Oh thank the maker!
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Anthony Daniels shared a number of tales from four decades of playing C-3PO and revealed that the Episode VII costume will be rebuilt so that he could continue to perform on set. He stated that he disliked the parts in the prequels when the character was CGI-d, describing them as “awful”:
“I will tell you that when J.J. Abrams rang me to ask about filming Episode VII, one of the first things he said after he told me how wonderful I was — and that didn’t take long — but he then said, “Would you be interested in being in the film just doing the voice?” I said, “No,” and he said, “Right!” He knew I’d say that. There’s no way I would just do the voice. I also said that it can’t be the same suit. I will tell you that the team then got together and built a new suit.
“They made an entirely new look-a-like with changes that you will never notice that made my life a lot easier. I can get it on and off very quickly. [In the prequels], the only time he’s been CG was when it was very dangerous [to act in the scene in a suit] — and it wasn’t very good. In fact, I’m going to say it was awful. One of the difficulties is with a character that you know and love so well is that, as a member of the audience, you go, “Oh no, that’s not right. No, he doesn’t move like that.” With me, he’s always going to move the same way and have the same reactions, timing, and so on. With CG, you’re working with some brilliant person on the keyboard who is trying to pretend to be me.”
He goes on: “The only time that has worked without doubt is Disney’s Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. There’s an element in the pre-show which is digital and I cannot tell it’s not me. It’s brilliantly done by Disney. In a cartoon series like Rebels, you accept it because it’s not trying to pretend to be reality. It’s an extension, it’s an exaggeration. On that basis, it’s utterly acceptable — providing the characterization is correct.”
He also clarified his favourite line in the entire saga: “We’re doomed!”
Star Wars Episode VII is due out on 18 December 2015.