Calling all Jedi and scruffy-looking nerf herders: C-3PO is making the jump to hyper space and flying into town for Boston Comic Con.
Anthony Daniels, the man behind the fan-favorite protocol droid, will be one of several high-profile stars in attendance for the fest’s 10th anniversary, which goes down Aug. 11-13 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The 71-year-old actor is pretty pumped to be back in the city and can’t wait to see all the intricate costumes.
“The enthusiasm and energy of people, particularly who come in costume, I really, really love that,” Daniels says. “Ocassionally there’s someone in a C-3PO costume, which amazes me.”
See what else the “Star Wars” icon had to say about this weekend’s convention, his thoughts on that evil C-3PO fan theory and why he believes in the Force.
You’ll be at Boston Comic Con all weekend long. Are you excited to come back to town?
I’m very happy to come back to Boston. The first time, I think it was 1977 or 1978, because they asked me to come conduct with the Boston Pops orchestra at Symphony Hall dressed up as C-3PO. John Williams and I had done it together in London, so they got me over. It was truly one of the greatest nights of my life to be given a baton and an orchestra.
What do you love the most about the whole comic con experience?
I never really understood why people would come up and say, “Thank you for my childhood” when it all began. Now I do because I had an experience of wanting to meet somebody in L.A. Funny enough, it was Julie Andrews, one of the real stars of the film industry. I happened to be next to her and I suddenly realized I wanted to say thank you. I’ve never done that before or since, and I suddenly realized why people come and say it to me. It’s the personal contact. What is noticeable now, on several occassions, is how emotional people get when they come and talk to me. I found myself really listening to very personal memories that I think I bring out of people. It’s a great honor that people want to share that.
It must be cool to know that you’re the only actor to appear in every single live-action “Star Wars” film.
It’s kind of an honor, but it’s also a piece of movie trivia. What would go wrong if I hadn’t?
What keeps the role of C-3PO interesting for you?
He’s like a really good friend. I wouldn’t want to live with him all the time, but everytime we start dealing with him again, he’s always put in a different situation. He’s very driven by the situations in which the writer and the director has placed him. He’s not a protagonist. He’s part of a team. Right at the beginning we got to know him very well in “Episode IV.” Now, we know him quite well and we can kind of guess how he’s going to react to some drama.
There’s a popular fan theory making the rounds online that C-3PO is actually a spy for the Empire. Do you think the droid is secretly working for the Dark Side?
[Laughs] One of the things that I think is remarkable is how George [Lucas’] invention, and those who’ve come after him on the saga, has absolutely fertilized the minds of people who aren’t nerds or geeks or whatever rude word people might use some times. It’s spurred their imaginations. Who knows where that’s going to lead. When people meet me at comic cons, I am known for not giving away spoilers. They spoil things for everybody, so I can neither confirm or deny any relationship C-3PO might have with the Empire.
Besides “Star Wars,” what else are you working on these days?
“Star Wars” is kind of my career now. I’m so amazingly lucky to have been given a role where I can get older on the inside. I think people are amused by what I really look like, and it isn’t getting any better, I have to tell you. C-3PO remains somebody we recognize very, very clearly because, apart from the spare parts, he does remain the same. But also, I’ve reached a point where I want to enjoy life. My wife and I do a lot of traveling around the world. I really think “Star Wars” is my thing and I’m hugely lucky that’s the case. Very few actors have this chance.
It’s curious because I’m famed for having turned down the interview with George Lucas in 1975 because I wasn’t interested. I’m also famed because he didn’t want to use my voice and tried to replace it after filming. George came around and, because of that, I have been able to voice and and add to C-3PO’s character for more than 41 years. On two counts, I almost wasn’t there at all. I’m not sure I believe in the Force, but there are two examples where I was made to go meet George against my will, and somehow he changed his mind about the voice. There is something out there. I’m not sure what it is.
If you go:
August 11-13, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., Boston, bostoncomiccon.com