Actors like Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill would go on to become some of the most recognized
While some of the biggest names in the series are incredibly recognizable, the intergalactic nature of the series required many actors to
Take a peek under the masks and behind the armor to uncover the secrets of iconic Star Wars performers who you might not recognize!
To personify the villainous Darth Vader, bodybuilder David Prowse was tapped to don the Sith's suit in the original trilogy of films, yet once George Lucas heard the actor deliver his lines, he felt as though his cadence wouldn't strike fear into the hearts of audiences or the Rebel Alliance.
James Earl Jones lent his voice to the character in the films, but as he thought his voice was nothing more than a sound effect, refused to be credited alongside the rest of the cast.
Sadly, Prowse had a falling out with Lucasfilm following his disappointment in not being able to portray the unmasked Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, resulting in the actor being banned from officially sanctioned Star Wars events.
Much like Darth Vader, the physical presence of a character like Chewbacca was far more important than one's acting abilities or line delivery, with the character offering nothing more than grunts, growls, and roars. Mayhew, who stands 7 feet 3 inches, earned the role of the Wookiee thanks to a chance photo taken at his former job. Working as an orderly, a photo of Mayhew standing next to a shorter co-worker was all the evidence George Lucas needed to know Mayhew was the right man for the job.
The actor has played Chewbacca in the original trilogy, Revenge of the Sith, and The Force Awakens. Unfortunately, Mayhew's physical limitations forced him to hand the role over to Joonas Suotamo, who has played the character in The Last Jedi and the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story.
In the almost two decades since The Phantom Menace hit theaters, using motion-capture to bring an entire character to life has become commonplace, with Andy Serkis recently playing Snoke in The Last Jedi in addition to embodying Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. Serkis, however, owes a huge debt of gratitude to Ahmed Best for his breakthrough performance in the prequel trilogy.
A skilled dancer and performer, Best not only utilized a motion-capture suit to animate Binks' movements, but also voiced the character in all his goofy glory. Not all fans love the character's silliness, yet the impact he left on the saga can't be denied.
In The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett isn't given much to do, which means the character earned a following for merely offering an intimidating presence with his armor. Actor Jeremy Bulloch never even had to audition for the role nor saw a script, instead using subtle physical movement and stances in the films to convey Fett's treachery.
Following the events of the prequel films and the reveal that Boba Fett was a clone of his father Jango Fett, actor Temuera Morrison voiced Fett in all subsequent releases of those films. With Bulloch never having to lend his voice to any film, the physical performances still remain intact.
The original Star Wars showed us the horrifying Darth Vader who worked closely with Grand Moff Tarkin to carry out a number of nefarious activities, with The Empire Strikes Back showing audiences that even Vader had a diabolical presence to answer to in the form of The Emperor.
In Return of the Jedi, Ian McDiarmid played the menacing figure that attempted to sway Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side, but the character was originally portrayed by actress Marjorie Eaton, whose performance featured the eyes of a chimp superimposed over her own to create an even more horrifying visage. In all future versions of Empire, McDiarmid has replaced the original look of the Emperor, and while McDiarmid's performance is iconic, we still have strong feelings for the original, grotesque appearance of the character.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was an ambitious adventure for Lucasfilm, as it marked the first spin-off of the original saga, depicting events leading up to the narrative of the original 1977 film while not focusing much on any of that film's major characters. To the surprise of many, Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia appeared in the film, though neither were portrayed by the original performers.
Director Gareth Edwards utilized CGI techniques to digitally replace Henry and Deila's faces with those of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher, as Cushing's passing made his appearance an impossibility and makeup being too cumbersome to feature Fisher herself.
While Deila's appearance was brief, Henry had a substantial amount of dialogue as Tarkin played a vital role in the narrative, with both performers' appearances wholly replaced by those of Cushing and Fisher.
Given Admiral Ackbar's iconic dialogue and cadence, both Rose and Bauersfeld are equally responsible for creating the memorable character who first appeared in Return of the Jedi.
While the first two films in the series focused on the Rebel Alliance resorting to drastic measures to survive the terror of the Galactic Empire, Return of the Jedi allowed audiences to see the full strength of the Rebellion, with Ackbar demonstrating his tactical prowess in the film's final space battle.
Rose returned to play the character in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, while Tom Kane voiced the character in The Last Jedi and a variety of other Star Wars projects. Sadly, the most recent film in the saga saw the passing of Ackbar at the hands of The First Order.