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Few know the inner workings of the Star Wars world like Anthony Daniels. The actor behind C-3PO has been in more Star Wars stories, across various media, than literally anyone else — and the only actor to take part in all episodic entries in the franchise. So it makes sense that he’d know the inside scoop. In his new memoir, I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story, Daniels takes fans behind the scenes for the final film in the Skywalker Saga: The Rise of Skywalker.
The golden protocol droid will return for the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars episode, closing out a run he started in the 1977 original. And The Rise of Skywalker seems to already have many parallels to A New Hope — at least in terms of location. That’s because, while A New Hope shot in Tunisia, The Rise of Skywalker shot in Jordan, to create another desert locale for the saga. This time, however, it wasn’t just locals checking out production. As Daniels describes, Jordan’s King Abdullah II “had helicoptered onto set” and was “truly, endearingly happy to see a Star Wars movie being filmed in his own back yard.”
That part of production included plenty of rewrites that Daniels said kept hemorrhaging words from the script. “Beloved scenes gone,” the actor said, pointing one out in particular: “One lost exchange with Poe haunts me still.” Oscar Isaac had previously said that his character, Poe Dameron, and C-3PO “got to work a lot together,” and that the pair of actors shared their final day on set. What that line was will remain a mystery at least until the final film is released.
The desert world of Pasaana wasn’t the only new planet 3PO trekked. There was also Kijimi, frigid home of Keri Russell's Zorii Bliss. Daniels confirmed that he and Rey actress Daisy Ridley would be making appearances there alongside Russell, while hinting that the long-teased Knights of Ren "were rumored to be" around the planet as well. He also mentions “a shrine,” though to what he leaves vague.
Finally, Daniels dropped some teases about how things may end for the faithful C-3PO.
The details below may include spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker. Proceed at your own peril!
In the memoir, Daniels confirms that for 3PO's final scene, he’s in the company of “two of his favourite humans” — seemingly referring to Ridley and Finn portrayer John Boyega, judging from a major scene in the trailer — and has no lines. But fear not, 3PO fans: That silence doesn’t mean he’s out of operation. In fact, Daniels explains that he asked Abrams to kill off 3PO — give him a “fitting, meaningful end” that might include “a melting down perhaps — a careless scrapping. In human terms, a death, for the Cause.” But he was denied. Abrams simply replied, "Not on my watch."
The Rise of Skywalker will explain what that all means when it hits theaters on Dec. 20. Meanwhile, I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story, published by DK, is in stores now.