One of the undoubted highlights of the Empire Big Screen weekend recently was the appearance of a host of Star Wars veterans eager to talk about the upcoming blu-ray release of the movies.

Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), producer Robert Watts and stunt co-ordinator Nick Gillard were on hand to delight both press and fans.

Here is the best of what both Anthony and Jeremy had to say.

 

Q. There is so much detail on the discs regarding fan interest, conventions etc. Do you think it is fair to say everybody is a bit of a Star Wars geek?

AD: I think if you use the word geek or fan it has a bit of a negative tinge that suggests you are not quite normal if you like Star Wars. Actually the range of Star Wars fans, geeks or whatever you want to call them covers three generations through all walks of society.

I was talking with some stormtroopers from the 501st the other day and I asked them what they did for their day jobs and there were surgeons, an oceanographer and teachers – it was quite remarkable.

JB: It still amazes me just how big it is today and I am still surprised by just how popular Boba Fett remains.

I think a lot of it is down to the costume – you just put it on and you felt the part.

There is a mystery about him and that should never go away.

You should never know what he is thinking and it was such a terrific part to play.

 

Q. What are your most cherished memories from making the films?

JB: Not a day goes by without somebody wanting to talk to me about Star Wars and that is incredible.

I have such huge memories from the films.

Now it is being past on to my grandchildren who are starting to watch the films – one of them said recently though that they liked Boba Fett, but they preferred Jar-Jar Binks, and I wasn’t going to stand for that!

AD: Having been in all six movies there are so many memories.

Curiously it was the first day on Tatooine that was my fondest memory.

It was incredibly hot and I had been two hours with a crew of six people dressing me in the 3PO costume.

It was agony as it did not fit but they eventually got it right.

Finally they pulled back the canvas on the tent and 3PO stepped out for the first time.

The crew froze and I could see their reactions through the eye holes in the costume.

They were looking in amazement and it was my only true moment of fame.

After that they got used to me and I became a bit of an object really.

 

Q. When you were first offered the parts, how did you react?

AD: When I was asked to meet George Lucas to talk about playing the part of a robot in a sci-fi film I said no, I was not interested.

Thankfully my agent told me to go along as he said you never know what it may lead to, and it has led me here today.

I ended up wanting the part as there was a painting of the character on the wall where we met and I really, really liked it.

C-3PO is not a hero and he is not a villain.

He just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, along with having talents that are utterly useless to him.

 

Q. George obviously keeps revisiting the movies and changing them in ways. What would you change if you had the chance?

AD: Well, there were times when we were filming that I would see Mark Hamill in his floppy clothes, being able to sit down and stuff like that and I wished I had his part!

Seriously though, I used to take the scripts and with all politeness and humility say to George ‘can I change this or that’?

He let me do it as I had become something of an expert on the character, so I got to change what I wanted in fact.

JB: I think Boba Fett’s death came far too soon in Return of the Jedi.

I would like to have seen him fighting for at least 10 minutes!

 

Q. For anyone who has not actually seen the Star Wars films, how would you recommend they watch them on blu-ray?

AD: When we did the Star Wars concerts we told the story from film one to six.

To tell you the truth it was the first time in 30-odd years that I fully understood the story.

I think it makes more sense that way so that is how I would watch it.

JB: I think that is right.

People can get confused if they watch them out of order, and if you are trying to show them on paper how things work out, it makes a lot more sense to see them in order.

 

Q. Where do you see Star Wars in another 10-20 years?

AD: If you look at the animated series Clone Wars, what it extraordinary is that it appeals to young children.

These children have not actually seen the Star Wars films.

They are working their way through Clone Wars with all these extended storylines and then they will go on to the films and become the next generation of fans.

Curiously for a film that was a one-off back in 1976, for the audience to give us permission to keep it going is quite remarkable.

You only have to look at the number of people who wear Star Wars t-shirts, or how phrases and terminology has become part of everyday language to see it is not going anywhere.

It is part of our culture and it will keep on going.

 

Star Wars is released on Blu-Ray on September 12.

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.