What can be a more ringing endorsement for LASIK than the fact that even an autonomous programmable machine like Star War’s C-3PO, with his outstanding celluloid representation of robotics and fluency in over 6 million forms of communications, couldn’t solve his own vision problems without the help of refractive eye surgery!
During the filming of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith, actor Anthony Daniels who dons the persona of C-3PO, found his futuristic golden metal robot suit did not go with his reading glasses. “C-3PO’s outfit was made from metal molded to fit my body, with two dots in the mask to see through — there was absolutely no room for spectacles,” says Anthony, one of the few cast members to have starred in all six Star Wars films. “I had a crew member standing in front of me holding up my lines, but without my glasses I couldn’t see things close up. I had to ask them to stand farther and farther back to try to enable me to see them in focus. I felt daft.”
Like most people above the age of 40, Anthony had Presbyopia — an age-related blurring of close vision – and needed reading glasses. “I knew I needed my glasses pretty much all the time, but rarely wore them in public because I began to feel self-conscious about them,” he confesses.
Finally, in 2009, after a terrible live stage event at the O2 Arena in London where he was narrating the Star Wars story, he decided to sacrifice his robotic self-sufficiency and ask an experienced LASIK eye surgeon for help.
“It was a two-hour show and there were a lot of lines,” remembers Anthony. “At every break, I was dashing off the stage to put on my glasses and re-read the script. I had to have glasses on both sides of the stage, and every time I took them off my make-up smudged. I thought: `This is silly’.”
Inspired by his wife Christine Savage who had already had laser surgery, the actor decided to push through his fears (remember, this was 2009 and LASIK was not as evolved a science as it is today) and go for corrective surgery. Afterwards, Anthony spoke at length about the experience and how easy it all was. “It [the surgery] didn’t hurt at all, though I did see wonderful spirograph patterns. It was over in four minutes and then they did the next eye.
“I noticed a difference instantly. I could suddenly see small-print on signs on the wall. I had to wear dark glasses for the first day, and for a week I had see-through hoods to put over my eyes in bed so I didn’t roll over and damage them. The difference in my eyesight was nothing short of miraculous. I wish I’d had this done years earlier — it would have made C-3PO’s life so much easier!”