STAR WARS - 10 Things You Might Not Know About C-3PO

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This is the droid Geek Dave was looking for...


1. Neither C-3PO or R2-D2 appeared in George Lucas' original 1973 fourteen-page story synopsis of "The Star Wars", but the following year when Lucas put together his initial 132-page rough draft he introduced two construction robot characters called ARTWO DETWO and See Threepio, who worked in an Imperial Space Fortress. Lucas described Threepio as being tall, thin, old, battered, and of Human proportions, and, along with ARTWO, he was to be as a construction robot in an Imperial Space Fortress.

As the Fortress is attacked by Aquilaean starships, Threepio was the robot who decided to abandon ship, while ARTWO was hesitant to desert their duty. The two then land in the dune sea of Utapau, where they meet Starkiller

By 1975, George Lucas had re-written his treatment again, and re-titled it to The Adventures of the Starkiller, Episode I: The Star Wars. The story now began with the two droids aboard a Rebel Spacefighter and followed their evacuation, landing on Utapau, and being captured by Jawas. With relatively few changes, to their story or character descriptions, this is how the two droids went on to appear in the original Star Wars film.

2. Lucas drew inspiration from Akira Kurosawa's 1958 film The Hidden Fortress, which is told from the point of view of the peasants Tahei and Matashichi, who are the film's comic relief duo that travel Japan in the company of a General and a Princess, and, despite coming from the lowest possible social class, are privy to an adventure taking place on a grand level of international diplomacy. Lucas thus wrote C-3PO and R2-D2 into Star Wars as similar comic characters and narrators to The Hidden Fortress's peasants.

3. Lucas wanted C-3PO's face to be a completely neutral one that the viewer could read emotion into based on the droid's environment, and conceived of the character's personality as being akin to a used-car salesman who would say whatever was necessary to please others.


4. C-3PO's original appearance, visible in concept art by Ralph McQuarrie, was based on Maschinenmensch from the 1927 silent film Metropolis.

5. British actor Anthony Daniels was hesitant to audition for the part of C-3PO.
"I didn't want to go, because [my agent] said it's the part of a robot, so I said 'You're mad! I don't play robots.'" 
After being convinced by his agent to meet George Lucas and read the Star Wars's script, he began to feel that C-3PO had the potential to be a very likable character with a large personality, but he still wasn't sure if he wanted the role. It was McQuarrie's painting (above) of C-3PO and R2-D2 that swung it as he saw a vulnerability in the character's face that invoked pity, which interested him performance wise.


6. For Lucas, Anthony Daniels was the perfect 'fit' - in that he was tall and slender and classically trained in the art of mime. However, after the shoot for Star Wars was over, just as he did with David Prowse/Darth Vader, Lucas toyed with the idea of re-dubbing all of Daniels lines and using a different (likely American) actor to provide C-3PO's voice.

Lucas was eventually convinced by sound designer Ben Burtt, among others, that Daniels's vocal performance was an excellent one that he had synchronized well with his body motions. Daniels thus re-recorded every line of C-3PO's dialogue, with Burtt going on to credit his "complete performance" as pivotal to create a successful total character

7. Daniels is the only person to appear in all Star Wars movies to date. Kenny Baker's scenes as R2-D2 for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith were mostly shot during the filming of Episode II (with the rest of R2's footage created through CGI), however Baker still receives the official credit for playing R2-D2 in the film. But Daniels one-ups him by also providing the voice of C-3PO in the 2008 theatrical release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.




8. Daniels has also performed as or voiced the protocol droid in a multitude of spin-off material, beginning with 1978's The Star Wars Holiday Special and its embedded animated short The Story of the Faithful Wookiee. He has also appeared in all three radio dramas of the original Star Wars trilogy (for which he made notations in the scripts and revised C-3PO's dialogue), Disney's Star Tours, all thirteen episodes of the animated series Star Wars: Droids and its hour-long special The Great Heep. As well as lending his voice to several video games, including Star Wars: Pit Droids and Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance.


9. C-3PO and his little droid pal were snuck into a scene during Raiders of the Lost Arc. The pair appear in hieroglyphics in the Well of Souls.


10. In addition to appearing in all six principal episodes of Star Wars to date, C-3PO holds the honor of speaking the first and last lines of the entire saga - depending on which way you view it that is. In the opening scene of the original 1977 Star Wars, the protocol droid kicks off the film's dialogue by asking R2-D2,
"Did you hear that? They've shut down the main reactor. We'll be destroyed for sure! This is madness. There'll be no escape for the Princess this time."
Nearly thirty years later, the spoken portions of Revenge of the Sith concluded with C-3PO reacting to the news that he would receive a memory wipe by uttering,
"Oh no!" 
Also, both the respective scenes take place aboard the starship Tantive IV, and were filmed on the same set.

Whether C-3PO will speak the first line of The Force Awakens remains to be seen.

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