probably not, under the circumstances. It certainly gave people a talking point. And look, just to be there with Carrie and Mark and Harrison was always a pleasure. So we had each other. Frankly, if you watch it on YouTube, the last few moments of it, you can almost see the human characters and 3PO clinging, kind of nudging closer to each other like we were in a lifeboat. Kind of nudging closer to each other like we were in a lifeboat trying to survive this wreck as the wookies trampled over the scenery.
Richard: Well, thank you very much.
Sarah: Thank you.
Anthony Daniels: Our pleasure.
Disney Plus: Perfect. And then I’m sorry, I’m going to mispronounce this name, Sha-tije Ro-wat, can you go ahead and unmute yourself?
Shatije: Yeah. Yeah, it’s Shatije , actually.
Disney Plus: Ah, thank you. Sorry about that.
Anthony Daniels: Oh, now that is difficult.
Shatije: Yeah, in India also, it’s pretty difficult for people to pronounce it, yeah. So Anthony, I’m a huge fan. My favorite Star Wars character is actually C-3PO so my question is are you personally anything like C-3PO? So do you also get fussy sometimes or think would rather be somewhere else.
Anthony Daniels: What do you mean sometimes?
Anthony Daniels: Yeah, people often ask me what characteristics do I share with Threepio and well, how can I put this? Because I liked him very much and you’d have to ask my wife. I mean, he can be irritating and I’m sure she would deny that I was irritating. He can be a little fussy and I’m sure my wife. I think Threepio would be tidier than I am, I tend to leave a bit of a mess everywhere so people are surprised by that. But one thing I really do like that I share with him is his sense of loyalty that I think loyalty in humans, loyalty to each other, is extremely important. And one of the lovely things in the movies is that Threepio shows great loyalty even to dreadful human beings like Han Solo. Nevertheless, he would want him to be okay, but loyalty to the princess, to Luke Skywalker and of course, to R2-D2. A very, very major important human attribute.
Shatije: Yeah, so is Threepio’s story over or are we going to see him in future?
Anthony Daniels: 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.
Robert McKnight: Anthony, thanks for being with us today. We really appreciate it.
Anthony Daniels: That was his way of saying I’m talking too much. Sorry, you’re from Australia?
Robert McKnight: Yes, yes. It’s 4:14 in the morning up here in Queensland.
Anthony Daniels: Oh, thank you so much for being there. I thought I was having a tough time and it’s 6:15 in the evening in London. I have such fond memories of Australia. Oh yes, go for it. You have one question.
Robert McKnight: Yes, I do. I was going to say tell us about the fond memories, but the one thing I love about what the Holiday Special this time is because it’s through Lego, it is able to take the mickey out of itself, it’s allowed to have fun at the Star Wars universe. Does that forgive all ills from the previous special?
Anthony Daniels: Robert, that may be going too far. I’ve rebooked the therapy because I thought that was over but no, it’s awakened those memories, you know? They stay there.
Anthony Daniels: What can I say? It was huge fun, really, to be in the first one but this one is different and you hit the nail. With Lego, you can take, I wondered whether you could say take the… But you said mickey which is good. You can make jokes about something-
Robert McKnight: Yeah, I was going to say piss.
Anthony Daniels: I know, I thought you we’re going to say piss so you didn’t, but I would’ve said piss. You can take the piss out of these movies because people can get a bit pompous about them if you’re not careful, the Force and the Dark Side and all that stuff and who did what to whom or whatever. So I love the irreverence that Lego has always brought, whatever the product, because you can’t be serious if you’re a dumpy inch and a half doll, you cannot be serious. Even John McEnroe as a doll could not be serious.
Anthony Daniels: So intrinsically, a Lego product is going to be fun, it’s going to be irreverent and it’s going to allow you to places you wouldn’t normally go in a Star Wars movie. And that’s why this one, the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, allows you to go on weird adventures, meeting people you wouldn’t normally meet in the same room with and it works out.
Anthony Daniels: And it’s a great lead in. Anybody with small children who don’t yet know that Star Wars is a very important film concerning the adventures of a gold robot played by Anthony Daniels, if they don’t know, it’s a great introduction. And I think people are going to have fun over the holiday season talking about it and explaining to kids, well, this is about this and this is about that. And then let’s go watch the movie. So it’s an all around winner and actually has negated my earlier memories. Robert, it’s great to hear your accent.
Robert McKnight: I watched it with my 10 year old, she loved it, so well done and thanks for being with us today.
Anthony Daniels: And thanks for staying awake. Bye.
Disney Plus: Thanks, Anthony. All right, next up, we have John Hoey. Go ahead and unmute yourself.
John Hoey: 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?
Anthony Daniels: 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. ‘Oh, for heaven’s sake! Mute yourself!’ Don’t you think? So thanks for that.
Anthony Daniels: 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.
Anthony Daniels: 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.
John Hoey: Thank you so much.
Anthony Daniels: Yes, mute yourself.
Sean Thane: Hi, Anthony.
Anthony Daniels: Streambly?
Sean Thane: Streambly.
Anthony Daniels: Hi.
