When Daniels arrives in St. Louis for tomorrow's show at the Scottrade Center -- which is dubbed Star Wars In Concert -- he'll be with an 86-piece orchestra. (Besides being a musical Cliffs Notes on the six-film saga, Concert also showcases the scores of John Williams.) There will also be movie props -- including the C-3PO costume -- on display for fans before the show. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets range in price from $32.50 to $72.50 (More details here.)
We talked with Daniels about the tour, and laid on the fanboy questions about the infamous Star Wars holiday special, him cutting apart the C-3PO costume on set and whether he has any of those Kellogg's C-3PO's cereal boxes stashed away. (Download a podcast of this interview.)
You are in Chicago now. How was last night's show in Cleveland? It
was glorious as I think back. In Cleveland there, yes. Every night has
been pretty spectacular for us. And I think for the audience, too,
because we see them sort of leap to their feet with a wonderful 'standing o' at the end of the concert.
You're wearing a tux, not your iconic costume, for this tour, correct? Yes,
my iconic costume is outside in the exhibition area of the arena before
you go in. So get there early so you can enjoy the exhibit. The sheets
of John Williams' scores and so on are on display. Everything is real.
Get there early, get in your seats early, so you can see the rather
wonderful beginning of the concert.
When was the last time you donned the full costume? About four or five months ago I think. Because we were remaking Star Wars
Weekends for Disney. I'll be back in January in California still
working on that. I'm happy not to be wearing it in the concert because I can talk to the audience and walk around.
It'd be interesting to be in front of all those people with that costume on. I've done it and I don't need to do it again.
It doesn't look like a very comfortable costume. And you're known as one of the only Star Wars actors to cut up your costume during filming, right? Is that true? I
kept saying, "This doesn't work, this doesn't work." It was "ouch"
every time, and I just got some metal snips and just opened it up. It
was always the costumes. Only I knew which fits were really a problem.
You can ask nicely a few times of [the crew] and finally just do it
Star Wars is famous for its symphonic score, but when Star Was made, disco was huge. Would you ever host a tour for Meco's Star Wars and other Galactic Funk? Star Wars in Concert is a reviewing of the whole Star Wars
saga. So you get a complete different aspect of it from our concert. I
was always certainly very happy with the Meco version, it made me laugh
a lot. And I did Christmas in the Stars, a rather strange album, which sort of haunts me to this day and to this joyous moment. Star Wars in Concert
is actually a serious concert. I'm more of a classical music interest
myself. So it' s a treat every night to be there with John Williams' absolutely classical-based score. Whether it's there's the big,
building marches like the Darth Vader theme or the Star Wars theme, or they are sort of twinkly -- we have a whole passage about Ewok battle scenes -- or the wonderful can-can type music. Or the wonderfully crazy and boppy cantina band.
Or the beautiful Princess Leia scene. There's a whole range of musical
genre within this and emotional tugs as well. So there's a whole feast
actually for somebody who likes music in this concert.
With the holidays here, how do you look back on the Star Wars Holiday special? I
remember it very well because as my driver took me away from the
studio, I started laughing and he said, "What are you laughing about?"
And I said, "Because I'm no longer on that." I cannot remember the
adjective that I said I as finished my work on the very strange
Until you have seen a line of Wookies entering
carrying their glowing globes, you ain't seen nothing. It remains one
of the black sheep of the joy of Star Wars, but almost is
becoming its own entity; the shock value, if they ever re-release it...
I defy anybody to watch it from beginning to end.
Do you have any unopened boxes of C-3PO's cereal around the house still? I
have one box, which is unopened. I always say that when the world
really makes me angry, I will go up to a high place and open it and
destroy the planet. But I do also have the art work box which is the
one used [in] advertisements, because it is so beautiful. It's really a very
rich picture on the front.
And those together with my little bits of the Millennium Falcon
-- which sadly are the only bits that survived the bon fire that
ultimately destroyed it -- they are in my kind of small little museum
in an attic somewhere.
My fondness really at the moment, it's
really amazing for me as I stand on the 27th floor of a hotel
overlooking the lake in Chicago in the sunshine, is that after all my
years of doing things with Star Wars, whether it's Kellogg's or Sesame Street, really Star Wars in Concert
is absolute magic for me because it combines my old enjoyment of being
a stage actor, with of course the enormous thrill of being in all the Star Wars
movies. Of course for somebody who didn't want to be in the first one,
to end up on the 27th floor in Chicago, being the only person to work
on all six Star Wars movies, still working with Clone Wars, is a very weird journey.
Star Wars is all about destiny and journey, and this has been mine.
was original written as sleazy used-car salesman-type of character, but
on-screen he was more nervous than anything else. What brought that to
the character? That was George's idea... he was always [sleazy] in the
script, but it's how you interpret [the character]. That's the
difference between actors. George never told me he wanted a sleazy guy.
So I just looked at it. I had six months working with the script before
we started filming because we were making the costumes, so I just
interpreted it and George didn't have time to correct me. I'm afraid
3PO stayed the way he was. He is 3PO, he isn't me. He is this strange
creation that came out of somewhere
As I look up through the
clouds and to the sun, I'm wondering where did [C-3PO] come from? But
I'm very glad he certainly did end up in my pocket.