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Anthony Daniels talks long ride as C-3PO in ‘Star Wars’

C-3PO appears in 9 of main ‘Star Wars’ films

TOKYO, JAPAN - DECEMBER 11: (L-R) Katherine Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Anthony Daniels with Star Wars characters Stormtroopers, Kylo Ren, R2-D2, C-3PO, BB-8 and D-O pose for photos at the special fan event for 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' the special fan event for 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' at Roppongi Hills on December 11, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Getty Images for Disney)
TOKYO, JAPAN - DECEMBER 11: (L-R) Katherine Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Anthony Daniels with Star Wars characters Stormtroopers, Kylo Ren, R2-D2, C-3PO, BB-8 and D-O pose for photos at the special fan event for 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' the special fan event for 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' at Roppongi Hills on December 11, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Christopher Jue/Getty Images for Disney) (2019 Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – Anthony Daniels went through a painful experience after not receiving the same amount of public recognition as other co-stars when the first “Star Wars” film released in 1977.

But in time, Daniels’ C-3PO character became one of the most popular in the franchise and he’s the only cast member to have appeared in all nine of the main “Star Wars” films. The British actor plays the soft-spoken “protocol droid” built by young Anakin Skywalker that is fluent in six million languages. His gold-plated character also appeared in the franchise’s the spin-off “Rogue One,” and had a cameo in “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”

Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) provided the voice for the droid character in the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" from 2008 through 2011 and in 2014's "The Lego Movie." In addition to the second and third installments of the original trilogy, Daniels donned the suit, and provided the voice of, C-3PO, in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, which he will also be doing for "Star Wars: Episode VII." He's also a frequent guest at "Star Wars" events worldwide.
Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) provided the voice for the droid character in the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" from 2008 through 2011 and in 2014's "The Lego Movie." In addition to the second and third installments of the original trilogy, Daniels donned the suit, and provided the voice of, C-3PO, in the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, which he will also be doing for "Star Wars: Episode VII." He's also a frequent guest at "Star Wars" events worldwide. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

C-3PO’s witty exchanges with fellow droid R2-D2 often served as comic relief, making the tandem fan favorites.

It’s been a long ride for the 73-year-old Daniels, who believes his appearance in “The Rise of Skywalker,” which opens in theaters Friday, will likely be his last film appearance as C-3PO. He highlights his “Star Wars” experiences in his new memoir “I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story,” which released in late October.

In a recent interview, Daniels spoke with The Associated Press about playing C-3PO and reflects on some of the best memories in the past 42 years in the iconic franchise.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Character C-3PO attends the "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" European Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on December 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Character C-3PO attends the "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" European Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on December 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

AP: What has it been like to film in all nine films?

Daniels: It’s been a ton of work, and a ton of employment, which is great. As an actor, you’re always looking for the next job. And often that next job for me has been something to do with “Star Wars.” The friendship and companionship of being C-3PO has been quite a gift.

AP: Are you surprised “Star Wars” made it this far?

Daniels: At the end of “A New Hope,” the original film, I thought that was it. Twelve weeks of weird and difficult work. Not entirely wonderful. I thought that was it. Then they came and said “Let’s make another one, then another.” ... So I’ve been swept along by forces beyond my control. But finally, it is ending.

AP: Is “A New Hope” your favorite film compared to the rest?

Daniels: Yes, because I understood it. The story was simple enough that I got it. It got a bit complicated after that. It was an innocent film out of nowhere.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Characters BB-8, D-O, R2-D2 and C-3PO attend the "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" European Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on December 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Characters BB-8, D-O, R2-D2 and C-3PO attend the "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" European Premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square on December 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

AP: It was your favorite film, but you struggled with being overlooked after “Star Wars’” release as well, right?

Daniels: It was difficult not being associated with the film when it first came out. That was a painful experience that lasted quite a while, but then changed over the course in time. It brings me here today with my name on the poster. Only parents care about that sort of thing.

AP: What has been your most memorable experience?

Daniels: In the desert on the first episode. It was absolutely riveting. It had such an impact. Seeing the effect of people looking at me in the costume then seeing their reactions. You are the center of attention. They can’t see you, but you’re absorbing the energy. That was pretty intense. That stays with me.

AP: When you put on your costume, what goes through your mind?

Daniels: Here we go again. Why am I doing this? And then, adrenaline is a great thing when somebody on set says “action.” Suddenly, your professional skills take over. The adrenaline gently sets in and you put up with stuff. You make it work as a professional actor.

R2-D2, left, and C-3PO characters arrive at world premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
R2-D2, left, and C-3PO characters arrive at world premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) (Invision)

AP: What does the character, C-3PO, mean to you?

Daniels: He’s kind of my friend, my companion. He’s somebody I know quite well. I want to be with him all the time. I’m proud to know him.

AP: What was it like for you not having Carrie Fisher around during filming “The Rise of Skywalker?”

Daniels: It was little wistful. But she is so there in all these films. You sort of forget that she’s died, because she’s just there. That’s the magic of the media. Nobody is really gone anymore. You may not be able to physically touch them. But they are there. There are fond memories.

AP: What mark has your character and “Star Wars” left?

Daniels: It’s so big that I kind of don’t get it yet. I need to be away from it for a while. Maybe I need to talk to more fans. So many people say “Thank you for my childhood.” We have given people a lot of stuff. They have given back with all their enthusiasm and affection.