In honor of Star Wars Week here at Dork Side of the Force, we’re taking a look at every aspect of the Star Wars fandom and canon, from underrated films to iconic imagery in the franchise.
But arguably, we wouldn’t be here without the actors who brought the films to life. Here, we’re going to take a look at the way that Star Wars transformed and changed 12 actors’ careers, for better or worse, over the decades since their original roles in the films.
For many of these actors, Star Wars was understandably a launching pad that irrevocably changed their careers. With the actors in the original trilogy, and particularly the first film, they had no idea how big Star Wars would be and could never predict the impact the films would have on their careers.
Needless to say, each actor’s trajectory after Star Wars is unique and worth exploring and celebrating across a forty-year franchise. Without these 12 actors, Star Wars wouldn’t be what it is today.
1. Mark Hamill
A relatively unknown television actor at the time of his casting, Mark Hamill was launched into stardom after landing the lead role in A New Hope. As the baby-faced Luke Skywalker, Hamill flexed his acting chops across the original trilogy, growing from naive moisture farmer to full-blown, heroic Jedi.
As the lead of a massive franchise, Hamill’s career should’ve been a slamdunk success. However, after an unfortunate car accident between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, Hamill’s career never took off the way it should have due to the resulting recovery from plastic surgery.
Luckily, Hamill continued to work in television before finding great success as a voice actor, most notably on Batman: The Animated Series as The Joker and Avatar: The Last Airbender as Firelord Ozai, leading Hamill to reach further generations of fans beyond his star-making role as Luke Skywalker.
Hamill has continued to connect with fans at conventions and through charity work. In recent years with the revival of Star Wars, Hamill reprised his role as the Jedi in the newest trilogy, most notably The Last Jedi. Hamill appeared as Luke Skywalker most recently in The Mandalorian with more potential cameos a possibility down the road.