Sean Thane: Hi Anthony. Yes, honored to be able to talk to you today. So my question is this special is set after the events of The Rise of Skywalker, did you enjoy being able to tell a story that is set in this time period because the movie kind of left things fairly vague about the state of the galaxy at this point?
Anthony Daniels: Well, it’s interesting that the original film was called A New Hope and these days, we need these days we need to feel there is hope and there is lightness, and fun, and joy in life. And without realizing it I think the producers of this film, this Lego special, have hit the right moment to bring this out because we need, this year, right now in the holiday season, to be reminded that there are good things in life, there are good things to celebrate. It’s difficult right now for many, many people in all sorts of different circumstances. And this will, I think, begin a new beginning. I think there will be a holiday special next year. Please can I be in it? I don’t know. But this is a little launchpad for a new series. And I said it first, so I want to be there.
Anthony Daniels: There’s so much for a family to enjoy and if you’re not there with a family there is so much warmth in the program that you can relax, be there. Just stop looking out of the window for a moment and just sink into this program. And you’ll feel better, I think.
John: Thank you.
Anthony Daniels: Thank you.
Disney Plus: Thanks John. Michael Silistino go ahead and turn yourself off mute.
Michael Silistino: Hi Anthony, thank you so much for doing this.
Anthony Daniels: Yeah, go for it.
Michael Silistino: My question to you is I wonder if you could talk about the difference to your approach to your performance, if there is a difference, between when you’re actually on set in the C-3PO suit versus in an example like this, in the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, where it’s just a voiceover performance. Does that affect your approach to the role at all?
Anthony Daniels: The only difference … Believe me Michael, the only difference is I’m not wearing the suit. I am there in jeans and a shirt of some kind that doesn’t make rustle-y noises in the microphone, so you have to be careful what kind of material you’re wearing. Because with 3PO I stand up, I stand as him, so very tight bum, tight stomach, and very tense because he’s a tense character, but he moves most of the time when he’s talking. And if I’m wearing the wrong clothes, cotton that’s a bit sharp or whatever, it can make rustle-y noises, so I had to be very careful to wear sloppy clothes. That way I can remain as physically as 3PO, much to the amazement of any visitors who watch. And they go, “God I can see the costume. I mean, I can see” … If you’re watch me people forget that I’m there in the shirt and the jeans, they see the gold. And that’s kind of fun for me. So that’s the only difference, I ain’t wearing the costume.
Anthony Daniels: As always … Well in an animation you tend to only have your lines, so always you have to read what, or ask what, the line before was. What was the question that you are answering. But that is second nature to me because in the original film when I talked to R2-D2 they didn’t tell me, but R2-D2 never made any sounds, never replied, never beeped or anything until six months later when Ben Burtt, eventually, won an Oscar for being the voice of R2-D2. But way late for me on the set, and I went crazy talking to myself. So now in the studio, being in something like the Lego special, I just have to imagine what somebody’s just said to me or what has happened. And it’s there in the stage directions on the script, so it’s the same.
Michael Silistino: Thank you very much. So nice to talk to you.
Anthony Daniels: Thanks Michael.
Yusi Alraf: Thank you very much, excellent pronunciation of a difficult Finnish name.
Anthony Daniels: Hi Yusi.
Yusi Alraf: Hello there. This is actually coming from your book, my question. So in the book there is a thread that starts from a sense of neglect that you describe around the time of the first film, running to the very end where you speak of resentment that you had over your career. I mean, of course you speak about gratitude and acceptance, but there is this mixed sense, mixed emotions running through it. And my question is are these more about the way that C-3PO has been treated on the screen or is this more about you yourself as an actor? Because as Abrams write in the introduction, that you’re probably the least recognizable superstar on the planet.
Anthony Daniels: Yeah, Yusi, that’s a really clever thoughtful question. When I decided to write the book I decided it should be as honest as possible, without hurting people, without making stupid fantastic claims, whatever. Just the way it was. And I thought it was important, certainly to me, to say that it was very, very difficult at the beginning, when Lucasfilm tried to pretend that I had nothing to do with the film. That I wasn’t that character, I had no input. That I wasn’t the puppeteer. Oh right, I had got a little credit on the roll up at the end. That was a very, very hurtful experience. And it’s interesting that I had never actually put together what you just said, that 3PO gets pushed around, dumped on, ignored, everything, bullied, through all of these stories. And yeah, now you’ve made me think about that. But what I do do, in the book, is to come towards the end and say … And I’m not reading it, I’m remembering, that I realized that for several years I’d harbored resentment. And why wouldn’t I? There were very serious miscalculations about how to treat a person. That changed over the years, but those resentments did stay very front of the line. Memories of the original holiday special, they stayed somewhere in the back of my mind. And certainly writing about them brought them out again. But then I move on to say that then time changed, that I changed, that I realized that things had moved on. That those hurts would always stay there as hurts, but they weren’t going to hurt anymore, unless people brought them up and then they will revive.
