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The professional trajectories of the original Star Wars cast: Star Wars: Their careers awaken

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A LONG time ago, the three actors who portrayed the primary “human” characters in the original Star Wars trilogy—Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo)—went into their roles as relative unknowns, but emerged as superstars. They have not starred together since, but are to be reunited in the “The Force Awakens”, which gets its global release this week and sees a revival of the series by Walt Disney Studios following its acquisition of the original production company, Lucasfilm, in 2012.

Over the decades since the original films, the careers of the three stars could hardly have contrasted more. Mr Hamill and Ms Fisher have enjoyed few screen successes between them, though the latter found a career as a bestselling author and Hollywood script-doctor. Mr Hamill meanwhile fronted some notable turkeys, including 1998s “Watchers Reborn”, a straight-to-video effort centred around a secret government experiment, a mutant killer beast, and a dog with an IQ of 140. For some of the Star Wars stars, the enormous popularity of the films and their larger-than-life characters meant fans were unable to associate them with other roles. Sir Alec Guinness, the veteran stage and screen actor who starred alongside them in the first of the series, came to resent the association with his character Obi-Wan Kenobi so much that he immediately binned all fan mail, unopened. 

The only one of the major characters unable to use The Force perhaps took advantage of the force of his own charisma. Mr Ford went from playing Han Solo to embody the equally swashbuckling hero Indiana Jones, and then Rick Deckard, the replicant-hunting antihero of “Blade Runner”. Achieving recognition in other imaginary universes before typecasting had fully set in may have helped—his first appearances as “Indy” and Deckard fell between the Star Wars titles. Yet not even Mr Ford’s successes have come halfway to matching the box-office returns of the 1977 film that started it all. So now Star Wars actors old and new—along with the rest of the galaxy—look to the franchise’s latest incarnation to provide a fresh new hope. But it is cinema-goers who will ultimately determine its destiny. Science-fiction fans, this might just be the celluloid you’re looking for…

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Julio Marchi ©

Publisher / Editor at BS News & Media Services
A free thinker, not labelled as anything, not associated with any party, not part of any group or engaged with any religion... A simple guy tired of the nowadays bullshit who decided to promote more serious debates about what is really happening hoping to bring back intelligence to the superficial and shallow news & headlines that unfortunately took over the existing media scene.
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