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C-3PO, a Pig Farmer?

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

Anthony Daniels has been in three of the biggest box office blockbusters in film history, yet he walks the streets unnoticed until he speaks.

The distinctive British accent, slightly sissified around the edges, belongs to C-3P0, the reluctant android hero of "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back," and "Return of the Jedi" Along with the diminutive R2-D2 he's furnished much of the comic relief in the space adventure series.

Though Daniels has found his role as C-3P0 to be a mixed blessing, he's agreed to furnish the voice of the kindly robot for a new ABC cartoon series, "The Ewoks and Star Wars Droids Adventure Hour" It will air at 9 am Saturdays on WSOC-TV (channel 9) but is one of several new cartoon shows getting a special preview tonight at 8:30 on "The Saturday Morning Cartoon Preview."

"I almost didn't do the second film," Daniels told television critics in Los Angeles in June. "The first one wasn't much fun. The costume is skin-tight and quite uncomfortable. It took numerous modifications to make it work. Once the costume was squeaking, some oil was added to quiet the squeak. Unfortunately, the oil permeated the adhesive, and my left leg fell off."

In addition to the discomfort of the costume, there was an early clash with director George Lucas on just how C-3P0 should be played.

"George didn't like my performance. He wanted something very American sort of Bronx, and here I did it in this very proper way," Daniels recalled

Eventually, Daniels won out, and C-3P0 took on his personality characteristics. "We share similarities," Daniels said. "He's an exaggerated me. He's nice loyal, kind, and caring."

Through Daniels's efforts, the golden-skinned robot became as much of a character as any of the human characters played by Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. Some of the questions asked of C-3P0 were usually reserved for humans.

"I was once asked by the New York Times if C-3P0 was gay," Daniels said with a short laugh. "I guess they inferred that from his relationship with R2-D2. But, actually, I don't think he's anything — which is sad."

He again had second thoughts when he was approached to furnish the voice for an animated series by Lucasfilm Ltd.

"This character has already been through three movies and an Uderoo commercial," he said. "He's been through a lot, But C3P0 can physically do things in the cartoons that he can't do in the features. So they did get rid of my fears, and I'm very happy to be in the cartoons."

"I know children like cartoons, and most of my fan mail comes from people who stand about this high," he said, holding his hand about four feet above the floor. In the cartoon series, Daniels explained the two androids would be involved with a different master every two or three weeks freeing them from a constant association with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Lela. But, as usual, they will often be drawn into adventures with C-3P0, registering his strong disapproval.

Will Daniels ever leave the robot character behind?

"Don't want to be opening supermarkets in 20 years with this suit on," he declared. "I'd rather be a pig farmer."

Charlotte, North Carolina · Friday, September 06, 1985

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