There is one image that C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels refuses to sign. To understand why some fans have been trying to get one over on the Star Wars actor, you’re going to need a little bit of backstory on the actor and the image known as the lewdest official Star Wars photo ever to be released. The story starts a long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away—Topps Headquarters in Brooklyn, New York circa 1977 to be exact. Following Star Wars‘ release in ’77, the renowned trading card company was in a rush to get cards featuring images from the hot property onto stores’ shelves. They had stacks of movie stills to go through and one featuring Goldenrod’s golden rod somehow slipped through the cracks and made it to print. It would eventually become known fondly by the Star Wars community as the “C-3PO boner image”.
Keeping in mind that Anthony Daniels has literally embodied 3PO since mid-1976 when Star Wars began filming, the two have become inseparable. You can’t talk about Daniels without mentioning C-3PO so it’s natural that the nearly 80 year old actor has grown protective of the character and the droid’s image. So much so, that he has allegedly accosted fans at conventions to the point of tears for presenting him with the image to sign. For fans, owning this particular image autographed by Daniels has become an impossibility. However, when it comes to Star Wars fans and autograph collectors attaining the unattainable is all part of the fun.
Breaking Protocol: Getting the “C-3PO Boner” Image Signed
While the image of C-3PO and his golden appendage may be well known to many fans, the fact that Anthony Daniels loathes it is not necessarily common knowledge. One fan found that out the hard way in 2009. That’s when autograph collector Mike Navarro sought to get Daniels’ signature on the infamous card at a convention in Plano, Texas. Not knowing the stir that it would cause, Navarro asked a fellow convention goer to get the card signed on his behalf so that he could attend photo ops with Dave Prows (Darth Vader), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett), and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca).
Once Navarro’s friend made it in front of Daniels, she presented him with the card to be signed. Daniels then got quite upset at the sight of it and allegedly said some derogatory things to the fan which caused her great embarrassment and ultimately made her break out in tears on the spot. Recalling the situation, Navarro said “at that time, I figured he signed those at every show he does, but since then I’ve learned [otherwise]!”
Since that fateful day, Navarro vowed that he was going to get that image signed one way or another. He got his chance nearly nine years later when Daniels was a guest at Fan Expo Dallas. By that time, Navarro was painfully aware of Daniels’ feelings about signing the infamous Topps card. Adding to the challenge, Daniels is well known to have a policy of not signing blank paper such as index cards. As a work around, Navarro tried his luck by asking the veteran actor to sign a “blank” Star Wars comic cover with only the title at the top. To his surprise it worked and Daniels signed his name at the bottom of the comic.
Now that he had Daniels’ signature at the bottom, all that was left to do was commission an artist to draw 3PO in all his glory. The results turned out pretty great. Navarro later went on to get one step closer to his original intent of having his Topps card signed. By removing the autograph sticker from an official Star Wars autograph card and placing it on his own, he got just about as close as anyone will ever get to having an autograph on an authentic C-3PO “boner” card. Navarro’s antics didn’t stop there though as he’s continued to corner the market on these unique pieces, even going so far as to get a second sketch done.