Anthony Daniels: But now there are better things to talk about. There’s lovely things that happened, working with J.J., adorable. Having the enjoyment, and affection, and respect of the fans I realize was an amazing event to happen towards me. And so eventually, as time went on, my stupidity, my hurts, my naiveness, my initial feelings changed, so that I can now happily talk to you about my joy of being part of this program, about other Star Wars events, being part of the whole fan world. But always there will be memories, it would be stupid to deny them. But now I have moved very, very far away from that initial process.
Anthony Daniels: But, again, thank you for a really intelligent and rather thought provoking question, which I will think about. Thanks Yusi.
Yusi Alraf: No, thank you very much, this was a very heartfelt reply. Thank you and I greatly appreciate it-
Anthony Daniels: Well Yusi, it was a heartfelt question. It was a very thoughtful. So there we are, mutual thanks.
Yusi Alraf: Thank you. And I recommend the book to everybody.
Anthony Daniels: Oh Yusi, thank you very much. You don’t get a percentage, okay?
Yusi Alraf: Oh nope. Thank you.
Disney Plus: All right, thank you Yusi. I think we have time for about two more questions, so Javier Crespo you’re up next.
Anthony Daniels: Javier.
Javier: Yes, thank you. Hi Anthony, how are you?
Anthony Daniels: I’m really good. Javier, yes? Yes.
Javier: Nice to talk with you. My question is when the producers reach you with this new holiday special, and you felt about the original holiday special, what were your initial thoughts about this new project?
Anthony Daniels: Well, Javier, you may not have heard me say earlier that I was really surprised that anybody, in the entertainment industry, would ever consider making another holiday special because the first one had really special because the first one had really surprised people about how crazy it was. And then, of course, when I saw what they were going to do and that it was Lego, I was just thrilled to be asked. I was delighted because I know anything with Lego and anything with Star Wars Lego, it’s going to be a blast. I mean, look at the Lego movie. The first one, I had what?, two lines in that. I adored being in it and the audience adored 3PO being in it. And as I said before, Lego has been a wonderful companion to Star Wars. They were made for each other, and they only discovered each other, I think if I’m right, around the… Yeah, after the third film Return of the Jedi. So I think people who remember the original holiday special will be surprised. Hey, and give it a chance. Don’t ignore it because it’s got those words in it. This is different. This is fun. And it also references so many memories that audiences have around the world.
Javier: I totally agree with you. Thank you.
Anthony Daniels: Thanks.
Chris Wyman: Hey, Anthony. Thanks for being here with us today.
Anthony Daniels: Hi, Chris.
Chris Wyman: So this has obviously been a very challenging year for everybody, with the virus issues and stuff. Have you been recording from home? Or is this stuff that you did previously to now? Or are we getting new things?
Anthony Daniels: Chris, I do so many jobs that, frankly, I slightly forget. Maybe it was this… I can’t remember. But I got some acoustic panels in my office here and I made a tent around the screen and the microphone and it had a lid on it and everything. And it had a light, so I could see scripts. And I did a one hour recording by which point, the sweat was just pouring down my… I wasn’t even in the suit, for Heaven’s sake. It so replicated my experience on the set in the costume. And I realized that I couldn’t do this. Because then a four-hour recording session came up and I knew that wasn’t going to work. So now what happens, in lockdown, in COVID, people are very sensible.
Anthony Daniels: I now walk out to a studio. I’m buzzed in. I don’t have to speak to anybody. They tell me the number of the room I’m going into it. And there I am alone with a microphone that has been sanitized. And behind at least two sheets of glass is the engineer. So he is safe from me. I am safe from him. And the producer director is normally on a screen in front of me, often from Los Angeles. I’m generally in London. And we are all totally safe. I come out. I press, with my elbow, the door-release button. I put on my mask. I walk into the street. I come home. I take off my mask. So everything’s safe. And please, everybody who’s listening, I have made a career out of wearing a mask and I’m going to say something I’ve not really said before. I’ve made a career out of wearing a mask. I want you to save your life by wearing a mask and maybe save the lives of others by wearing a mask.
End of preaching it. But 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. Do we have time for one more question?
Anthony Daniels: Oh.
Disney Plus: You’re on.
Mark Newbold: Evening.
Anthony Daniels: No. Mark Newbold. He’s rubbish.
Mark Newbold: Oh, thank you very much. I know you love doing these shows, but how much of the story do you know going in? And do you ever get to suggest any little ideas knowing 3PO, obviously, as well as you do?
Anthony Daniels: 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 just in the distance, which makes a program really seem… It improves it.
Anthony Daniels: 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.
Mark Newbold: As long as it’s gold.
Anthony Daniels: You see, Mark. You had to have the last word, too.
Mark Newbold: Sorry. Sorry. Cheers.
Anthony Daniels: Cheers.
- Includes 4 minifigures: Han Solo, Greedo, Wuher and a Sandtrooper
- Mos eisley cantina features a detailed bar, sliding entrance door, seat-tipping functions, open-out design and detachable sections
- Also includes a Ubrikkian 9000 pod with opening minifigure cockpit and top-mounted stud shooter
- Open out the cantina and play out classic Star Wars: a new hope tavern scenes.