Through nine films and counting, the Star Wars saga has been known for featuring some unforgettable characters in classic situations. In some cases, it’s hard to imagine the character played by anyone else because of the iconic performances in the series. Here’s what some of the most notable actors in Star Wars history look like when they’re not in a galaxy far, far away.
Daisy Ridley As Rey
Daisy Ridley got the chance of a lifetime when she landed the role of Rey in the long-awaited sequels to the original Star Wars trilogy. Through two films, she has already helped the character take quite a journey and she seems poised to cap off Rey’s story in a satisfying way in the upcoming ninth installment of the main series.
Daisy Ridley In Real Life
Ridley had only done short films and appearances in TV series before she was cast as Rey. Since then, she has voiced Rey for TV movies and video games, but also starred in Ophelia and Murder on the Orient Express. With more acting roles lined up for the future already, she seems destined to have a healthy career beyond Star Wars.
Ewan McGregor As Obi-Wan Kenobi
Although no one will ever forget Alec Guinness’ portrayal of an aged Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy, Ewan McGregor arguably owns the character for most fans after his great performances as a younger Obi-Wan in the prequel trilogy. Many Star Wars fans consider his performances to be among the most redeemable aspects of the prequels, which got mixed reviews.
Ewan McGregor In Real Life
Aside from Star Wars films, Ewan has been seen in many high-profile roles, including Moulin Rouge!, for which he got a Golden Globe nomination, and the TV series Fargo for which he won a Golden Globe. He’s also one of the rare stars of the prequels not to be nominated for a Razzie for those films, so that’s gotta be worth something!
Harrison Ford As Han Solo
In the original Star Wars trilogy, the goodie-two-shoes kids had Luke to cheer on, the Girl Power crowd had Leia to look up to, and the contrarians could root for Darth Vader and the Empire. But if you were too cool for any of these options, Han Solo was your man. Harrison Ford delivered Han’s lines with true detached coolness. The best one? Answering “I know” when Leia said she loved him.
Harrison Ford In Real Life
Of the original trilogy’s cast, Harrison undoubtedly became the biggest star, appearing in blockbusters such as the Indiana Jones series, The Fugitive, and Air Force One. His other unforgettable credits include Blade Runner and its 2017 sequel. He even came back for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, though for his fans, that may still be a sore subject.
John Boyega As Finn
The role of Finn was an important one, as he was the first protagonist we met in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a key part of the story. British actor John Boyega was cast for the part and did not disappoint, delivering dramatic moments and light-hearted jokes with equal ability over two films so far.
John Boyega In Real Life
John appeared in the 2011 film Attack the Block and the TV series Becoming Human to get his start in acting, but his role as Finn certainly put him on the map. He also earned rave reviews for 2017’s Detroit and will appear in the upcoming film Pacific Rim: Uprising.
Ray Park As Darth Maul
Darth Maul appeared in just one Star Wars film, but the character made quite an impression and is still one of the most popular villains in series history today. He’s still included in Star Wars merchandise and many fans have tattoos of his distinctive red-and-black face. Ray Park certainly shined in the short amount of time he had in the role.
Ray Park In Real Life
Ray was a stunt man when he landed the Darth Maul role and it allowed him to play Toad in 2000’s X-Men and take several other roles in the upcoming years. He played Snake Eyes in the G.I. Joe films and was also known for playing Edgar in the TV series Heroes. Up next, he’ll be seen as Mac in Accident Man.
Oscar Isaac As Poe Dameron
Star Wars films aren’t just about lightsaber-wielding philosophers…they have to have cocky pilots, too! Oscar Isaac fits that role perfectly as the fiery Poe Dameron in the new Star Wars films. Although he doesn’t always make the right decisions, his heart is always in the right place.
Oscar Isaac In Real Life
Of the Rey-Finn-Poe trio, Oscar has had the longest acting career, getting his first sizable role in 2002’s All About the Benjamins. He also appeared in such films as 2010’s Robin Hood, the cult favorite Sucker Punch, and Drive before landing the role. Most recently, he was seen in the sci-fi thriller Annihilation.
Jake Lloyd As Anakin Skywalker
The prequel series begins when Anakin Skywalker is an anonymous young slave boy on Tatooine who is ultimately taken by Qui-Gon Jinn for Jedi training. In the film, young Anakin shows off his pod-racing skills and first shows a shine to a not-quite-as-young Padme Amidala.
Jake Lloyd In Real Life
Jake Lloyd was the cute kid assigned to the role of a lifetime, but as with so many child actors, he didn’t really follow up the part with anything substantial. He had appeared in a couple of TV series and the Arnold Schwarzenegger ham-fest Jingle All The Way before Episode I, but since then, has not been seen on-screen since 2001’s Madison.
Mark Hamill As Luke Skywalker
In many ways, Luke Skywalker is the heart and soul of the entire sage. He was the focal point of the original film in 1977 and was also at the heart of new villain Kylo Ren’s backstory in the newest trilogy. It was through Luke’s eyes that we first learned about the Force and the ways of the Jedi.
Mark Hamill In Real Life
Perhaps more than any other actor in Star Wars history, Mark has been defined by his portrayal of Luke. In the 1980s, he found it hard to get new roles after the saga seemingly ended, and by the 1990s he had transitioned mostly into voice work. He’s mostly known for his spine-tingling performances as The Joker in a variety of Batman games and animated productions.
