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Travel to a Galaxy Far Far Away As the Original ‘Star Wars’ Cast Reveals Secrets About the Film!

Plus, learn which actor was the only person to star in all nine films


A long time ago (1977), in a galaxy far, far away (your neighborhood theater), the Star Wars cast came together as George Lucas wrote and directed the original trilogy. As most of us know, Star Wars follows Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) inadvertently finding themselves allies in a battle against the Empire and its leader, Darth Vader (David Prowse). There are nine movies in total, as well as multiple spin-off shows and movies, all filled with high-stakes battles, epic adventures and swoon-worthy love stories.

Focusing on where it all began, this is a look at what the Star Wars cast of the original trilogy has done since they left the galaxy. And May the 4th Be With You!

Wanting to rewatch the films or binge-watch the spin-off series? They are all available for steaming on Disney+  

MUST READ: Catch Up With ‘The Mandalorian’ Cast — And Find Out All We Know About Season 4

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker 

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker 
1977/2024;Rich Polk/Golden Globes 2024 / Contributor

Born on September 25, 1951, in Oakland, California, Mark Hamill had a pretty solid acting career under his belt before he picked up a lightsaber. Of note are appearances on Cannon (1971), Room 222 (1973) and the original pilot for Eight Is Enough in 1977. That was his last role before he he appeared in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope later that same year. 

He went on to star in Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) and Episode VIII – The Rise of Skywalker (2019). 

Hamill’s had a number of non-Star Wars credits, but he’s probably made the biggest impression voicing the Joker beginning with 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series, reprising the role periodically through the decades.

Still acting today, he currently has 363 credits to his name. 

Mark Hamill Says: “When I was auditioning for Star Wars, I thought, ‘Are we doing a Mel Brooks-ian send-up of Flash Gordon?’ So I tested with Harrison Ford and I thought to myself, ‘This is like Buck Rogers and Harrison is Buck and I’m his kid sidekick.’ I didn’t even know the story was actually from Luke’s point of view.” (SOURCE FOR ALL ACTOR COMMENTS: Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars)

Did you know? He kept Luke Skywalker’s boots from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Hamill also did all of his own stunts, minus a select few, in all of the Star Wars movies. 

Harrison Ford as Han Solo: Star Wars cast

Harrison Ford as Han Solo: Star Wars cast
1977/2024;Taylor Hill / Contributor/Getty

Harrison Ford (originally John William Ford) played Han Solo, the pilot of the Millennium Falcon and the one who did The Kessell Run in 12 parsecs. Before he traveled at light speed, Ford was in a few projects, such as The Virginian (1967), Getting Straight (1970), American Graffiti (1973) and The Possessed (1977). 

Ford was in every movie in the original Star Wars trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi). However, in the more recent sequel trilogy, he was only featured in the first film (The Force Awakens) and makes a brief appearance in the third (The Rise of Skywalker). 

Beyond the fact he’s appeared in dozens of films over the years, Ford is probably best known for his work in the treasure-hunting Indiana Jones adventures. He took on this role in 1981 for Raiders of the Lost Ark and continued to play him in in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 2008’s Indiana Jones and The Crustal Skull and most recently, 2023’s Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny 2024. 

Harrison Ford Says: “What Star Wars has accomplished is really not possible, but it has done it anyway. Nobody rational would have believed that there is still a place for fairy tales. There is no place in our culture for this kind of stuff. But the need is there: the human need to have the human condition expressed in mythical terms.”

Did you know? Throughout the first Star Wars trilogy, he never signed a contract. He was the only lead actor not to do so. 

MUST READ: Young Harrison Ford: Amazing Throw-Back Photos that You Have to See to Believe

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa
1977/;Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff/Getty

Princess Leia Organa could only be played by the late and great Carrie Fisher. Thanks to her mother, Debbie Reynolds, Fisher was born into show business, although she only had one credit to her name before she took on the role of Leia (Warren Beatty’s Shampoo). She starred in all three of the original films and the three sequels, however, she had to be digitally added into Episode VIII – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) due to her unfortunate death in 2016. 

In between playing Leia, Fisher was in Scream 3 (2000), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) Cougar Club (2007), 30 Rock (2008) and Catastrophe (2017). Fisher was nominated for Emmy Awards as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on the latter two shows. 

Carrie Fisher Says: “George cast an ensemble piece, the three of us [Hamill, Ford and her] together. Apparently there were another three in case we didn’t work, but at no time would it have been mix and match. We didn’t get along just like that. We carefully psyched each other out. Harrison used to yell at me for not being able to decide where to eat and Mark and I used to sing TV jingles together, but it took us about a week to decide exactly what George saw in the three of us together.”

Did you know? For most of her scenes with Ford, Fisher had to stand on a box because she was roughly an entire food shorter than him. 

MUST READ: Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher: Photos of Their 15 Sweetest Mother-Daughter Moments

Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian: Star Wars cast 

Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian: Star Wars cast 
1977/; Presley Ann / Stringer/Getty

Emmy nominee Billy Dee Williams had a well-established acting career before becoming Lando Calrissian, smuggler turned member of the rebellion. He was in The Last Angry Men (1959), Carter’s Army (1970), Brian’s Song (1972) and Scott Joplin (1977) before he joined the Star Wars franchise in 1983. Wiliams was in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker. 

