The Oct. 18 concert will feature live music and live narration from Anthony Daniels, the actor who played the golden robot C-3P0. We talked to Daniels on 9NEWS 6 a.m.
Daniels will be backed up by a full symphony orchestra and choir. Clips from some of the movies' most famous scenes will play on huge overhead screens. For complete details please visit http://www.starwarsinconcert.com/
Transcript of Q&A with Anthony Daniels
Question: You'll be going on the road for all of these dates?
Answer: Oh yeah, I think we have 46 cities just at the moment and I'm a little nervous about it 'cause you know, I'm not getting any younger! This is a high energy tour for me and the conductor and the orchestra and the guys who actually move this massive set, literally across (the) country.
Q: You know doing the movies was probably a case of 'hurry up and wait,' not in this case?
A: No this is 'hurry up and hurry up,' because sometimes ya know, I've actually giving up trying to understand the schedule because uh, I don't know for instance when I arrive in Denver but I've been to Denver lots of times, I'm pretty much at home there and I know I have some old friends who are coming to visit and see me in Star Wars In Concert. So I'm hoping actually to get around the city a bit.
Q. Our altitude always throws people for a loop; it sounds like you've gotten use to it?
A: Um, it takes a moment to suddenly go [gasp] and you think you're not having a heart attack, you've just come up a mile high, so that's fine.
But I know there's a huge love of Star Wars within the Denver area cause ya know many years ago we had a big conference, convention there and a huge outpouring of love and I want people to come and re-live their childhood memories and you know even 4 year olds I would say are perfectly capable of coming and just having a wonderful evening.
Q: One of the reasons Star Wars worked is because of the music. This arena tour is such a natural outgrowth of that.
A: I think so and I love that fact that John Williams music is actually really being honored. This is the basis for it. But then Lucas Film decided to actually enhance it, not just show you the films again, which we already know and love, but to make special montages, where John Williams music is themed around a subject so you will get elements from each of the six movies, behind the scenes stuff and again woven in with live coverage of the orchestra actually creating that sound especially for you.
Q: So will you actually be reading excerpts through dialog, or are you just a narrator?
A: I'm not sure about the word just there, OK? [Laughs] I'm the narrator and I have learned this stuff. Oh, yes I'll tell you the opening line. Maybe you can guess. 'A long time ago.'
You see even you know that one! I tell very simply the story very directly to the audience right around the arena. I have, you know, I'll look as big as this action figure on stage [holds up C-3P0 doll] about that big. But my face for the most part will be about 80 feet across. So be prepared because it is this face right here, rather than the gold one.
Q. So the wizard comes out from behind the curtain.
A: That is a very good way of putting it. It is if you like my moment to shine, C-3P0 is shown throughout. Given that I didn't even want to be in the original one and also given the fact that in Star Wars Episode 4 'New Hope' C-3P0 says 'I'm not very good at telling stories, but not at making them interesting anyways,' but here I am!
In episode 6 of course he tells the story to the Ewoks. Here I am in Denver telling you, very deliberately telling you, the clear story line and letting those memories flood back. And even for people who've never seen Star Wars, this is your chance to sneak in. Don't tell anybody you've never seen Star Wars, cause they'll look at you weird!
But you'll come out knowing the story, do you know I have to tell you at two o'clock this morning I was humming, [Star Wars theme] , 'Dum Dah Dum, bump bump bah...' I don't want it in my head at two o'clock in the morning! You will be humming the tune tunes too. Trust me.
Q. You resisted the C-3P0 role in the beginning, why was that?
A: I was a serious young actor, too serious.
Q: Shakespeare and all that?
A: Yes, all that stuff yes, all the famous dead people. And I thought that's what acting was basically about. And back then there had never really been a robot that really had a personality, as George tended to have in his writing.
I would spend three years at drama school learning to promote with my face, hands and gestures as a gesture and so on. But I had learned quite a bit about mimes. So I know how to work my body as it were. And my agent made me go and see him [Lucas].
And then of course I fell in love, absolutely in love with an image that Rock McCurry painted. Fans will know this story but ya know if you're just coming as someone who loves orchestra music, wondering who the guy is on the side of the stage. It is me. From that moment you know who has spent on and off over 33 years, now the only person to be in all 6 Star War movies cause he went back in time just to meet older characters, other characters were digitized through George's love in a digital medium.
[There were] times, I will tell you, times of thinking, 'Oh the Star
I've gone through kind of an epiphany where I'm just so thrilled people know me for this and thrilled actually now to be able to come to Denver, stand on stage and say, 'Yeah, this is the man behind the mask if you'd like, uh and here is the story which I love and you love and let's all love it together in slightly different way then before.'
Q: Other actors from the films never came to the epiphany you did.
A: The sad thing for me is that Sir Alec Guinness entdied before he reached this point and it did concern me that he [never] realized what you just said. Ya know this is actually very nice good thing and I'm very lucky to be a part of it and I'm huge lucky to have stayed with it over the years.
Q. What other Star Wars activities are you involved in?
A: You know, currently I'm doing the Clone Wars which is a hugely popular cartoon series. I don't have to dress up, I just do the voice. And because of my staying with it I've gotten over that little bump and I'm just thrilled to be the narrator of the show and can you imagine the power I feel. I am there on this massive stage, 86-piece orchestra this choir behind them, the conductor, we have a laser show so elegant and moving.
It gets an 'ahhh' from the audience--and me--in this vast set, the feeling of power is immense you see because my narration always gives the key word to set the whole thing in motion each time so I feel very important, of course I'm not, they tell me.
Q: I'm starting to see the Dark Side starting to creep in!
A: You know, I've suppressed it all these years [laughs]. You know C-3PO's very nice, a bit touchy from time to time, but hey you know George stuck him in difficult situations so the reason I've been able to stick with C-3PO and the Star War series is I'm actually very fond of him as a character, he's looked out for me, I try and look out for him.