What happened to everyone who starred in the original 'Star Wars' trilogyGet the Full StoryLucasfilm Ltd.2017 is the 40th anniversary of "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope," the first entry in one of the most beloved motion picture franchises of all time. Over those forty years, "Star Wars" grew to include numerous sequels, prequels, spin-offs, animated series, and video games of widely varying quality , and the brand is showing no signs of slowing down. The most recent film in the saga, "Rogue One," brought in over one billion dollars at the global box office.
So whatever happened to the folks who starred in those first three space movies? Some of the cast of the original "Star Wars" trilogy went on to become household names, some of them faded into obscurity, while others are sadly no longer with us; forty years is a long time, after all. Let s take a look back at the major players in the ensemble cast of the greatest sci-fi story ever told and see what they re up to today.
Here's what happened to everyone who starred in the original "Star Wars" trilogy:20. James Earl Jones David Prowse
Darth Vader, the conflicted villain of the "Star Wars trilogy", was chiefly played by two actors: David Prowse and James Earl Jones. Prowse stood at 6 5 , establishing Vader as an intimidating force to be reckoned with. Before "Star Wars," Prowse had a great many credits as a hard-working actor, usually playing a tall monster of some sort, including Frankenstein s monster in the 1967 comedy spoof, "Casino Royale," and Android in four episodes of the 1970s version of "The Tomorrow People." In the years since the end of the trilogy, Prowse has more-or-less faded into obscurity, sometimes popping up on British television or Star Wars fan projects. Most recently, he made an appearance in the web series, "Mission Backup Earth."
While James Earl Jones never wore Vader s iconic black suit, the actor s booming voice became one of the most iconic elements of the entire "Star Wars" saga. Jones reprised his role as Vader in multiple "Star Wars" projects, including 2005 s Episode III, 2016 s "Rogue One," and several episodes of "Star Wars Rebels." Outside of "Star Wars," Jones has had a variety of high-profile roles in movies such as "Coming to America" and the "Jack Ryan" movies starring Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford. Jones most notable leading role came long before "Star Wars," when he played a boxer based on the legendary Jack Johnson, one of the greatest fighters who ever lived, in 1970 s "The Great White Hope." He s currently set to reprise his other iconic voice role, Mufasa, in the upcoming live-action remake of "The Lion King."
19. Kenny Baker
Before being cast as rambunctious droid R2-D2 in "Star Wars," the 3 8 Kenny Baker worked in a traveling troupe of little people. During the pre-production of the original space fantasy, George Lucas found Baker to be the only person that was both small enough to fit inside the R2 frame and strong enough to operate it, and just like that, a sci-fi icon was born. After attaining stardom as the most popular cinema robot of all time, Baker went on to appear in a bunch of movies, including "Labyrinth," "The Elephant Man," and "Willow."
In 1999, he returned to play R2 in "Episode I: The Phantom Menace," and stayed on for the entire prequel trilogy. All told, he s one of just a handful of actors to appear in the same role across the first six "Star Wars" films. For "Episode VII: The Force Awakens," Kenny Baker returned as a consultant, but did not operate R2-D2 himself, as the actor had been suffering from severe respiratory problems for many years. On August 13, 2016, Kenny Baker died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 81.
18. Anthony Daniels
R2-D2 was rarely seen without his friend and counterpart, C3PO, played by Anthony Daniels. Like Kenny Baker, Daniels played his character in all six entries of the first two "Star Wars" trilogies. However, he also returned in the golden suit for "Episode VII," and even made a brief cameo in "Rogue One." With this, Anthony Daniels became the only actor to appear in all eight live-action "Star Wars" movies. He has also voiced C3PO in numerous spin-offs, such as "The Clone Wars," "Rebels," and even in a brief scene in "The Lego Movie," alongside Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian but more on him in a bit! .
Outside of "Star Wars," Daniels is likely best known for providing the voice of Legolas in Ralph Bakshi s animated version of "The Lord of the Rings," and for starring opposite Helen Mirren in two noteworthy episodes of "Prime Suspect." No matter what else he does, Anthony Daniels will forever be loved and remembered for playing C3PO, the endearingly anxious protocol droid who keeps on finding himself trapped in situations which call for the exact opposite of etiquette and protocol.
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