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I Am C-3PO The Inside Story

Discover the incredible untold story of one of Star Wars’ most iconic characters, C-3PO, told by the man who knows him best.

“Did you hear that? They’ve shut down the main reactor! We’ll be destroyed for sure. This is madness.”

These words were the very first to be spoken in any Star Wars movie, and they were spoken by a droid: C-3PO.

With his gleaming golden body and good-intentioned (yet worrisome) personality, C-3PO was there at the very beginning. Of course, C-3PO wasn’t actually a robot, or some amazing early animatronic creation – he was actually a man named Anthony Daniels.

Now, for the very first time, Anthony Daniels will tell C-3PO’s story in its entirety, from seeing the first concept images to the early stages of the final film in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: Episode IX, and in the process, will also tell his own. This includes his encounters with movie legends such as Sir Alec Guinness, what it was like working closely with George Lucas, and the friendships he formed with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and others. But being encased in a solid shell for countless hours also involved hardships, pain, and in some cases real physical danger.

In I am C-3PO: The Inside Story, Daniels candidly relays his humorous, unvarnished, and extraordinary story as the man inside the machine, providing fresh new insights for even the most die-hard of Star Wars fans.

Author: Anthony Daniels
Publisher: DK Books
Release Date: 31st October 2019

When you consider the various elements that have brought the Star Wars story to where it is today there are a handful of creatives who come swiftly to mind. George Lucas, of course, Gary Kurtz, Ralph McQuarrie, John Williams. Their contributions have made the saga what it is, laid down the visual template, the musical motifs, the storytelling tent poles that makes Star Wars Star Wars, but there’s only one man who can claim to have had a part in every Star Wars film, and it’s his story that is told in I Am C-3PO.

It’s a memoir that sticks firmly to those nine films (and numerous spin-offs that are listed at the back of the book) starting with a promising career that took a left turn in 1975 and  has stayed true for the next 44 years. Anthony Daniels was the first actor to be on set, the first cast (in more ways than one) and a lucky charm who’s performance as C-3PO – fraught as it often was with mental and physical stress taking a toll on the young actor  – has remained a fan favourite for decades. It’s known to long time fans how the Lucasfilm of the late 70’s wanted the public to believe that Threepio was an entirely mechanical creation, voiced only by a human, but the depths of genuine hurt that Daniels felt by that very public snub is clear to see. What were the odds that he would come back (and after a couple of infamous Holiday Specials with Donny and Marie and THE Holiday Special) for The Empire Strikes Back? We can’t tell you the odds, but they were significantly lower after Daniels realised just how much affection he had for his golden counterpart.

The book is a brisk and easy read, a page turner that tells a very familiar story from a very specific point of view, and all in the distinctly unique style of Anthony Daniels. You can practically hear him say the words (literally, this is also available as an audiobook) and his way with words is a genuine joy to read. Put it this way, I’ll never be able to hear the words ‘space eroticism’ again without a very specific image coming to mind. Because of this, he has turned what could have been a fairly pedestrian run through a sequence of events into a journey of two friends – Anthony and Threepio.

From finding his gait, his voice and his mannerisms via identifying the limitations of the suit, Daniels crafted a character who is integral and essential to the wider Star Wars story. Curious, that the limitations of that era of cinema gave us the most terrifying shark, the most frightening Alien and the most fastidious droid. You have to wonder, with his suit being so much less of a challenge to wear and assemble in 2019, would Threepio have become the same character if he’d been created today? The nips, cuts and bruises Daniels suffered seeped into the metal of the protocol droid. Every slight he suffered became a part of Threepio. If the suit had fit like a glove and the actor immediately been accepted as an equal to his fellow cast members, would the Threepio we know today have organically developed the way he did?

I was lucky enough to interview Anthony for both Star Wars Insider and Fantha Tracks, visiting his beautiful home in London and discussing the book and his wider journey, and it is a journey. From the late 70’s when he was rubbing shoulders with Bette Davis at the Oscars to watching Oscar Isaac effortlessly perform on set in The Rise of Skywalker, through the green screen swathed years of the prequels and all of the spin-offs he spans decades of Hollywood history. His feet (well, Threepio’s feet) have been in cement in Los Angeles for years, his own name etched in cement right next to them, and yet he makes it very clear that his work on Star Wars In Concert is closest to his heart. Daniels, on stage where his acting career began, leading us through the saga with John Williams music swelling around him, a rock concert energy booming around the hall. For a character not very good at telling stories, the man behind him certainly makes them interesting.

Highly recommended, packed with anecdotes, stories and fascinating facts (George Lucas loves chocolate), this needs to have it’s beautifully designed cover sitting on your bookshelf.

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I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story: Foreword by J.J. Abrams
  • Hardcover Book
  • Daniels, Anthony (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 11/05/2019 (Publication Date) - DK (Publisher)