Warning: contains SPOILERS for episodes 1 and 2 of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Does famed Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels reprise his role as C-3PO in Obi-Wan Kenobi? During the Organa party featured in episode 1 of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the iconic droid C-3PO appears briefly in the background conversing with other attendees. For such a cameo, one without dialogue and which covers its actor’s face under a mask, would the production actually call upon the veteran Star Wars performer?
Anthony Daniels has the distinction of appearing in all nine episodes of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga — the only actor in the franchise to hold this claim. Daniels played C-3PO in every one of those features, and he has a cameo as the character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He also voiced the role in the animated feature Star Wars: The Clone Wars and in both Clone Wars TV series plus the 1980s cartoon Star Wars: Droids. Additionally, he has portrayed C-3PO in various Star Wars shorts, specials, radio dramas, and video games. Outside of Star Wars, Daniels voiced C-3PO for The LEGO Movie and Robot Chicken. In 2019, he released a memoir detailing his experience playing the character titled I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story.
C-3PO has no dialogue in his Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 1 scene and is given a very brief appearance, so it would be understandable if a stand-in was brought in for the part this time. However, considering the importance that C-3PO holds in the Star Wars franchise, particularly with regard to Anakin Skywalker (even if he is Darth Vader now), this may not necessarily be the droid’s last appearance in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Therefore, Daniels’ physical acting talent and signature voice may be further required in later episodes. Regardless, the truth is that the C-3PO cameo in Obi-Wan Kenobi is, in fact, played by Anthony Daniels himself.
At this point, it would seem inappropriate for anyone but Anthony Daniels to play C-3PO as long as the actor is living. R2-D2’s actor Kenny Baker held a similar loyalty to his role before he passed away in 2016. Baker played the character in the entire original trilogy and was given credit in the prequels. In 2020, Daniels said he will keep playing C-3PO as long as he can, claiming, “I’m never going to retire. They’re going to have to throw me out the door.” So, he won’t be leaving even a cameo to a stand-in anytime soon.
It’s important to note that while it may seem like C-3PO is living with the Organas in Obi-Wan Kenobi, he belongs to another attendee. Leia’s adoptive father, Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits), ordered the droid’s memory to be wiped clean at the end of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith before giving C-3PO to his trusted transport pilot, Raymus Antilles (Rohan Nichol). Therefore, it makes sense that C-3PO and young Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) never interact with each other. Hopefully, his significance will be elevated beyond a quick Star Wars fan service moment in Obi-Wan Kenobi, though. If that happens, rest assured that it will certainly be Anthony Daniels in that metallic gold suit.
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Obi-Wan Kenobi releases new episodes on Wednesdays on Disney+.