What C-3PO Actor Anthony Daniels Finally Learned About ‘Star Wars’ After 11 Movies

Anthony Daniels has the rare distinction of being in all 11 live-action Star Wars movies. That’s a lot of wearing a gold metal costume for C-3PO, the translation droid he plays (though Daniels appeared as a different character in Solo: A Star Wars Story). From 1977’s original to now, Daniels admits he’s just made one revelation about Star Wars after completing The Rise of Skywalker.

C-3PO in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Anthony Daniels is C-3PO and Daisy Ridley is Rey | Disney/Lucasfilm

Daniels was at the press conference for The Rise of Skywalker on Dec. 4. He spoke about his 42-year journey with the galaxy far, far away and what he’s only just realized in 2019. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now. 

C-3PO in the ‘Star Wars’ saga

Audiences first met C-3PO along with R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) when they got separated from Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and ended up on Tattooine where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) bought them. R2-D2 had Leia’s message to Obi Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), which sent them all on the first three adventures. 

Anthony Daniels
Anthony Daniels | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Disney

In the prequels, young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) build C-3PO, and the droid found himself haplessly involved in another trilogy of space adventures. Not only is C-3PO still around in The Force Awakens, but he manages to appear in the prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

This got old about playing C-3PO

For Daniels, being in every Star Wars movie meant answering exponentially more questions about Star Wars. For a while, each actor was in three movies at most, and even Hamill and Fisher topped out at six. Even though Daniels was in 11 films, many of the questions got repetitive.

C-3PO in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Anthony Daniels is C-3PO | Disney/Lucasfilm

“The questions I really don’t like is ‘what was it like’ or ‘how does it feel to be in Star Wars?’” Daniels said. “I only just realized, because I’ve been in all of them, all of the spinoffs and stuff, I am so close to it. And I say it’s rather like having your nose up against the planet. You can’t see how big that planet is. Gradually now, I’m beginning to get a perspective on it.”

This made Anthony Daniels appreciate what a privilege ‘Star Wars’ has been

One thing Star Wars offered Anthony Daniels was job security. C-3PO never aged, so he could keep putting on the costume forever. But now he’s learned it’s more than that.

C-3PO in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Anthony Daniels is C-3PO | Disney/Lucasfilm

“That comes from talking to fans, people who say what Star Wars has meant to them over the years,” Daniels said. “It’s meant something really different to me. It’s a job. It’s kind of fun. It’s kind of awkward sometimes as we all know. It’s not a smooth ride.”

Anthony Daniels looks at ‘Star Wars’ much differently after ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

Eleven movies and 42 years later, Daniels can finally see the big picture of Star Wars.

C-3PO with Finn and Poe
C3PO (Anthony Daniels), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) | Disney/Lucasfilm

“I just realized in the last few months something that I had not thought before,” Daniels said. “Finally I’m getting to see it almost from the other perspective and that’s the perspective of the audience who’ve been there all this time. You had to have survived all this long enough to get this perspective.”

[Correction: A previous version stated C-3PO was in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Daniels did appear in the film, but he played the character Tak.]