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C-3PO actor confirms character's fate after Rise of Skywalker

The Star Wars galaxy is home to many much-loved personalities, human and alien alike. But there is also a third category of characters that have managed to steal fans' hearts over the years — the ever-present droids. Understandably, among the most popular are the two who assist our heroes throughout the entire nine-film Skywalker Saga, C-3PO and R2-D2.

While the cast of characters and actors have been ever-changing over the course of the series, C-3PO, the "human-cyborg relations" droid, has been depicted by actor Anthony Daniels since day one. He has appeared in every movie in the main series, including the upcoming Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker; with the first movie being released way back in 1977, that's five decades during which the actor has awkwardly spit out facts and odds that our heroes don't want to hear.

Daniels, who turned 73 in February 2019, knows that his time playing the neurotic golden droid won't last forever. The actor addressed the subject in his new autobiography, I am C-3PO: The Inside Story, which was released on October 31, 2019.

What happens to the clumsy droid when Anthony Daniels steps down?

Daniels' book details the trials and tribulations of being one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe, while also being one of the least recognized actors. He also shares behind the scenes stories from the set dating all the way back to the first film, reminisces about the wonderful people he got to work with along the way, and offers up tasty anecdotes for fans to giggle at.

It's the final chapter which might make fans' hearts sink, though, as they realize that Daniels might not be the person clomping around on set in a golden suit in the not-too-distant future. The actor closed the book with a look to what will happen to C-3PO once he's forced to leave the character behind. 

"I surely recognize, I will someday leave the stage," Daniels wrote. "I hope I will do so in the knowledge that I have imbued See-Threepio with enough life that, with the love of the fans, he will go on without me."

Speaking to Radio Times, Daniels went a step further, first self-deprecatingly suggesting that there are plenty of people who could take on the role in his stead. "There are people wandering around Disney theme parks, dressed in rather better suits than mine," he explained, adding flippantly, "They seem to move a lot more easily."

Daniels then went on to remark just a touch more seriously that, despite the fact that the Skywalker Saga is coming to an end with The Rise of Skywalker, he couldn't imagine that this means C-3PO will be gone from the silver screen forever. "He is too good of a character, too big of a character, to die with me," Daniels said. "And Disney paid a lot of money for him! You know what I mean? They've got to get their money back somehow."

The future of Star Wars

Obviously, Daniels feels that the awkward droid is far too important a character to be left by the wayside simply because he can't play the role anymore. It seems safe to assume that C-3PO isn't going to come to serious harm (at least, not more than he already has in previous films, where he has been dismembered and beheaded on more than one occasion) in The Rise of Skywalker, since Daniels is still talking about the character's future.

While there are more Star Wars films in the works, there will be some time off between The Rise of Skywalker and whatever comes next. No exact dates have been announced as of yet, but Disney CEO Bob Iger recently stated that fans shouldn't expect any more lightsaber battles in theaters until at least 2022.

Whether Daniels would be prepared to continue in the role is something the actor hasn't addressed yet, but it seems clear that he wants to see C-3PO grace the screen again regardless of who may be wearing the costume. If the droid does indeed return, but Daniels does not, the casting decision may fall to Rian Johnson. The director of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi was tapped to potentially write and direct a new trilogy in 2017, and he's recently confirmed that those talks are still ongoing.

"I never wanted to be famous..."

Daniels was just 29 when he was first cast as C-3PO in 1975, and while he has enjoyed playing the lovable droid for over 40 years, he also addresses how he struggled with his relative anonymity compared to the rest of the cast, especially when he first landed the role for the original 1977 film.

"As I say in the book, in the beginning it bothered me that nobody was allowed to know who I was. It hurt me greatly," he explained, admitting that even so, he knew the novelty of instant fame would have worn off quickly.

"I never wanted to be famous," Daniels continued on to say. "I don't know what the point of it is, really. Unless you've done something amazing, like you're David Attenborough, it doesn't interest me. I get recognized quite often enough to make me happy... people just come up to me in the street. 'Are you C-3PO?' And I'll say, 'not today, but sometimes.'" 

If that isn't enough to make Star Wars fans adore the C-3PO actor even more, then we're just not sure what will.