StarTalk’s Photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Anthony Daniels, actor and author of “I Am C-3PO.”
StarTalk’s Photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Anthony Daniels, actor and author of “I Am C-3PO.”

C-3PO and the Rise of Robots, with Anthony Daniels

Neil deGrasse Tyson and “I Am C-3PO” author and Star Wars actor Anthony Daniels. Credit: StarTalk.
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with Anthony Daniels, the man behind one of the most iconic characters in film history – C-3PO. Anthony (as C-3PO) is the only person to appear in all nine Star Wars films spanning multiple decades and you’ll hear about his time involved in the biggest movie franchise on Earth. In-studio, Neil is joined by comic co-host Chuck Nice and robot ethicist Kate Darling, PhD, to explore C-3PO’s cultural impact and the rise of robotics in our society. 

Kate investigates “human-robot interaction from a social, legal, and ethical perspective” so she is just the person we want for this conversation. We start with a simple question – what makes C-3PO so likeable? Find out why C-3PO’s appeal stems directly from his humanity. Anthony tells us why he wasn’t really a fan of science fiction before he took the part of C-3PO. You’ll learn about the development of C-3PO and why his subtle asymmetrical design brings his “humanity” to the forefront. 

We explore how robots have evolved since the beginning of robotics. We breakdown the differences between androids and robots. Find out more about the “uncanny valley.” We ponder the concept of the “soul.” Kate enlightens us to what our interactions with robots tell us about our personalities. Can you create strong bonds with a robot? Should our laws protect robots? 

We investigate how film’s portrayal of artificial intelligence has created unnecessary fear of robotic advancements. We also explore the flaws still found in today’s cutting edge technology. Lastly, we ponder how robots will be introduced into more shared spaces like grocery stores, cafes, etc. All that, plus, Kate tells us what the biggest dilemma will be as robotics continue to advance. 

Thanks to our Patrons Leon Galante, Tyler Miller, Chadd Brown, Oliver Gigacz, and Mike Schallmo for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

In This Episode

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