EW has interviewed Anthony Daniels about everything from the previous six Star Wars films, the upcoming film, various appearances and Star Wars Rebels. I suggest reading the whole thing as Daniels is a fascinating interview. Of particular interest is that he confirms See-Threepio looks exactly the same in the next film.
I will tell you that when [director] 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 [on screen] that made my life a lot easier. I can get it on and off very quickly.
I know some guy on Twitter will scoff and say “was it ever in question, bro? It wasn’t….bro.” Well it was. Star Tours II featured a life life film realistic CGI Threepio and there was the chance he would have been based off that model for the new film. As we started to learn more about Star Wars: Episode VII it seemed less and less likely, but now we have confirmation and the story about how Daniels first spoke to Abrams. So that’s awesome news (even though the CGI version is incredible and would have worked just fine).
He also discusses Threepio’s changes over the years:
To a casual fan, the character’s personality seems consistent. Has Threepio grown?
It’s a very good question actually. [Pause]. If you ask me about Episode VII … of course I will deny any knowledge whatsoever. But it occurred to me on the set the other day, because I’ve been doing it for so long, being 3PO for so long, I have a kind of confidence about what he would do in a particular scene. I think 3PO might have grown in confidence over the years because he’s survived so many dramas and he’s gained so much knowledge about what’s going on in the galaxy. He may have grown in that way. But generally the way he appears to grow is by being faced by new situations and new conflicts. He’s very much a washing machine — you could put in a set of fine lingerie and he might do it on a different cycle. It’s what you give him to do that brings out fresh attitudes. He might meet somebody who is rude or smelly or just awful and that brings out — I won’t say snobbishness, he is a bit of a snob but … it brings out his reactive quality. That’s always funny for me because I look for new ways to become appalled. A lot of the time in the studio, you should realize, I read the words, my mouth opens, he comes out of my mouth and we all laugh. I laugh. The director laughs, and the engineer laughs. You think, “Yeah, this is really good.”
I can’t wait to see Threepio and Artoo back together in Star Wars: Episode VII.
Thanks to Adam Bray for the heads up via his Twitter account!