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‘Star Wars’ scoop: Anthony Daniels on board for ‘Star Tours II’

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Anthony Daniels photo by Jayson Peters, East Valley Tribune, Sept. 14, 2009
Anthony Daniels (Photo: Jayson Peters/TRIBUNE)

Anthony Daniels, the man behind the voice and sometimes the metal of Star Wars droid C-3PO, confirmed Monday that he has been working with Disney to record new material for its theme parks’ “Star Tours” attraction.

“I’ve been working on it for a while,” said the British actor, who was visiting the Valley to promote “Star Wars in Concert” Oct. 4 at Arena in Glendale.

Daniels was reluctant to discuss Star Tours, due to both the secrecy surrounding the project and his excitement about the concert — but he did allow the briefest of detours into Disney territory.

“It’s secret, until last week. They said ‘We just announced it so you can …’

“But I can’t talk about it. I don’t want to spoil it. I will be back there, after the North American tour, at Disney in January,” he concluded.

On Saturday, Disney announced — after years of rumors — its plans for updating the 23-year-old spaceflight simulator, closing it in 2010 for a grand re-opening in 2011. A teaser video featured a breakneck podrace through the canyons of Tatooine, right out of Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. 3-D glasses will be added, and the attraction’s motion controls will be vastly modernized.

The original ride involves a trip to Endor that gets derailed by a disastrous droid pilot who flies right into a battle between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire. C-3PO appears both as an animatronic figure in the attraction’s line and in videotaped messages to “passengers.”

“Star Wars in Concert” features Daniels narrating while a live orchestra plays John Williams’ iconic score and a three-story-tall, high-definition screen displays footage from all six films in the saga. Daniels is famous for being the only actor to appear in the same role in all six episodes, as well as for having the first line in the first film produced (Episode IV — A New Hope) and the last line in the last one produced (Episode III — Revenge of the Sith).

Look for much more about “Star Wars in Concert” from my interview with Mr. Daniels later in the week.

See also: Live-action ‘Star Wars’ TV series not so far, far away?

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