From the Pages of Star Wars Insider: Anthony Daniels on His New Memoir and Journey as C-3PO

Read an exclusive excerpt from Star Wars Insider's in-depth chat with the Star Wars icon.

Star Wars Insider issue 193 features part one of an exclusive two-part interview with C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels, in which he discusses his career as the golden protocol droid. In this excerpt, Daniels reveals how he came to write his new Star Wars memoir, I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story.

Words: Mark Newbold

Star Wars Insider: Some years ago, long before your C-3PO memoirs, you wrote the Wonder Column for Star Wars Insider.

Anthony Daniels: I did, and I’m thrilled when people remember it. I wrote the column with Dan Madsen, who ran the official Star Wars fan club at the time, to tease my brain, I think. It was written in a particular style that was certainly elliptical and humorous, and slightly challenging to read. It made me laugh. I remember writing something about Julius Caesar going to the supermarket during spring break and getting a six-pack of steak knives in his back, so I tried to extend the remit, if you will. Dressing up as C-3PO only goes so far, so I tried to show that I wasn’t just a man in a suit.

Star Wars Insider: Your book isn’t a straightforward autobiography, as it focuses very much on your Star Wars work.

Anthony Daniels: Apart from one or two dives to the left and right, it is purely about my life in Star Wars, which has been 44 years. I wish it had come up to a nice number like 50, but I’ve got to live a few more years to do that. I made a decision, and it was absolutely conscious, to only really talk about my life with Star Wars and the Star Wars spin-offs, which are legion, and things that are associated with Star Wars of which I’m a part, but if you use the word autobiography, no it’s not.

Anthony Daniels behind the scenes of Star WarsAnthony Daniels behind the scenes of Star WarsAnthony Daniels behind the scenes with the C-3PO costume

Star Wars Insider: What made you decide to write your memoirs at this point in your career?

Anthony Daniels: Well, I didn’t. It wasn’t my idea at all. The publisher asked me. They asked for 40,000 words, and that sounded manageable, and I said, “OK, if you think people will be interested,” and they said, “Oh yes,” so I agreed. Then they said 60,000 would be better, so I’ve written 95,000, give or take the odd word. I hadn’t thought about doing it before because it’s a lot of work to write a book, even with a computer and a keyboard. My heart goes out to Charles Dickens. And thank goodness for the spellcheck.

Star Wars Insider: You mentioned wondering whether potential readers would be interested in C-3PO. Are you surprised that people are so passionate about the character, and Star Wars in general?

Anthony Daniels: It’s funny you should ask that, because I explain why I get it now in the opening chapter of the book. It’s an entirely true story, and it only happened ten years ago. I was hosting Star Wars In Concert, so I was in a situation where night after night I was facing thousands of Star Wars fans and lovers of John Williams’ glorious music. And because they were live shows, live theater, there was a real energy that came across the footlights at me. It was like a crash course in what I’d been missing all these years. Genuinely, I began to see through to the fan’s faces, so I’m a late learner.

Star Wars Insider 193 cover

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I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story arrives November 5 and is available for pre-order now. All Star Wars, all the time.

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