Anthony Daniels As C-3PO
Did you know there was a guy in that suit all of these years? Yes, actor Anthony Daniels has been inside the C-3PO suit all this time, doing the best version of The Robot this side of an 80s break-dancing film. It’s impressive that Daniels has been the only actor to appear in every live action Star Wars film ever made.
Anthony Daniels In Real Life
In addition to the films, Anthony has also voiced C-3PO in everything from animated series and video games to appearances on Sesame Street! Aside from that role, he’s mostly done voice work, although he has had appearances in many TV series over the years, as well.
Gwendoline Christie As Captain Phasma
Like C-3PO, Gwendoline Christie never got to show her (whole) face in a Star Wars film, despite playing a pretty important role in the newest set of films. She was Captain Phasma, the Captain of the First Order and possessor of some truly cool-looking chromium armor. Gwendoline’s imposing size and weapons training made her a perfect choice for the role.
Gwendoline Christie In Real Life
Phasma was not the first tough girl Christie got to play, as those who have seen her as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones can attest. It doesn’t appear that she’ll be reprising her role as Phasma anytime soon, and Game of Thrones is almost at an end, but she’s got three films coming out in 2018, including the sci-fi film The Darkest Minds.
Hayden Christensen As Anakin Skywalker
Hayden Christensen played a developing Anakin Skywalker in the second and third installments of the Star Wars prequel trilogy and caught a lot of flack, despite having to deal with some truly awkward dialogue. He did successfully tap into the frustration and anger of Anakin in Episode III, helping the final part of Anakin’s turn to the dark side stand out as the best of the prequels.
Hayden Christensen In Real Life
Christensen won the role over 400 other candidates, but it’s debatable whether that has helped his career or held him back. He has recently been more active in acting, appearing in the 2018 films The Last Man and Little Italy. He has a daughter with actress Rachel Bilson, who he dated for 10 years.
James Earl Jones As Darth Vader
You won’t see James Earl Jones on-screen in the Star Wars films and it’s not even him in Darth Vader’s suit, but it’s definitely his iconic voice that you hear when the Sith lord speaks. Jones’ voice has helped Vader become the legendary villain that he still is today.
James Earl Jones In Real Life
In real life, Jones has had one of the most successful careers of any Star Wars cast member, with an Oscar win, another nomination and five Golden Globe nominations to his credit. His memorable performances include such films as The Hunt for Red October, Coming to America, and the voice of The Lion King‘s Mufasa.
Adam Driver As Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren is the enigmatic villain that the first episode of the new trilogy is based around. In two films, we’ve seen Kylo reveal more of himself and his past, even shedding his helmet as he digs into the complexities of who he is. Although some fans were skeptical at first, actor Adam Driver has helped make Kylo a truly compelling villain.
Adam Driver In Real Life
Adam was a seasoned actor before playing Kylo Ren, earning three Primetime Emmy nominations for his role as Adam Sackler in Girls. He’s been acting since 2009, earning small and supporting roles in such heavy-hitting fare as J. Edgar, Lincoln, and Inside Llewyn Davis. He also served in the Marine Corps before becoming an actor.
Natalie Portman As Padme Amidala
It could be argued that nobody is thought of less by her Star Wars role than Portman, who played Padme Amidala in the prequel trilogy. The pivotal role had her meeting and falling in love with young Anakin Skywalker and eventually, giving birth to twins Luke and Leia. Pretty important stuff!
Natalie Portman In Real Life
Portman delivered good performances as a child actress in other roles, but Episode I was her first blockbuster. After the series concluded, she finished college and returned to acting, making a name for herself in movies like Closer, Jackie, and Black Swan, for which she won an Academy Award.
Carrie Fisher As Princess Leia
Princess Leia was the heart of the Star Wars saga for years, first showing viewers that princesses don’t have to be frail and weak in the original trilogy and later becoming a seasoned commander of The Resistance in The Force Awakens. No one could have played her better than the no-nonsense actress Carrie Fisher.
Carrie Fisher In Real Life
Like Mark Hamill, Fisher wasn’t quite able to follow up the original Star Wars trilogy with comparably big roles. She did earn three Primetime Emmy nominations over the years and had over 100 acting credits to her name. Sadly, it seems that Fisher has made her last on-screen appearance, as she passed away in 2016.
Kelly Marie Tran As Rose Tico
In Star Wars, Kelly Marie Tran played Rose Tico- a rebel mechanic who joins up with protagonist Finn. When Tran got the role, she couldn’t tell her family. Instead, she told them she was filming a small movie in Canada. Tran became the first Asian-American woman to have a main role in a Star Wars movie.
Kelly Marie Tran In Real Life
In 2017, Tran became the first Asian woman to model for the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. She also holds a B.A in Communications from UCLA. Before she landed the role on Star Wars, she used to work at a yogurt shop to save money for headshots. Besides Star Wars, she also appeared in various other short films and TV episodes.
Laura Dern As Amilyn Holdo
Laura Dern appeared in Star Wars: The Last Jedi as Amilyn Holdo. Holdo is a human female who comes from planet Gatalenta. Her character played a significant role in the survival of The Resistance and appeared in one of the most remarkable sequences in the movie.
Laura Dern In Real Life
Laura Dern has been appearing on our screens for quite a while now. She began in 1973 with White Lightning. In the 80s she acted in films such as Mask and Smooth Talk. In the 2000s she continued with Inland Empire, The Master, and The Fault In Our Stars. And finally, in 2017 she appeared in Star Wars. Currently, she also plays Renata Klein in Big Little Lies.