C-3PO
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO with Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.LucasFilm

One of Star Wars: Episode VII's returning legends, Anthony Daniels, has opened up about his decision to reprise his iconic role as stuck-up droid C-3PO in JJ Abrams' return to the galaxy far far away.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Daniels revealed a condition of his return would be that the famous character wouldn't be a computer generated creation, but also that he wouldn't wear the same claustrophobic costume as he wore on previous films.

"I will tell you that when JJ Abrams rang me to ask about filming Episode VII, one of the first things he said after he told me how wonderful I was — and that didn't take long — but he then said, 'Would you be interested in being in the film just doing the voice?' I said, 'No,' and he said, 'Right!'

C-3PO
Anthony Daniels with a C-3PO toy.Reuters

"He knew I'd say that. There's no way I would just do the voice. I also said that it can't be the same suit. I will tell you that the team then got together and built a new suit. They made an entirely new look-a-like with changes that you will never notice [on screen] that made my life a lot easier. I can get it on and off very quickly."

Daniels went on to talk about the CG Threepio seen in George Lucas' prequel trilogy, and the problems the actor had with it.

"[During the prequels], the only time he had been CG was when it was very dangerous - and it wasn't very good. In fact, I'm going to say it was awful. One of the difficulties is with a character that you know and love so well is that, as a member of the audience, you go, 'Oh no, that's not right. No, he doesn't move like that.'

"With me [in the suit], he's always going to move the same way and have the same reactions, timing, and so on. With CG, you're working with some brilliant person on the keyboard who is trying to pretend to be me.

"The only time that has worked without doubt is Disney's Star Tours: The Adventures Continue [theme park ride]. There's an element in the pre-show which is digital and I cannot tell it's not me. It's brilliantly done by Disney. In a cartoon series like Rebels, you accept it because it's not trying to pretend to be reality. It's an extension, it's an exaggeration. On that basis, it's utterly acceptable — providing the characterisation is correct."

He then went on to discuss Star Wars: Rebels, an upcoming TV series set before the original Star Wars film which hopes to evoke the classic trilogy.

"It's great, actually, that Rebels is set before Episode IV because that film is quintessentially basic, 'This is Star Wars.' And you know George [Lucas] always used to say every time I arrived on set, I would always arrive for the first time back on set in costume, and during the prequels George would say when I arrived on set that 'Star Wars has arrived' - because I was the old fashioned link.

"Rebels is an old fashion link to the old fashion film, which we all loved. And you will love Episode VII - I have electrodes strapped to my head to zap me if I say anything more about it."

You can read the full interview here.