Few franchises have come close to the cultural and cross-generational impact that George Lucas’ creation has experienced over the past four decades. In honor of the 40th anniversary of “Star Wars,” we take a look back at the stars that spawned a long time again in a galaxy far, far away, and fast-forward to the present day.
Courtesy of Disney/REX/Shutterstock
George Lucas (Then)
Director George Lucas on the set of “Star Wars” in 1977.
George Lucas (Now)
Since selling the “Star Wars” rights to Disney in 2012, Lucas has spent much of his time working to get his museum, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, off the ground in Los Angeles.
Mark Hamill (Then)
Mark Hamill starred as Tatooinian farmboy Luke Skywalker.
Mark Hamill (Now)
Aside from returning to the Skywalker role for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Hamill also made a career voicing the Joker in Batman animated films and video games. Recently he’s also appeared on CW’s “The Flash” and the film “Brigsby Bear.”
Harrison Ford (Then)
Harrison Ford played Han Solo, the rogue with the heart of gold.
Harrison Ford (Now)
After returning to the role of Han Solo for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Ford is also reprising his role as Rick Deckard for “Blade Runner 2049.”
Carrie Fisher (Then)
Carrie Fisher played Princess Leia.
Carrie Fisher (Now)
Carrie Fisher passed away on Dec. 27 2016. Her last projects were the third season of Amazon’s “Catastrophe” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
Peter Cushing (Then)
Peter Cushing played Grand Moff Tarkin.
Peter Cushing (Now)
Cushing died Aug. 11, 1994. Cushing appeared in films after “Star Wars” like “Black Jack,” “Top Secret!,” and “Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death.” His likeness was also used in the first Star Wars anthology film, “Rogue One.”
Alec Guinness (Then)
Sir Alec Guinness played Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Alec Guiness (Now)
Guiness died Aug. 5 2000. He reprised his role as Obi-Wan in both “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” as well as appearing in films including “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”
Anthony Daniels (Then)
Anthony Daniels played C-3PO.
Anthony Daniels (Now)
Daniels is the only actor from the original film to appear in every live-action Star Wars film to date. He’s also voiced the character in the Star Wars animated films and video games.
Kenny Baker (Then)
Kenny Baker played R2-D2.
Kenny Baker (Now)
Baker died Aug. 13, 2016. His last time as the famous droid was in 2005 “Revenge of the Sith.”
Peter Mayhew (Then)
Peter Mayhew played everyone’s favorite co-pilot, Chewbacca.
Peter Mayhew (Now)
Mayhew has played Chewbacca in every Star Wars film aside from “Rogue One.” He also appeared in the film “Killer Ink” in 2016.
David Prowse (Then)
David Prowse was the man inside Darth Vader’s armor.
David Prowse (Now)
In 2015 a documentary titled “I Am Your Father” was released that looked at Prowse faceless and voiceless role as one of film’s most iconic villains, and why the fans largely ignored his contribution to the series.