By James Hibberd
November 29, 2020 at 08:00 PM EST
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Credit: Everett Collection

When promoting Disney+'s new LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, Anthony Daniels took a moment to remember the original, notorious 1978 version.

The C-3PO actor has played the golden android for more than 40 years across all three movie trilogies and voiced the charmingly uptight character in many other productions, commercials, and attractions. His latest turn as C-3PO is in the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, which includes a fast-paced mash-up of Star Wars characters as Rey goes on a time-traveling journey across the franchise's past and present. The new special has been generally well-received by fans and critics, breaking the brand's long-standing Holiday Special curse. Still, Daniels enjoyed recalling making the original, which had stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher awkwardly reprising their New Hope roles in a campy TV variety show.

"This thing was meant to be a happy Life Day, then we're in this giant set draped with black, it was just awful," Daniels recalls. "It was like being at a weird funeral, you have to watch it on YouTube for the full horror. Watch the last 10 minutes, and you'll see why [the new show] contrasts rather well and is rather fun. Poor Mark, poor Carrie, poor Harrison – you can see it on their faces! They're gritting their teeth and it shows; they're like hanging onto each other. I think people learn their lesson, and I think we may be on track to make a regular Life Day holiday special, and why not?"

Daniels was one of the few original actors from the films (along with Billy Dee Williams and Kelly Marie Tran) to reprise their voices in the new animated show. As Daniels always seems down to play his iconic character, we asked if he's uncomfortable with the idea of somebody else voicing C-3PO.

"Until I choose to retire, I would not be comfortable with [somebody else playing the character] because it wouldn't be Threepio as I have known him for 40-something years," Daniels says. "I don't want that to happen while I'm still cognizant and able to do it because -- and this is not me aggrandizing myself -- he's the way he is and he's the way he is is because of me. And if I'm around, that's the way it should stay. Eventually, I will leave this planet, and I want him to go on and somebody will take over as that's the nature of show business. I would not like him to disappear from the galaxy, even though I have."

Here's the trailer for the new special:

The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney+.

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