Anthony Daniels Says C-3PO's Red Eyes in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Are a "Magnificent Piece of Storytelling"

Last month saw the debut of all-new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker footage, with audiences being shocked at the image of C-3PO with red eyes, yet actor Anthony Daniels has teased that this reveal plays into an unexpected and compelling piece of the narrative. While audiences haven't seen the actor's face in all of his saga appearances, Daniels has the distinction of having starred in all nine entries in the Skywalker Saga, in addition to cameos in both Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Solo: A Star Wars Story, with his endorsement of the reveal going a long way for fans.

"That was so weird, because they had rigged me up with a special thing, and to look at myself in the mirror, it was scary," Daniels revealed to The Star Wars Show. "It's a magnificent piece of storytelling that really took me by surprise."

Seeing C-3PO with red eyes was so surprising that some audiences even thought we weren't seeing the familiar character, but were potentially seeing the live-action debut of protocol droid Triple-Zero, famous from the Marvel Comics series Star Wars: Doctor Aphra. Instead, this is clearly C-3PO, leaving us to speculate what could cause the upgrade.

Despite the droid being one of the first heroes we originally met in Star Wars: A New Hope, he has long existed on the outskirts of the action, as the human and alien characters ultimately take part in the more thrilling sequences. For his final appearance in the Skywalker Saga, Daniels claims his character earned a more prominent role.

“I’m front and center in this one, for a lot of it, and that made me feel very happy and very excited. Because the stuff we do is magic, the inventiveness, superb,” Daniels shared with the Associated Press at the D23 Expo. “And so, for me, and for Threepio, this is a very good bye-bye moment. Enjoy.”

While seeing himself with red eyes gave him quite the surprise, the actor also noted that it was an emotional experience on set saying goodbye to the series 40 years after it began.

“It was difficult not to tear up a bit,” Daniels revealed to Variety. “Partly because [director] J.J. [Abrams] said some really nice things and all the crew were listening and watching. I have to admit it was an emotional moment, but I knew it was coming. It wasn’t even a scene in which I said anything. For once, Threepio was in a scene without butting in. But I felt it’s such a terrific movie that I thought it was okay to say goodbye. I feel satisfied with this one. I have something to be proud of that, you know, as I say goodbye.”

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.

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