Chris Parsons – The Actor behind 4-LOM and Several Others in the Original Trilogy!

In a recent chat with Chris Parsons, I managed to ask him about his time portraying several characters in the Original Trilogy. Some of the characters Chris has portrayed consist of 4-LOM, K-3PO, E-3PO, R-3PO and even the body double for C-3PO.

4-LOM was an ambitious LOM-series protocol droid who overrode his programming and became an intergalactic thief and later a bounty hunter. He often worked together with Gand findsman Zuckuss. Following the Battle of Hoth, both 4-LOM and Zuckuss were hired by the Sith Lord known as Darth Vader to capture Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon and hero of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. However, the bounty on the smuggler’s head was instead claimed by the infamous Boba Fett.

K-3PO was a 3PO protocol droid who served in the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. The droid was stationed at Echo Base on the planet Hoth and was destroyed when the command centre sustained enemy fire during the Battle of Hoth.

E-3PO units were a subset of the 3PO-series protocol droid line. Developed for Imperial use, E-3POs possessed the TechSpan Ipropriety module, which allowed them to interface with a wide variety of networks employed by the Galactic Empire. Their obscure and rare status led to E-3PO units developing arrogant, superior, and haughty attitudes, which would gain them a degree of notoriety throughout the galaxy.

R-3PO was a 3PO unit protocol droid with distinctive red plating and a moody attitude. During the Galactic Civil War it served the Alliance to Restore the Republic in their fight against the Galactic Empire, and when the Alliance established Echo Base on the planet, Hoth, R-3PO was tasked with keeping a lookout for spies within the base. The droid was present for the Battle of Hoth, which the Alliance lost, forcing them to evacuate Echo Base.

How does working on Star Wars compare to all your work on other projects?

Nothing else compares to the magical ideas that appear when working on this type of film.

How did you get the role of body double for C-3PO?

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I was asked to go to Elstree, where I was shown into a dressing room and the C-3PO costume was on the bed, I was the right size fortunately for all the measurements and therefore, I got the job as the double for C-3PO, I learnt the walk and the voice.

You were also given the roles of 4-LOM, E-3PO, K-3PO, R-3PO, Stormtrooper, Snowtrooper, Death Star Droid, Rebel Soldier and a Snowspeeder Pilot. That’s quite a lot of roles, How did you end up playing so many characters and can you describe your time filming scenes?

On this type of project, the assistant directors are looking for people who are reliable and can deliver, which is why I ended up with so many roles. Sometimes even one scene could take nearly all day but you had to keep yourself available at all times in case I was called for.

How long did it take to get into all your different costumes?

Most of my characters had the body of C-3PO which were changed slightly, these took approx. 20 mins or so to get into. The other roles were around 10 mins.

What was your favourite character to play and why?

4-lom

During filming, I had no preference but in later years due to the fans, it has become 4-LOM.

What are some of your fondest memories from your time in Star Wars?

The list is endless, but I consider myself very fortunate to have been valued to do K-3PO in Hoth and C-3PO in Endor.
Was there much interaction between yourself and the directors, if so, what sort of things would you discuss?
I did have interaction quite a lot with George Lucas on the Trilogy and especially with the great Irvin Kershner. My discussions with George were mainly concerning daily schedules whereas with Irvin, it was being asked to perform various shots in a certain way.
 If you could play any other characters, who would it be and why and who are some of your favourite characters from the franchise and why?
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Obviously, C-3PO would be my first choice to play as that droid got me the job on set in the first place. My favourite undoubtedly has to be Yoda, it was fantastic to be around this character whilst filming.
What does Star Wars mean to you?
Being involved with Star Wars has to be one of the best experiences one could wish for, it is a joy to know the lovely fans appreciate my characters.
Did you ever think your work would lead you to be in a franchise like Star Wars?

Up until I auditioned for Star Wars, I just enjoyed the film business working on some classic films and I had no idea what was around the corner which would change my whole future.

What are some of your highlights filming Star Wars?

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Working with Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher was a great honour and we had a lot of conversations and laughs.

What are some of your favourite scenes from Star Wars and why?

I enjoyed the Big Planet scenes and those of the Carbon Freezing chamber, both of these sets were believable.

Do you attend many comic conventions, if so, what does fan interaction mean to you, and do you have any appearances coming up?

Fortunately, I am asked to do convention worldwide, the fans are very important to the events, it is always a privilege for me to speak with them to discuss my characters and stories which they seem to enjoy. So far this year due to my other business interests, I have some negotiations ongoing for a few shows later this year.

Are you open to doing more work for the Star Wars franchise in the future?

It would be great to be asked to work on future Star wars episodes and this is something that my agent is exploring.

Stay locked in for more Star Wars Interviews coming very soon, and may the force be with you all!

 

 

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