The Empire Strikes Back is widely regarded as the greatest sequel ever made, especially in geekier circles. One actor, however, thinks the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII may claim that throne next year, and, unlike most people, he’s in a unique position to spout off on such a topic.
Anthony Daniels is one of only two actors (Kenny Baker as R2-D2 is the other) to appear in all six, soon (ish) to be seven, Star Wars movies. Even if you can’t picture what he looks like in real life, you know his beloved, prissy golden droid C-3PO, a prominent part of the franchise from The Phantom Menace all the way through Return of the Jedi. Like everyone else in the world, he’s all over social media, and now that Episode VII has wrapped principal photography, he took to Twitter to let the world know what he thinks of the film, and as it turns out, he’s got a high opinion of the project.
"No movie sequel is better than The Empire Strikes Back." You might eat those words for Xmas dinner in 2015. Joy & Indigestion to the world!
— Anthony Daniels (@ADaniels3PO) November 3, 2014
That’s a bold statement right there, and while it’s an obvious piece of hyperbole (even he’s a long way from seeing the finished product), Daniels has been through enough of these that he probably has a solid handle on the quality of the film.
Regardless of whether he’s right or not, here’s what this statement symbolizes to me. The prequels were a big deal, and while I realize I wasn’t as plugged into it all, and social media wasn’t as ubiquitous so we weren’t getting continual updates, but there’s a different level of excitement surrounding Episode VII. I don’t necessarily mean from a fan perspective, but the people involved with the actual movie this time around feel way more invested.
George Lucas created the franchise and has a passion for it, but this time it’s people who grew up on Star Wars (not all, obviously, as there are, like Daniels, pieces of the original puzzle involved). You know how you, as a fan, sit back and think, I would have done this, or I would have made that choice, or how awesome would it be if they did this. J.J. Abrams and the other people working on Episode VII have that chance to bring their own passion and perspective to that far, far away galaxy.
They want to make a good movie because it’s their job, but they also want to make a movie that they, as fans, want to see. We’ve heard it from almost everyone involved, they have to do a great job because they don’t want to fuck up their cherished memories. Motivated in a different way, it’s this enthusiasm, regardless of what I think about the various leaks and rumors and potential plots, that gives me the most hope for Episode VII. We’ll have to wait and see for ourselves on December 18, 2015, but I can’t help but get excited when I think about the prospects.
I’m curious what you think about the whole thing. I think I take it for granted and assume that other people are as excited about this as I am, but I really want to know how you’re approaching this. Are you super pumped? Worried as hell? Do you think it will suck and we’ll be disappointed again? Cautiously optimistic? Think of it as an informal poll, in a general sense, how do you feel about Star Wars: Episode VII at this juncture?