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Top 15 Star Wars Cast Members: Where Are They Now?

A long time ago on a set (and various other locations) far, far away, a movie was shot which would become an instant pop cultural phenomenon and spawn decades of related movies, television shows, book

A long time ago on a set (and various other locations) far, far away, a movie was shot which would become an instant pop cultural phenomenon and spawn decades of related movies, television shows, books and video games. Of course, we’re talking about Star Wars, a film which took us to far off planets and introduced us to an array of new species, heroes and villains who battled it out for survival. The original Star Wars was just the first release and was soon followed by the very successful The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983. After some time off, the Star Wars prequels were launched beginning in 1999 with The Phantom Menace and ending in 2005 with Revenge of the Sith. A success at the box office, these films divided the opinion of critics and fans over the storyline, writing and acting. Nonetheless, fans accepted the films as a necessary part of the bigger Star Wars story.

From 1977 to 2005, the Star Wars franchise introduced us to a cast of characters, some already famous while others were complete unknowns. Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and R2D2 became household names and it was (and remains) difficult to mention these fictional characters without someone knowing exactly what you are talking about. Behind the characters we loved were the actors. Like the roles they played, these actors, for the most part, became household names who were easily recognizable. Some of the Star Wars cast went on to enjoy very public and very successful careers in Hollywood. Some deliberately tried different career paths in an effort to avoid type-casting or stepped away from the limelight to pursue other goals.

With the coming of the newest Star Wars film, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, this December, it seems an apt time to search out the former cast members from the previous films to see what they have been up to. Obviously, some will be returning to the far off galaxy for the latest reboot of the franchise, while others have moved on to other ventures. The following tracks down some of the more notable names who have at one time or another served the Empire or Rebellion over the past 40 years.

15 Liam Neeson

Via miscellaneoushi.com

14 Samuel L. Jackson

Via marvel-movies.wikia.com / starwars.wikia.com

13 Hayden Christensen

Via celebuzz.com / wallpaperhi.com

12 Ewan McGregor

Via abcnews.go.com / boards.theforce.net

11 Natalie Portman

Via celebmafia.com / shalomlife.com

10 Billy Dee Williams

Via hippowallpapers.com / starwars.com

9 Ian McDiarmid

Via starwars7news.com / herocomplex.latimes.com

8 Kenny Baker

Via two-d.co.uk

7 David Prowse

Via independent.co.uk

6 James Earl Jones

Via sublime99.com

5 Peter Mayhew

Via hollywoodreporter.com

4 Anthony Daniels

Via gamesradar.com

3 Mark Hamill

Via mstarz.com / moviepilot.com

2 Carrie Fisher

Via themarysue.com / tbo.com

1 Harrison Ford

Via blastr.com / telegraph.co.uk

Of all the actors to appear in a galaxy far, far away, Harrison Ford is probably the most popular and successful. Ford took on the role of everybody’s favorite smuggler and scoundrel after working with George Lucas on American Graffiti. Ford’s success spread from Star Wars as he took on other iconic film roles such as Indiana Jones and, later Jack Ryan. Today he is married to Calista Flockhart and remains very active in the movie world when he isn’t flying his planes (or crashing them on golf courses). This December will see him reprise the role of Han Solo, pilot of the Millennium Falcon in the much anticipated Episode VII of the Star Wars franchise.

Sources: forbes.com, eonline.com, cbsnews.com, telegraph.co.uk, xfinity.com

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Top 15 Star Wars Cast Members: Where Are They Now?