While there has been a lot of talk about the return of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher to Star Wars: Episode VII, one of the characters that we are most looking forward to seeing return, is C-3PO and we are delighted that Anthony Daniels agreed to return to the role. However, it seems that the actor laid down some conditions before accepting the role.
We know that Star Wars: Episode VII will be using the Andy Serkis performance capture studio The Imaginarium and it seems that there were plans to have a CGI C-3PO for the movie. This did not sit well with Anthony Daniels though and the actor has admitted that he told director J.J. Abrams that he would only return if he was back in an altered C-3PO suit.
Daniels told Entertainment Weekly, "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 [was] 'Would you be interested in being in the film just doing the voice?' I said, 'No.' 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."
As well as talking about the new suit and admitting that he would never even consider just doing a voice over role as C-3PO, Anthony Daniels then went on to talk about the negative aspects of using CGI for the character. Anthony says that they had to use CGI in the past and that, while the CGI team is full of very clever people, it still did not work.
Daniels added, "[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."
Star Wars: Episode VII will see Anthony Daniels teaming back-up with his old side-kick Kenny Baker, who plays R2-D2, as well as the returning trio of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Han Solo, and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, plus many more familiar faces, along with the new stars cast in the project. Star Wars: Episode VII will hit the big screen on December 18, 2015 in both the US and the UK.