Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Lindsay Kimble
December 15, 2015 05:20 PM

Anthony Daniels has the great distinction of being the only actor to appear in all seven Star Wars films, but there’s another honor he’s just as proud of.

“I was the first non-human to be the cover [of PEOPLE],” Daniels said at the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Monday night.

The English actor, who embodies the famous golden droid C-3PO, covered PEOPLE on July 18, 1977, in costume.

“I was bewildered,” he said of gracing the front page. “But it was kind of accolade, I think, because they picked me, and they picked 3PO as being the kind of nerve center, if you will. And so I’ll take any praise I can get.”

Daniels, now 69, said he also “interestingly” made the cover of Psychology Today as C-3PO.

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The actor is proud of his history with the franchise – the first of which debuted in 1977.

“I’m the only person to be, unbroken streak, the only person because of technological resources, to work on all seven movies. And given that I didn’t want to be in the first one, some greater power took over,” he shared. “So how grateful can I be?”

So grateful – in fact, he can’t express enough how “incredibly lucky” he feels.

“I’ve sort of side-swiping it occasionally, just moving away,” he said. “But then the voice of reason comes back and says, ‘It’s a terrific job, and you play a character that you love. So why change that?’ ”

Reporting by SCOTT HUVER

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