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There’s one person who was involved with the original Star Wars Holiday Special who never imagined that those words would ever be put together again. Anthony Daniels, the man behind C-3PO, has been a part of almost every Star Wars project that you can think of since he first shuffled through the sands of Tunisia while making the first film in 1976, and that includes being a major presence in everything LEGO Star Wars. Naturally, he’s a big part of the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, which began streaming on Disney+ on Nov. 17.
How exactly does the power of LEGO make such a project possible? Will Daniels ever step down from his work in Star Wars? Most important of all — there’s one fairly popular Star Wars live-action series going on at the moment that has yet to receive the honor of a Daniels appearance. Could The Mandalorian be in his future?
“You’re not really meant to mention the original... it’s like a family secret,” Daniels tells SYFY WIRE when asked about the original (and infamous) Star Wars Holiday Special. “It’s that corpse that’s in the attic.”
The difference this time, it would seem, is a bit of bravery and some wholesome LEGO magic.
“I love LEGO. Unfortunately, the original Holiday Special didn’t have anything to do with LEGO, and it was an interesting piece, as you know,” Daniels says. “Now it’s all changed because the bravery of the producers in calling this new program LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special... those words could evoke sleepless nights. But they did it, and they put the word LEGO in front of it, and that’s changed everything.”
“With LEGO, it opens up galaxies that you can’t do in the movies, and it opens up possibilities to mix and match various characters and have wacky adventures,” Daniels continues. “It also allows you to make fun of the whole serious side of Star Wars. With the LEGO Special, they’ve been able to throw the rules up in the ash, and have in fact invented quite a clever vehicle... it almost makes me think of Scrooge.”
The special looks like it will indeed have a bit of A Christmas Carol tone to it. As Daniels says, “You can go into the past and have a look and remember stuff. Because that’s what you do on celebration days, you kind of look back at stuff. Look back at the year, look back at your family’s history, and so on. And LEGO is doing this in a major way.”
That Dickens holiday magic worked for The Muppets (in a tremendously triumphant way, no arguments are allowed on this), so putting that manner of storytelling into the LEGO Star Wars mix seems like a winning formula.
The special isn’t the only new piece of Star Wars programming going on at the moment though, as Season 2 of The Mandalorian is currently blowing minds each and every week. Daniels has appeared in every single movie and animated series (though Threepio doesn’t appear in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Daniels does), so is a Threepio/Daniels blessing in the sabacc deck?
“I am waiting for the call,” Daniels says. “So far my phone has been silent. Dave Filoni, are you listening? To be fair, Threepio has to be in the right time zone, he’s too big a character to leave in the back somewhere... and The Mandalorian is superb. The production values are just amazing. Quite rightly it’s garnered huge audiences...”
“I think it just does lack a certain spark or a certain glint there," he adds, speaking more to Filoni, a beloved Star Wars creator (and George Lucas mentee), than to SYFY WIRE. "And Threepio, Dave Filoni, could provide that. You have my number, call me.”
Since 1977, the original cast of Star Wars has grown smaller, as we’ve sadly lost Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Peter Mayhew, Alec Guinness, and Kenny Baker. Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill are still very active, but they seem to have finally put their Star Wars involvement behind them. Will Daniels ever put Threepio behind him, or is he in it for life?
“I think possibly, if they’ll have me, I’m in it for life,” Daniels answers. “Actors don’t die... they fade away. We’ll see what happens. Everything is for grabs these days, but Threepio’s been a great companion all these years and I intend for that to go on.”
He couldn’t help but add, “As long as people like Dave Filoni give me a call.”
To hear Daniels give these answers himself (and to revel and celebrate anything and everything in Star Wars) be sure to take a journey with our heroes over on SYFY WIRE's Jabba the Pod.