C-3PO Plays a Pivotal Role in "Trespass" on STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS
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Jay Cochran - January 27, 2009
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Anthony Daniels and his alter ego C-3PO play a pivotal role in “Trespass,” an all-new episode of the hit animated series STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, premiering at 9 p.m. ET/PT Friday, Jan. 30, on Cartoon Network.
While investigating the disappearance of a clone security force on a fiercly inhospitable ice world, Anakin and Obi-Wan are caught in the middle of a conflict between the planet’s natives and the greedy representatives of a nearby moon. In an effort to broker a tentative peace, Anakin turns to C-3PO for help – and finds his fluency in more than 6 million forms of communication to be most useful.
Daniels has played C-3PO on screen in all six STAR WARS movies, and has continued in the role since the inception of STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS. With the animated series, Daniels becomes the only actor to play the same role in every on-screen incarnation of the Saga. He has also become a spokesman and host for the popular Art and Science of Star Wars exhibition around the world, and has written extensively about his experiences as a part of the Star Wars phenomenon.
“I've never left the character or, rather, he's never left me,” says Daniels. “I put him in the cupboard for a while, but people call and I take him out again. There was a time many years ago when I thought I should move on to other things, but then I thought that was stupid. I'm very fond of Threepio.”
Daniels says the voiceover performance of Threepio is a welcome respite from the rigors of bringing Threepio to the screen in live-action productions. He finds the animation process offers “quite a lot of freedom.”
“When you're reading lines by yourself, it's not always as easy to ad-lib,” Daniels says. “But what Dave (Filoni) and I do is to go over my lines before we start because, sadly, I am the world's greatest expert. And I say that with a kind of wry fun, because Threepio is kind of like my best friend, and you know your best friend better than anyone.”
Filoni says, “It was important to have Anthony as Threepio because I wanted to learn as much from him as I could. Anthony has incredible insight into every word and phrase that he says. There’s rarely a line that he won’t adapt to Threepio’s cadence, so we’ve developed a good vocabulary. We’re both excited to do new things with Threepio, and hopefully in the future, viewers will see us expand our view of the character. After all, Threepio is as much an icon of Star Wars as Darth Vader.”
In “Trespass,” Threepio presents his most proper, most effective side – that of translator. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t provide a moment or two of levity, as is usually the case with the protocol droid.
“The thing I always liked about Threepio is that he wasn't a hero – he was somebody who had no sense of humor and no sense of irony,” Daniels says. “He doesn't know that he's funny. We think he's funny because he's ridiculous, he's uptight and a bit critical and it makes us laugh at him. But his saving grace and the reason that we like him is that he's very thoughtful and very loyal. If he's on your side, you would have a friend to the end of your existence. Or probably to the end of his existence, because he's loyal to a fault, to his last nut and his last bolt.”
Daniels has a clear memory of the original reference to the Clone Wars, and the curious impression it had on the cast – though, he admits, nobody had any idea it would grow to the proportions it has achieved within the Star Wars universe.
“I was amused the other day to remember Mark Hamill going through his lines with me one day, and we both kind of looked at each other regarding this casual one-liner about ‘the Clone Wars,’” Daniels recalls. “And then of course, it got picked up in the prequels and now it's its own TV series. Animation has grown up. It's become very, very honorable, and I think Clone Wars has taken the next step.”
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