When he is not in space, Williams can be found in works like Mask of Death (1996) and The Man in 3B (2015). He also appeared in one episodes of And Just Like That...(2023). 

Billy Dee Williams Says: “When we shot Return of the Jedi, I remember doing the scene where Harrison was saving me from the Sarlacc pit. He was so wrapped up in his acting that he didn’t realize right away that I was actually hurt. A squib went off in my foot and we had to cut the scene. Harrison was just so into his part; we of course did get the scene done.”

Did you know? Williams originally auditioned for the role of Han Solo. 

Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca 

Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca 
1980/;Ethan Miller / Staff/Getty

British actor Peter Mayhew became Chewbacca in 1977. He had not worked on anything else prior to  Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, and mainly just appeared in costume as Chewbacca over the years. 

Mayhew appeared in every movie in the first trilogy and the 2005 prequel Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith. His last appearance as Chewbacca was in 2015 in The Force Awakens

When wasn’t playing the iconic Wookie warrior and co-pilot, Mayhew had small roles in Terror (1978), one episode of The Kenny Everett Television Show (1985), Yesterday as a Lie (2009) and Killer Ink (2016). He sadly died in 2019. 

Peter Mayhew Says: “The only problem with playing Chewbacca was the extreme heat of the costume. It was a one-piece suit with a zipper up the back, knitted out of yak and mohair. The mask was fiberglass, which had been cast from my own face. There was no trouble there as it was all ironed out in the planning stages. I could move easily and I soon got used to the heat. In the garbage disposal scenes, there was a ridge built on the set which I stayed on as they didn’t want to get this expensive suit wet and dirty.”

Did you know? Mayhew had the option to play either Chewbacca or Darth Vader, but he chose Chewbacca because he wanted to be a hero. 

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Kenny Baker as R2-D2: Star Wars cast

Kenny Baker as R2-D2: Star Wars cast
1977/;Zak Hussein / Contributor/Getty

The beloved droid R2D2 was embodied by Kenny Baker. He was born in 1934 and had only four credits to his name before becoming the blue and white robot. 

Baker worked on A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, as well as The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). He was not in the final trilogy. 

Baker’s other roles include The Elephant Man (1980), Flash Gordon (1980) and U.F.O (1993). He also voiced The Bartender in the 2013 short One Night at Aristo. Baker passed away in 2016 at age 81.  

Kenny Baker Says: “It was really cramped inside the R2D2 suit. My elbows were stuck to my sides and I had two grab handles in front of me and two switches, one for lights and one for the motors to power the lights. There was so much buzzing and whirring going on that when Lucas yelled, ‘Cut!,’ I went on until someone hit me on the head with a hammer to stop me.”

Did you know? He was also set to voice Ewok Wicket, but he got food poisoning and couldn’t do it. So, the role went to Warwick Davis, and Kenny played Ewok Paploo instead. 

Anthony Daniels as C-3PO

Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
1977/;Karwai Tang / Contributor/Getty

Anthony Daniels brought the sassy and talkative C3PO to life in all nine Star Wars films. Daniels also voiced the droid in many video games and spin-off shows/movies such as Ashoka (2023), Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022), Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryStar Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2011) and all of the Lego Star Wars films. 

In between runs as C-3PO, he provided vocal work on the animated The Lord of the Rings (1978), I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990) and one episode of Holby City (2004). He also was the narrator for five episodes of the 2012 Dirigible Days miniseries. 

Anthony Daniels Says: “It’s quite an honor to have survived everything, all nine Star Wars films. Even if I didn’t have that much to do, at least C3P0 was there. And so was I. I am hugely lucky and strangely lucky to have been given a part where it doesn’t matter how aged I’m becoming — and believe me, that’s happening on a daily basis. Yet through it all, C3P0 retains that very handsome face that we remember from all these years. He’s quite lucky, that one.”

Did you know? Daniels is the only actor to be in all nine Star Wars films. 

David Prowse as Darth Vader: Star Wars cast

David Prowse as Darth Vader: Star Wars cast
1977/; Carlos Alvarez / Stringer/Getty

The iconic “No, I am your father” line was actually spoken by James Earl Jones, but the guy in the Darth Vader costume at the time was none other than David Prowse. He began acting in 1967 and appeared in projects like The Beverly Hillbillies (1968), Carry on Henry VIII (1971), and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974). 

Prowse was a part of the Star Wars cast in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. After that, he could be seen in one episode of Southern Troppers (2015) and one episode of Mission Backup Earth in 2016. He died in 2020 at 85. 

David Prowse Says: “They offered me the part of Darth Vader and they offered me the part of Chewbacca. Peter Mayhew wasn’t even considered at that time. I said, ‘Tell me more about the parts,’ and George Lucas said, ‘Well, Chewbacca’s like a giant teddy bear and Darth Vader’s the big villain of the piece.’ I said, ‘You know what you can do with Chewbacca. I’ll take the big villain.'”

Did you know? Just like Mayhew, Prowse also had the option to play either Chewbacca or Darth Vader, but he chose to play Darth Vader because he wanted to be a villain. 

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