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Star Wars fans are a precarious bunch. No one finds more faults with the series than they do (Jar Jar Binks and all of Episode I, Greedo Shooting First and the 1997 re-releases amongst many frequent targets), but there are few groups of fans that are as dedicated and obsessively in love with their chosen series.
As such, the stars of the films (or, the original ones, anyway) have become icons, heroes of the fan base through thick and thin. And there’s been a bit of each for the actors in the years since. Now, nearly 35 years since the first film, Episode IV, let’s take a look at what the main stars are doing in 2012.
He never had a role as iconic as Luke Skywalker — unless you’re a major comic book fan. He is the voice of The Joker in Batman cartoons and the two hit Arkham video games, cackling evil psychosis for a wicked avatar. You can currently hear him voicing characters on the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse. He is also now helping develop the comic book series New-Gen, published by Marvel, and will have a role in the live action film.
Princess Leia has had her ups and downs, but was able to turn those experiences into a hit one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, with which she’s still touring. Her struggles with her weight have also turned into opportunity, as she is now a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig.
The most successful of the Star Wars cast, Ford’s post-Jedi credits need no introduction. His last film, 2011’s Cowboys & Aliens, though, was a flop. Still, he’s pressing on, with a role in the currently filming Ender’s Game, an upcoming turn as Branch Rickey in the Jackie Robinson film 42, and will reprise his role as Indiana Jones in an upcoming fifth film — at some point, anyway.
Billy Dee Williams
The man who played Lando Calrissian has worked consistently since the first trilogy ended, with film roles, soap opera arcs and self-aware appearances as Lando in other projects. He’s due to star in the indie films This Bitter Earth and Atuma this year.
The recipient of an honorary Oscar last year, Jones is an acting legend who is still going strong at 81-years old. Having traded between television, film and stage, he is currently starring in Gore Vidal’s Broadway play, The Best Man.
Being the voice behind C-3PO has given Daniels a lifetime of work. He still voices the neurotic droid, in video games, cartoons and more.
If you’re a Glee fan (or just a Star Wars fan who tuned in to the high school musical dramedy that night), you saw Chewbacca during the Christmas episode. Good news: that was Mayhew, the original wookie, under the suit.
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